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When The Unthinkable Happens: News Is Tougher To Take

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Not too long ago, I really was blind enough to think that a teacher's son walking into a classroom of first-graders and opening fire was as bad as the news could possibly get.

As we know now the news continues to remain grim, defying humanity and common decency so that sadness and declarations of "the worst" you fill in the blank in U.S. history capture the headlines.

There used to be a lot more stories about sheltering one's children from violent or inappropriate TV programming. Now I don't know if parents have given up or become numb to the constant barrage of trauma and tragedy gripping their world.

Clearly there is no way newspeople can ignore a situation in which so many other news elements are present, in which public servants have died, five to be exact, falling victim to a sniper's bullets in Dallas that also wounded 12.

Few parents expect the media to protect them from reality, though I do remember people complaining of media insensitivity as journalists trained their cameras on people jumping from the World Trade Center.

It is critical not to blame the messenger for bad news events.

It's true parents may be a little less encouraging when their children tell them they want to be police or firemen-- yet it is important that we all don't become jaded to the news and give up our capacity to feel. We are still Americans.

Those who are first to arrive at the scene of any shooting take their own lives in their hands. Of course, this is what they signed up for when they entered police academies nationwide, but it is hardly an easy burden to carry.

To think a veteran carried out this deadly plot is hard to fathom. I guess no white soldiers were among his friends? But truly there has been some great journalism lately on families coping with returning veterans' post-traumatic stress disorders. See Lisa Ling's OWN documentary on this issue.
Still police were right to send a robot to blow the Dallas suspect up when it was clear that negotiations that lasted any longer put other innocent lives at risk. It is true that this allowed police to act as judge, jury and executioner, but given the specific circumstances it is hard to say that the act of blowing the suspect up was unjustified. It may sound uncharacteristically anti-denicratic, but it does seem that waiting longer would have sacrificed more lives.

The serious conclusion is not just that black lives matter, but so do white, Hispanic, Asian, and all other living breathing people police are sworn to protect.

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