What’s needed is clarity of thought

Published 10:40 pm Thursday, July 9, 2009

With the early-morning murder of a newspaper deliveryman on Wednesday, Suffolk experienced its fourth shooting death of the year. If there can be such a thing as a “typical” firearms related death, none of those in Suffolk this year have fit the profile.

A murder-suicide, a man who shot a burglar from the outside of his building as the burglar stood inside during the wee hours of the morning, and now a man shot in the head while doing his job one morning, with no apparent motive. These are not the robbery-shootings or gang paybacks that have become so commonplace in American cities.

Prosecutors continue to deliberate over what to do about the burglary-related shooting, and police continue their investigation into Wednesday morning’s murder, so it’s too early to draw any real conclusions, other than to acknowledge that this once-quiet community is, indeed, different than it ever has been in the past.

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In the heat of passion, in the darkness that settles on the human consciousness during the long night hours, men and women of Suffolk have lost their lives or had them unalterably changed in less than the blink of an eye. The solutions found by those holding the guns have been final ones in each case, removing any hope of an opportunity to look for another way to solve whatever problems seemed so insurmountable.

Amid the simple observations, one thing is clear: Guns and passion don’t mix; once fired, that bullet never can be called back.