family members of amish girls killed monday in their one-room school in pennsylvania want younger relatives to forgive the gunman. according to cnn, a grandfather said, “we must not think evil of this man.”

that response floors me. i am amazed at that kind of compassion. i don’t think i would forgive someone who killed one of my family members. i just couldn’t do it. their faith is so strong that they know that if someone dies, it’s god’s plan. the grandfather said, “we’re going to have to pick up the pieces and keep going. a funeral to us is a much more important thing than the day of birth because we believe in the hereafter. the children are better off than their survivors.” i can only hope to have that kind of faith. i have to admire anyone who can forgive the person who kills his or her relatives. that’s a point i can only hope to reach.

longing for safety

in lancaster county, pennsylvania, a milk truck driver entered a one-room amish school, let the male students, a pregnant woman and several women with infant children leave before lining the female students up in front of the blackboard, tying their feet together and shooting them in the head execution-style.

In las vegas, two schools were locked down after at teenager was seen at a high school with a gun.

last week, a principal was shot in wisconsin and a 15-year-old now is charged with his murder, and in colorado, a man held six girls hostage before shooting one and himself.

the news makes me sick these days. i’m a news reporter, so i peruse state and national news sites throughout the day, and i never thought the day would come when students wouldn’t be safe at school. now, don’t get me wrong, i know there have been school shootings in the past, such as the one at columbine high school, but i can’t remember so many happening in such a short period of time. if i was a mother, i don’t know that i would want my child to attend a school. i might choose to home school him or her. i can’t imagine what the parents of the children involved in these shootings are going through.

instinctively, i wonder what could go through the mind of a person to make them enter a school and shoot innocent students and adults. i can’t understand that mentality. the man in pennsylvania, according to his wife, was trying to get revenge for something that occurred 20 years ago. what in the world could have happened to make him execute those young students? it just boggles my mind.

i like to think that nothing like that would happen here, in my small town. i hope not. but, i’m sure none of these children’s parents thought shootings would occur at their schools. i went to high school and college in an adventist town we affectionately call “happy valley.” the worst thing that ever happened at my high school was the administration not allowing a student to graduate because she was caught with drugs during a search. we lived in our little bubble. we weren’t oblivious to the events going on across the country; we just knew nothing like that would ever happen in our little world.

i no longer live in “happy valley.” i’ve seen several police reports at work of crimes occurring in the apartment complex where i live. there have been burglaries and even a man attacked as he tried to unlock his apartment door. it scares me. i know i can’t live forever in an area like “happy valley,” but i should be able to feel safe.

the terrorists try again

i had the today show on in the background as i got ready this morning, and talk of tighter restrictions for carry-on luggage sparked my attention. i got to the tv in time to hear the report on the terrorist attack that almost was carried out this morning. according to cnn, 21 people were arrested for hiding liquid explosives and detonators in carry-on luggage. the plan was to blow up planes traveling from england to several cities here, including washington d.c. and new york. airport officials say passengers were about to board the planes for take-off. it’s scary how close this plan came to completion.

the terror threat level has been raised for flights originating in england and flights here in the us. i must say, as our wedding and honeymoon approach i’m getting nervous about flying. we thought the next time they tried an attack it would be in a different way, yet they’re still attacking airplanes. i wonder how long it will be until i feel comfortable with flying again.

i would scream

a man in kentucky rented a car to find a two-foot ball python in it. he thought the snake was rubber, and by the time he discovered it was real he couldn’t get out. you can read it here:

man finds snake in car

i would freak out.

rethinking the crime

i was writing a story the other day when i heard on the scanner an officer being dispatched to a local pharmacy because of a shoplifting in progress. i continued listening as i wrote, and several more officers also were dispatched.

about ten minutes later, the first officer asked the dispatcher for a miscellaenous case number. “the subject has decided to pay for his items,” he said.

i couldn’t help laughing. i guess it just takes three cops to make a criminal change his mind!

have a nice life, moussaoui

zacarias moussaoui will spend the rest of his life in the federal supermax prison in colorado.

i applaud the jury for giving him life in prison without parole rather than the death penalty. some argue that he deserves to die for his role in the sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. i disagree. the fact that moussaoui wanted to be executed is precisely the reason the jury should not have sentenced him to death. why allow him to be a martyr? forcing him to spend the rest of his life in prison is much more of a punishment for him than death would be. his countrymen are the ones who killed themselves by hijacking planes and flying them into buildings in our country. they are not afraid of death.

i think u.s. district judge leonie brinkema, as quoted on cnn, summed it up perfectly: “you came here to be a martyr and die in a big bang of glory. but to paraphrase the poet t.s. eliot, instead you will die with a whimper.”

now moussaoui will join the ranks of past terrorists: richard reid, the unabomber and terry nichols. he will have a 7″ x 12″ cell 60 feet underground where he will spend 23 hours a day. have a nice life.