On June 29, five people were gunned down while working at The Capital Gazette in Arlington, Maryland.
On June 29, five people got up that morning not knowing that within a few hours their lives would be taken from them in a hail of bullets by a disgruntled reader. Until that fateful moment, Special Publications Editor Wendi Winters, Assistant Editor Rob Hiaasen, Editorial Page Editor Gerald Fischman, Staff Writer John McNamara and Sales Assistant Rebecca Smith were going about their daily work — writing, reporting, supporting and editing the local newspaper. They were doing the same type of work journalists and staff at newspapers do every day. It’s important work that requires a commitment to local communities — a commitment to telling the stories shed light on the good and bad that happens in a community every day.
When they went to work on June 29, they lived their lives up to the final moments never suspecting what was about to happen.
The victims of the Capital Gazette shooting are just the latest victims of shootings in the U.S. Every week it seems there are more shootings — in schools, churches, nightclubs and businesses. There is fear that no one is completely safe.
We can’t be crippled by the fear of what might happen. As a nation, we must continue to send our children to schools, continue to worship, continue to live our lives shopping and working. As communities come to grips with trying to keep its children and families safe, we must not let those who use violence keep us from living.
The leadership and staff of The Capital Gazette are grieving, and we join them in their grief. But they understand there is more at stake than a newspaper. The Capital Gazette didn’t miss a deadline; and its many employees continue the work they do every day to inform their community. It’s a testament to those whose lives were snuffed out; it’s a legacy they would appreciate.
Those at The Capital Gazette understand if we give in to the fear, we are no longer a free people.
If we don’t continue each day working to inform others and make our world a better place, those who incite fear and violence on the innocent win.