Yesterday, at approximately 7:15 a.m. in Sparks, Nev., Sparks Middle School teacher Michael Landsberry was fatally shot and killed by a student, who then fatally shot himself. As Coloradoans, we know all too well that this can happen to any one of us. We stand in solidarity with Sparks Middle School and the community in Sparks, Nev., as they go through the long, painful process of moving forward. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Inevitably, this debate will start moving away from the victim of this shooting, as it has in past shootings. As with previous patterns, our speculations will begin to turn to other aspects of the tragedy: what kind of person was the attacker, what sort of motivations would a student have to kill a teacher, what can be done to prevent something like this from happening again or if anything should be done.
It is our hope that this is not the direction that the discussion will move in. It is our hope that instead we remember that in the wake of the tragedy, a mother has lost a son. A sister-in-law has lost a brother-in-law. A school has lost a teacher. A family has lost a father and husband.
As we begin to move forward from this tragedy, and with any tragedy of this type, it is paramount that we remember the identity of the fallen.
It is something that we have failed to do before, and it is something that we need to do now.