The violent death of any person is hard to accept. Age and, even, disease are more understandable as causes that take people from their families, neighborhoods, and City. Death by gunshot seems so senseless.
Two recent deaths bring that point sharply to mind. Dan Horkheimer, who was shot outside his own home over the weekend, was simply working on his house when someone came by and shot him. His work among the region’s immigrant populations was important. His death stuns his family, demoralizes his neighbors, saddens his co-workers, and weakens his City. Norvelle Brown, who was shot last night in a City alley, was on patrol as a St. Louis police officer. His barely-begun career had already impressed his bosses and the youngsters with whom he worked. His death is a loss to his family and friends, and a blow to his fellow police officers. It, too, weakens his City.
No issue or catalog of issues the prevalence of guns, the trivialization of violence in media and music, the lack of stable families, bad schools, or anything else offers enough of an explanation for these deaths.