I returned from vacation tonight to devastating news near my hometown in Western Pennsylvania. Although this blog is supposed to be dedicated to unemployment, my problems pale in comparison to what happened at 8:16 p.m. - just about 20 minutes after pulling into my garage following a 10-hour drive from Myrtle Beach, S.C.
I live just a couple miles from the LA Fitness in Collier Township, Pa., and am sickened by the mass shooting that has killed multiple people doing the abominable act of exercising. When - as a people, as a country - will we decide enough is enough? I'm afraid, we'll never tire of this bloodshed. Something needs to change.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is reporting that at least four people - including the cowardly gunman - are dead. Several others are in critical condition, so the death toll could rise. Many media outlets are saying this shooting was prompted by a break-up. What a joke.
There are two helicopters hovering in the distance where the Great Southern Shopping Center is situated. I have frequented those shops ever since I was 5 years old. The media has gathered in the Bob Evans parking lot where I've eaten numerous times. From the copter shots, I can see the Wendy's restaurant where my buddies and I gathered after high school football games. Next to the fitness center is the former building that housed the Old Country Buffet where I ate with my mom. My mother actually called me about the incident because she heard the constant wailing of ambulance sirens rushing by her house to nearby St. Clair Hospital. This is hitting home hard.
This is not the first time our area has dealt with such a horrific shooting spree. Four months ago to the day, three Pittsburgh police officers were (allegedly) gunned down by Richard Popolawski. I hate that word allegedly, by the way. It was the deadliest day for the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police in its history. Two other officers were seriously injured during the gun battle.
In April 2000, Richard Baumhammers killed five people during a racially motivated rampage through several neighborhoods. The killing began in my hometown of Mt. Lebanon and our high school was locked down that day. This is becoming all too familiar.
5 months ago