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Increased shootings indicate lack of appreciation for life


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Published 2009-04-22T00:00:00Z”/>

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Ashley Larson/Columnist

Ding, Dong, Die.Ever played that game? Me neither. That was the game 19-year-old Edward Mike Ji made up and was playing three years ago when he shot 17-year-old Bryan Chevalier when he answered the door, according to an article in the Dallas Morning News.Ji, who was 16 years old at the time didn’t hold a grudge against the other kid, or even know him for that matter.It was all luck of the draw. Answer the door? Die. Not home? It’s your lucky day.Thankfully, Chevalier, who was 14 years old at the time, survived. However, he did sustain multiple injuries from being shot twice. This type of mindless attack on human life is getting more and more common. Between March 10 and April 7, eight mass shootings in the U.S. claimed 57 lives, according to an article in the Huffington Post. That is 57 lives too many.What has changed in America that makes these things seem so common? The bleeding economy, fears about the Obama administration and cheating spouses were a few of the speculated reasons for the shootings this past month, according to the Huffington Post. I think it is none of these. Instead, I think the real problem is that our culture has no regard for the value of human life. If someone is in a severe depression, a lot of times that person wants as many others in that same state of despair.I know there are psychopaths who do this type of thing once in a while. The alarming thing to me is that all of the shooters in the past month were average Joes, some with families and careers.Where are the average Janes? It’s odd that none of these shooters were women. Do relationships, politics and the economy affect men more than women? I didn’t think so, but all the shooters being male says something.The fact that people think their only option is to kill not only themselves, but other innocent people around them, makes me think people simply don’t care. If they are going down, they are going to take as many others down with them as possible.You never know if you are going to run across someone in this state of despair. I can’t help but think even the littlest moves I make could cost me my life. I am paranoid about getting to close to other cars in a parking lot and am a courteous driver when I’m stuck in traffic. An everyday innocent decision can mean the end.I even think of these things on a normal night out in Chico. There have been many times when I was in a bar with a group of friends and seen two people in a heated argument. I never worry that punches will be thrown, I worry that one of them will pull out a knife or gun and kill someone.My fears aren’t unfounded. These types of escalations to violence really happen, even in Chico. In 2005, Chad Keichler was shot in the head following an argument in front of Normal Street Bar. Was that really worth it? I know there are points when people get so angry and irrational they will lash out because of a knee-jerk emotional response. But, these responses are never worth it, and never OK. Students should not have to go out in fear that someone is carrying a weapon and will use it on anyone who, in their mind, steps out of line.We have gotten to the point where people are afraid of other people. We don’t worry about dying in a car crash or from smoking or drinking; it’s a death by murder.It’s a sad commentary when I can say that when my doorbell rings, I don’t think it’s my roommate who forgot her keys or a kid selling candy. I think it’s a psychopath waiting on my doorstep – waiting to kill me. Ashley Larson can be reached at

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        Increased shootings indicate lack of appreciation for life