Death at a Christmas Parade
On Saturday, November 21st, a man named Darrell Brooks plowed his SUV into a holiday parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin. The 39-year-old man had a criminal record dating back to 1999, where he got in trouble for alcohol use and violent behavior. When Brooks committed the crime at the holiday parade, he was already set to stand trial for multiple other crimes, including an attempt to run down one of his ex-girlfriends with his car. He was put in jail for that, but because the court was overwhelmed with cases during that time, they reduced his bail to $1,000. His mother paid the bail to get him out of jail but just a few days later, he drove his SUV into that parade in Waukesha, killing six people and injuring around sixty others. Five of the people he killed were members of the Dancing Grannies, a group of active grandmothers who were performing at the parade. The sixth person he killed was an 8-year old boy who was on a junior softball team; he died in the hospital from resulting injuries after being hit.
The human suffering from this massacre is terrible. Consider the people who attended that parade; they all saw this happen right before their eyes. I can’t imagine anything more traumatic than that. This is going to be a very somber holiday season for the entire community of Waukesha. Also think about Brooks’ mother who bailed him out a few days before he committed the shooting. She says she feels totally wrecked. She can’t sleep or eat and feels distraught over the whole situation. She knows she’s morally responsible for what happened because if she wouldn’t have bailed him out, he couldn’t have committed this crime. Brooks was also the father of a young boy. He got one of his ex-girlfriends pregnant and abandoned her when the baby was just a few months old, leaving the woman to raise the boy on her own. She now has to live knowing that the father of her child is a mass murderer. How is she going to tell her son that? This community is going to have a long road of grieving ahead of it.
How do we survive such a dark world? First, we have to plan our reforms better. One of the reasons why Brooks got out of jail is because the court was overloaded with cases due to the pandemic, so his bail was reduced. We need to plan our reforms more carefully and think ahead because the court might be turning people loose who should not be free to be an active part of society. We also need to find better ways of dealing with people. The parade crime that Brooks committed didn’t happen out of the blue. He had a criminal history of assault, domestic abuse, violence, and drug charges. This clearly wasn’t a man who should’ve been out on the streets. Brooks might have suffered neurological damage, which could be one of the reasons why he couldn’t live within societal norms and stick to the law. If his brain was all scrambled up, it might’ve been very difficult for him to live day to day, which could explain why he abandoned his son and tried to run over his ex-girlfriends. We need to make more of an effort to help people and understand the motives that drive them to do these sorts of things. If we want to deal with a dark world, we have to deal with the causes of that dark world. Finally, we need a better educational effort. Clearly, women were attracted to Brooks as crazy as he was. One woman even had a child with him. We need to educate people about the consequences of getting involved with people who may be dangerous.
If we don’t start dealing with the causes of this dark world, we may lose our democracy. It is becoming fragile because one community after another is getting traumatized by shootings. Democracy will not survive much longer if we don’t start taking action. We need to step up and bring an end to these killings. We need to bring light back into this dark world.