A violent few days…

The Monday has dawned as a bright, warmish (for March in northern Alberta!) day after a week and weekend of violence… both man-made and another example of Mother Nature pushing back.

Late last week in Ontario, just outside of Belleville, an eighteen year old boy murdered two people while trying to get at his estranged girlfriend.  He killed the girl’s mother, her younger sister and seriously injured the object of his affection before fleeing…  The husband/father found the carnage when he returned home early in the morning from what I assume was a night shift.

Here in Edmonton a disgruntled employee, suspended from his job as a mechanic at a local car dealership for uttering ‘racially charged remarks’ went into the dealership one morning with a shotgun and started shooting.  He killed one person, wounded others, and then killed himself.  It is made that more poignant when one understands that one of the first responders, a female police officer, discovered that it was her husband which had been killed by the shooter.

As we begin to understand the background stories to the scenarios, we begin to see that there were certain checks and balances in place that may have identified the killers before the situation got to these levels, if they had been properly applied.  Hindsight is 20/20 though, isn’t it?

But this same sort of due diligence and care that could have saved 4 lives should also have been applied to a scenario which allowed Mother Nature’s wrath to kill two people and hurt up to 30 others in the mountains just out side of Revelstoke.  Even after being warned, even after avalanche alerts had been posted for a specific area, up to 200 people chose to ignore the evidence and rode their snowmobiles into the back country for a competition, the Big Iron Shoot-out on Boulder Mountain, challenging the mountain to push back.  It did.  People died.

There are warning signs.  There are behaviours that we can identify if we’re paying attention.  Indicators are usually in place before human beings cause something irreversible to happen.  People don’t pay attention to the signs.  Or, unfortunately, they become thrill junkies putting others at risk.

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