Opinion: A bleak summer

Jake Crissman

Jake Crissman

Jake Crissman is a sophomore English major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].

Summer is the time for heading to the beach and hanging out with friends. A time to kick back, unwind and let the rays of the sun beat down on you. There’s not a care in the world during the long, hot days of this magical season. Well, usually.

There is no question that this summer has been plagued by unimaginable violence and senseless murder. Places of innocence have now been corrupted thanks to the doing of a handful of madmen.

James Holmes is on trial for firing upon a crowd of moviegoers during a premiere of “The Dark Knight Rises” on July 20 in Aurora, Colo. He wounded 58 people, 12 of whom died. Police apprehended him, and now his attorneys are trying to prove his insanity to avoid the death penalty.

In Wisconsin, on Aug. 5, a man walked into a Sikh temple and opened fire, killing six people before he was shot and killed by police officers. It has been reported that he was a middle-aged white male with a 9/11 tattoo on his arm. Authorities believe that the attack was race-related and have called this man a “domestic terrorist.”

On Aug. 13, near Texas A&M University, Thomas Caffall opened fire on an officer who was trying to serve him an eviction notice. The officer was killed, along with a bystander, and more were wounded during a standoff lasting an hour and a half before police finally shot and killed Caffall.

And the most recent horror story took place just this past Friday, when a very disgruntled former employee, Jeffrey Johnson, killed his former co-worker outside of the building where they used to work together near the Empire State Building. The gunman shot Steve Ercolino in the head at point-blank range, believing that he was the reason for Johnson’s layoff one year earlier.

A construction worker who saw the shooting take place alerted two patrolmen of the situation. When the officers approached the gunman, he pulled his gun. Shots were exchanged on the busy street, and Johnson was killed while nine people were wounded during the ordeal.

These four events have stood out and covered by the media extensively, yet I’m sure most of us have already forgotten about them. It was only a little over a month ago that the horrendous movie theater massacre took place, and now it just seems like a distant memory.

I can’t even begin to comprehend what would drive someone to commit such heinous acts against another human being. Man is not meant to destroy one another. It’s inexcusable for someone to carry out or even think that they would want to do such an appalling thing like take the life of another person, let alone an entire group of people.

What needs to be done in order for attacks like these to stop? Does the Second Amendment need to be repealed? Why can’t we all just love and accept each other?