This past week we had another horrible tragedy in the Washington, D.C. area. An undiagnosed, untreated mentally ill man gained entry to the Navy Yard and gunned down 12 innocent people before being shot to death himself. The panic and fear and harrowing escapes were horrifying and the stories of the victims were heartbreaking.
I’ve had enough.
I love to live near our nation’s capital. It is a beautiful, exciting city and it feels like home to me, but it does act as a magnet to certain people bent on violence.
Off the top of my head, here is a list of the violent incidents this area has had to endure.
1. Shooting of President Reagan and James Brady in 1981. Brady was left permanently disabled and a policeman and a secret service man were also shot. John Hinkley, the assailant, is still in St. Elizabeth’s Hospital for the criminally insane.
2. The Air Florida plane crash in the Potomac during in a snow storm in 1982 (not a violent act but terribly upsetting – my husband drove over that bridge an hour before)
3. Shooting of two Capitol police officers and wounding of two others in 1998 by a mentally ill man.
4. 9/11. I worked in the same county as the Pentagon. I saw the smoke rise from it and watched people stream by our building on foot to get out of DC. This was not insanity, merely evil.
5. The 2001 anthrax attacks, targeting news media and two Democratic senators by sending anthrax spores in the mail. Five people were killed and 17 others infected.
6. The Beltway sniper who in 2002 shot and killed ten innocent victims and wounded three others. It was a horrible time. You felt as if you took your life in your hands to just put gas in your car.
7. The 2007 massacre at Virginia Tech where 32 students and professors were senselessly killed and 17 others wounded. Virginia Tech is hours away from here, but some of those young lives cut short that day called this area home. One young girl was the daughter of our friends’ neighbor.
7. The Pentagon shooter in 2010. A man shot at the Marine Corps museum, the Pentagon and two military recruiting stations. Luckily no one was injured, but it felt like the sniper was back.
8. The Navy Yard shootings of this week.
I’ve had enough. Have you?