I'm guessing I don't need to tell you what has happened in Virginia.
My heart is broken for Alison Ward and Adam Parker's family, friends, boyfriend and fiancée, colleagues, and all the people in the Roanoke, VA, area who grew used to watching them on TV.
I remember how my community reacted when a popular weatherman died. There was great mourning for everyone, and that wasn't from murder. I can't even imagine what that community of people is feeling, not only to have this happen, but to have it happen live on air. So many people say that reporters become like part of the family because they're in your home every single day, and I finally kind of get that now. Alison was actually a reporter for one of my hometown's local news stations before she moved to Virginia, so the connection hits closer to home than I thought it would.
There have been a lot of questions in my head today.
Why is it always "disgruntled former employees" who do this?
Why are they so often such cowards that they'll kill themselves before they have to face what they've done?
How sick do you have to be to not just record yourself committing murder, but to do it live on-air to terrify who knows how many people?
Have we really entered a stage of social media where people can and will actually post murders on the internet and have others re-upload it and post it everywhere like it's some sick kind of entertainment?
Did anyone have a clue this guy was the kind of person who would boast of admiration for the VA Tech killer (because he got nearly twice the "body count" of the Columbine shooters)?
How did this guy go unnoticed when he called himself "a human powder keg waiting to go boom"?
How many times does this have to happen (there have already been more than 850 mass shootings since Sandy Hook in December 2012) before we wise up and get better gun laws?
Those are just some of them...but with a whole lot of expletives added in.
I'm angry and hurt and sad and in shock, and I don't even know anyone involved.
I know this is the time when I need to be in serious prayer. For Alison's boyfriend, Adam's fiancée (who also watched it happen live, because she is a producer at the station and was in the control room), their families, friends, everyone at their station, the community who watched it and knew them. And I know I need to pray for the shooter's family and friends, as they try to wrap their minds around what he's done, because chances are they're just as in shock as everyone else.
I know that prayer is the only thing I can give right now, and that it's the best thing I can give, but right now, it just feels so...inadequate.
It feels like I should be doing more, even though I know that's impossible. Even though I know that God is near to the brokenhearted. Even though I know that their loved ones have a community around them to support them, and I didn't even know them, sitting here, I feel so helpless knowing that something like this has happened and there's nothing that can be done to change it or make it better. I wish I could actively be doing something, anything, to help those thrown into the depths of grief. We can probably chalk this up to my innate need to "fix" things.
But I can't fix this and I can't make it better. I know that prayer is all I have to give, but that doesn't mean I'm happy about it. So I'll send it up to God, knowing that God has been with those grieving long before the murders even happened, and that they won't be alone as they walk this aftermath.