Half Mast

Yesterday, the flags at my library were lowered to half mast in response to the terrible tragedy in Arizona.  Members of my staff told me how much they appreciated seeing a visual tribute for the victims of the crazy man.  A couple of patrons also expressed their appreciation of this action.

Would you believe I also received a negative comment about it?  The patron asked me if the flags were lowered “because of what happened in Arizona.”  When I answered that this was the reason, he responded that it’s a shame the library felt it necessary to honor “all those crooks.”  I said “Surely you don’t think that 9 year old girl was a crook.” When he sputtered angrily, I just gave him my disapproving librarian look, shook my head and walked away.  I couldn’t do anything else.  I knew if I stuck around I would have given him a bigger piece of my mind.

No matter what you think about someone’s politics, gunning down innocents is never the right move.  I’m not surprised, but I am disgusted that someone in my community believed that the shooter was justified in his actions and that we shouldn’t grieve for the victims.

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