Chapel Hill, NC. Home of the University of North Carolina. Where three young students - two of them a newlywed couple - were murdered, shot execution-style, by an a-hole bigot. Sorry, none of this "suspect" stuff. He did it.
Why do we know the killer was a bigot? The three students, murdered in their apartment, were practicing Muslims.
Or you could believe what the bigot's wife said: that her husband murdered the three college kids over a parking space.
There IS a reason why we still have a death penalty. Even if you oppose capital punishment with every fiber of your being, you must be able to see why it's still there, when you are confronted with this.
Plenty of us do not want to feed that murderer or know he has a clean bed to sleep in tonight. Especially when others, who have not killed anybody, don't get the food and the clean bed he will get until the day he succumbs to old age.
For many of us, thoughts like that are inescapable. Because there are people, our fellow Americans, whose only "crime" is being poor, who have been kind to others, who need a little kindness now, and do not know if this is a day they will find even a very little kindness.
There are fellow Americans living in the cold and heat, in the streets or in their cars, and there are those eating ketchup and rice to keep within a budget in a college dorm, all of whom could make things better for themselves, their communities, our nation and our world, if they just got a break.
And there are those who, because of whatever "issues" they carry inside them, combined with being able to capitalize on the supremacy of "gun rights" in this country, end-up on the public dole, consuming resources with no hope of generating benefit for anyone, because they suck-up public money by living in prison (and sometimes, in for-profit privately-owned prison).
The old adage, readjusted to our times, seems to be:
"Millions for incarceration, not one penny for social justice."
We could step back one day before the three students were murdered and modify the original adage to apply to them, just as it still applies, uniquely in the world, to all of America's university and college students:
"Millions for defense, but not one penny to relieve crushing individual college debt."
No, I am not off on some tangent, losing sight of the excruciating pain and shock the families and friends of those three dead students are obviously feeling right now.
Neither am I losing sight of the obscene way that our society sets its fiscal priorities, wherein tuition for prison gets all the funds it wants, but scholarships for those who can make our shared future better are pretty much "you're on your own out there, if somebody doesn't shoot you first."