What’s the price of life?

Castlegar News bi-weekly columnist focuses on a deadly serious topic

Stop this world. I want to get off. Seriously!

I don’t even know where to begin; the thoughts are rolling around in my brain like marbles. While not naïve, I have always had a bright, although admittedly somewhat practical outlook towards life, our world, and the people who inhabit it.

It’s my belief while it might be raining there is always a rainbow to look for after the storm. Puppies, kittens and children never fail to make me smile. My glass is half full, never half empty and I believe in the outright kindness of humanity.

It’s hard, however, to hang on to that Pollyanna-like thinking right now. Today, as I write this column, Moncton and the RCMP are putting to rest their three comrades who were coldheartedly shot dead while in the line of duty. Three men. Shot dead. Three men, who but for the whim of a gunman, should be living and breathing.

Constables Fabrice Georges Gevaudan, David Ross and Douglas James Larche won’t be going home to their families tonight.

Shortly thereafter, across the border, two Las Vegas police officers, Igor Soldo and Alyn Beck were heartlessly murdered while eating their lunch in a pizzeria.

Is there a war on police?

Not likely. I believe there is a war on humanity in general.

Earlier this week and closer to home, 75-year-old Thomas Feeney, of Rossland, was brutally murdered in his home after which the culprit(s) helped himself to Mr. Feeney’s belongings. What is the price of a life nowadays? Is it worth a TV and a few other items? Apparently so to the perpetrator(s).

This morning, as I do every morning, I was scanning the online newspapers. I have a bit of a trap line of sorts. I start the day with our local online newspapers and then fan out to the Vancouver Sun, the Province, Global News, and CNN. It’s my routine and how I try to keep connected to this world in which we live.

Knowing it was the day for the funeral for the Moncton constables, my heart was heavy with pain for their families and friends, and yes, I will admit to a simmering anger at all of the senseless loss of life at the hands of others.

Thus, when I read about the Kamloops man who ruthlessly stabbed his common-law spouse in the heart after they both consumed copious amounts of Listerine, that simmering anger fanned to a full blown rage; especially when I read that the cost of his spouse’s life was a sentence of four years and five months, less time already served.

Now, as I sit at the computer, I can hear the television. Guess what? Yup, that’s right. There have been two separate shootings in Vancouver and two people are dead after a school shooting in Oregon.

I was raised at a time when no one locked their doors. We freely walked about at night and we opened our doors to knocks without looking first. There were no school drills enforcing proper behaviour should a gunman walk into the school.

What is going on with this world in which life has no or little value?

Is the ultimate answer to our grievances ruthless murder?

I pity the children who are growing up in an atmosphere of fear and a culture in which such grievances and hurts demand that life is brutally taken without thought or shame. School used to be a place of comfort and safety and now it has become an armed camp, complete with onsite police to help preserve the illusion of that comfort and safety.

Our children deserve better than that. We all do.

Do I know the answer to this carnage? No, and it’s likely I never will, but that doesn’t stop my heart from breaking.