Sad news from The New York Times today about a shooting at one of my absolute favorite spots in the city — the Bryant Park ice skating rink.
If you’ll recall, actually, I was just there this past Thursday …
The reason for the shooting? A jacket. A jacket that some idiot teenager wanted. And wasn’t given. And therefore felt the need to shoot and potentially kill for.
What do you do when one of your favorite places to go suddenly becomes a place you fear. A place where something horrible and sad and scary happened. Ice skating rinks. High school parties. Airports. Schools. Movie theaters.
Where can we go in America without worrying? The list is getting smaller and smaller …
My dad and I actually got into a discussion about this over the weekend (before I even knew anything had happened at Bryant Park). I argued that with the way America has become recently, I’m more than happy to have some of my personal freedoms stripped away if it’s going to help keep me (and my family and friends) safe. My dad (the retired Army Lieutenant Colonel) argued that these policies (stop and frisk, for example, and airport pat downs) are un-American, un-democratic and go against everything America stands for.
I understand that argument — I really do. But what do you do, I wonder, when you start to worry that at any moment, any place where you are, someone could pull out a gun and just start shooting? Because they’re angry. Because they’re mentally ill. Because someone offended them.
Because they want your jacket.
All I know is I want my ice skating rink back. And now, a small part of it will never be the same.