Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Wick Fisher
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

We know not why

Wick's World


October 5, 2017

I turned and looked at the kitchen wall, just in time to see both hands on the clock pointing vertically to the number 12. It was as though they were ordered to stand at attention as if something big was about to happen. Keeping in mind that since my retirement over a decade ago I quit becoming a clock watcher, I wondered to myself why this time I had deliberately looked at one. It never mattered when I went to bed or when I got up, so I really had no need to wear a watch or set an alarm or indeed, even look at a clock.

The only deadline I face in life is the very one I am working on right now. Every Monday I pledge to have an article fit for print in my weekly column “Wick’s World.” Today is one of those Monday mornings in which I wish we could rewind the clock and replay second down like two football teams did yesterday. On Sunday, my family attended a football game at First Bank Stadium, the billion dollar entertainment center that features one of our world’s more violent sports. Yesterday, the Minnesota Vikings and the Detroit Lions were able to re-set the clock as if the preceding event of the game hadn’t even occurred. I would give anything if I could somehow move the chains back to where they were at 11:59 p.m. and be allowed to play out a new set of downs. Instead, the play we saw unfold at midnight in the middle of America is indelibly etched on our nation’s soul — an ugly stain that will never disappear.

Maybe I saw the hands on the clock stand straight up at attention because last night at midnight in Mid-America, (10 p.m. in Las Vegas) something immense did happen. Any form of the word big is too small to describe the events that rocked Las Vegas, Nevada, and America last night. I feel as though the English dictionary has run out of words that adequately express the horror chamber of mass shootings in which we find ourselves trapped.

For a journalist, the questions of a story that need addressing are the five W's: who, what, where, when and why. The facts of last night’s events leave us with clear answers to the first four. It is often the fifth W, the unanswerable "why" that will be pondered over for eternity. Last night’s mass shooting in Las Vegas leaves us begging for some type of rejoinder allowing us to move forward with our daily lives. Unfortunately, the answer to the why of last night’s massacre and other similar events will neither be uncomplicated or straightforward.

We can no longer place the why of the story in the hands of the blamers, which include each and every one of us. We all come armed with our own arsenal of words allowing us to come to some type of a rational answer to a question that almost always remains incomplete. I’m afraid that as a society, America is finding itself too numbed out just because of the frequency of events such as those that occurred in Las Vegas last night. Even the most callous among us has to feel a twinge of regret that the realization of what happened last night in “The City that Never Sleeps” was so staggeringly horrendous that we as a society have become a metaphor as a restless culture that never sleeps ... and that is not a good thing.


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