New Gun Laws Aren’t The Answer: You’ve Gotta Read Roanoke Massacre Survivor’s...

New Gun Laws Aren’t The Answer: You’ve Gotta Read Roanoke Massacre Survivor’s Op/Ed

Vicki Gardner (Via WDBJ)

The woman who was being interviewed live on TV as two members of a Roanoke, Virginia news crew were viciously gunned down is breaking her silence, writing in an op/ed that the solution to gun violence lies not in the halls of Congress, but in the halls of our own homes. She also says the country would do well to simply follow the “Golden Rule.”

According to WDBJ 7:

“Vicki Gardner, the lone survivor of the August 26 shooting that killed WDBJ7’s Alison Parker and Adam Ward at Bridgewater Plaza in Moneta, has released a statement about the shooting last week at a community College in Oregon.

“So what can we do? The answers may lie not in far off legislative halls but much closer to home,” Gardner wrote. “Perhaps it is parents monitoring more closely what their children consume in the terms of media. And, as adults, maybe it’s refusal to give into our baser desires of enjoying for entertainment what we abhor in our culture. On a community level, let’s begin by “loving our neighbor as ourselves.” We can draw closer, get to know our neighbors, work together and hold each other accountable.”

>>>Here is her full op/ed:

My heart is breaking upon news of another mass shooting in this country. Just more than a month ago, I was a shooter’s target. It was a terrifying experience that left me with a long healing process ahead. Since that incident, I’ve had plenty of time to contemplate this complicated social phenomenon and how it can be resolved.

For sure, violence has crept into our everyday lives in the form of entertainment. Upon return home from two weeks in a trauma center, I tried to divert my attention by watching television. Virtually every channel featured a crime show with shooting as the central theme. After being a personal witness to two murders and being shot myself, my attitude toward these forms of “entertainment” has changed from a passive, don’t-care-for-it attitude to one of asking, “How did we come to this?”

We see so much maiming and killing that perhaps we have become desensitized. Some may argue that we have always been exposed to violence on TV and in movies. This is true. However, we live in unprecedented times when it comes to both the clarity and quantity of violence in our entertainment. And now the virtual world of video games has made a generation of young people participants in the violence. Can we truly claim this has played no role in what we all are witnessing?

So what can we do? The answers may lie not in far off legislative halls but much closer to home. Perhaps it is parents monitoring more closely what their children consume in the terms of media. And, as adults, maybe it’s refusal to give into our baser desires of enjoying for entertainment what we abhor in our culture. On a community level, let’s begin by “loving our neighbor as ourselves.” We can draw closer, get to know our neighbors, work together and hold each other accountable.

I’m not sure that hasty legislative action will be the solution to this problem. But I am certain that if each of us will allow the solution to begin with us, we can ensure that the tragedies we all have witnessed grow more infrequent with time.

Vicki Gardner
Executive Director
Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce