I learned, in the wake of the Newtown shooting, that responding to mass tragedies on the Internet is best left to the professional news organizations, at least for the first 48 hours. We have a tendency to have strong personal feelings that color our interpretation of events, and with opinion journalism, that can lead down some dark roads that will, eventually mean a lot of regret. Social media is the worst place in the world in the wake of a tragedy, and politics shows itself to be a cesspool of losers, trying to score cheap political points as families grieve and tears are shed.
Now, however, with the Charleston shooter caught and arraigned – with bail set at $1 million for his weapons charge, but denied on the nine murder charges – the world moves ahead. Dylann Roof, the apparently race-hate motivated Charleston killer, has, according to police, confessed to killing members of a church prayer group as they took part in a Wednesday night Bible study. Chillingly, he told police that he was almost unable to go through with his plan – because his intended victims were so welcoming.
Roof confessed to the horrific killings at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in downtown Charleston on Wednesday night, two sources confirmed to NBC News.
Roof, 21, has told police that he “almost didn’t go through with it because everyone was so nice to him,” sources told NBC News.
And yet he decided he had to “go through with his mission.”
His “mission” was, he claimed, to start a race war.
In stark contrast were the families of Roof’s victims who spoke at Roof’s arraingnment and bond hearing a short time ago. All nine families offered their forgiveness to the cold-blooded killer, some asking him to consider his actions and repent. I have to say, they were all far better than I would have been in their situation.