Rocky Mountain Sense

The editorial writers of the Rocky Mountain News wrote an especially touching piece for today’s paper titled, “Lethal rage.” The editorial mourns the victims, sympathizes with their families, and praises Jeanne Assam, the volunteer, armed security guard who stopped the murderer. The Rocky even managed to close with appropriate advice about keeping perspective:

[V]iolence in our society can sometimes seem to be pervasive. Yet while that is true, as Sunday’s events prove, it’s important that we not exaggerate its frequency. During this decade, the homicide rate in the United States (per 100,000 people) has actually been lower than at any time since the early and mid-1960s – and far lower than the 25 years between 1970 to 1995.

Such dry statistics are no consolation to anyone remotely near to this weekend’s tragedies, but they offer perspective the rest of us should bear in mind.

While The Denver Post’s editorial is predictably cliche, it does include the following important detail:

Larry Bourbonnais, a Vietnam veteran who was at the church as the incident unfolded, heard the shots and ran toward the gunfire.

He yelled to divert the gunman’s attention and was shot in the arm.

Then, Jeanne Assam, a female security guard, came around the corner with a handgun drawn, yelling, “Surrender!” She walked toward the shooter, firing one round after another until he went down.

And some sentiments never seem cliche in such circumstances: “[T]he only way to pull through these trying times is by coming together as a well-knit community.”