I was finishing up my interview and began talking about various subjects on my KSCO/KOMY radio show, based in Santa Cruz and the Central Coast.
My producer and the station's news and traffic anchor, Dave Michaels, was busy manning the computer inside the studio. He was silent.
I asked if something was going on. Dave indicated that, yes, there was some "police activity" and "shooting taking place" in Santa Cruz. He didn't sound particularly worried and I had thought nothing of it other than it sounded unusual because Santa Cruz isn't known as a violent town--more a beach resort, although in recent months there'd been a noticeable increase in crime, including a murder, numerous assaults, and most recently a woman/student being attacked at UC Santa Cruz.
All that said, I thought nothing of Dave's report and immediately after I signed off at 4 PM, I met a friend for coffee and returned home hours later and had seen that 2 Santa Cruz Police officers had been gunned down and a suspect shot and killed in an incident only hours earlier I had heard about when concluding my show.
Needless to say I was shocked. Numb really. It brought back memories of the Oakland Police tragedy almost four years ago when 4 OPD officers, (one of whom I had known well and a good friend, John Hege), were all shot and killed in multiple ambushes.
After learning of the Santa Cruz incident I immediately went to Facebook and posted a "Condolences to SCPD." Minutes later a few people began writing gun-control spiels --pro and con--I was irritated and angry. The bodies of the victims had not even been taken away from the scene and already a few clueless wonders already began spewing political rants. Unbelievable. But nothing surprises me anymore.
I have said lately that the idea of talking about gun-control on radio is the equivalent of talking about abortion--worthless, because both sides are dug in and the mere idea of trying to have a reasonable dialogue with civil discourse is a waste of time. It is simply impossible. Common sense has been pushed aside to the act of a lot of screaming and yelling. The "2nd Amendment" and "law-abiding citizens" are the new code words.
One of the Facebook posters--a frequent commenter on this site--took me to task because she indicated that I'd bring up the police tragedy to my Santa Cruz listeners. Well, yeah, I might bring it up. Ignoring it would be kind of insensitive and professionally absurd. That's hardly getting involved in the gun debate because both sides don't know how to have a civil debate. How uncivil, how senseless.
Just like what took place in Santa Cruz on Tuesday afternoon.
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