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  • Writer's pictureHoward McBroom

Horror in Sacramento

Updated: Feb 10, 2021

Two teenage boys were shot to death outside a mall in Sacramento the day after Thanksgiving. They were brothers; one was 19 years old and the other was 17. They were just about to walk into the mall when somebody walked up to them, pulled out a gun, shot them both, and ran off. Some poor family lost both their teenage sons in about two seconds. The boys were with their family on Thanksgiving, giving thanks for all they were grateful for: their family, the food, their friends. One day later, they were dead. Two young lives cut short due to an act of madness. We need to return to compassion and empathy, and we need to find more ways of helping people who are capable of doing things like this – shooting two young boys in an entranceway to a shopping mall. I won’t say that I understand the kind of grief that is involved with something like this, because I can’t. I’ve never been a father and so I can’t imagine the grief this family must be feeling for the loss of their sons. What I can do is tell people that hate can be stopped, that there are ways of dealing with it, and that we can teach people how to manage the world emotionally. Hate is never justified; it can only destroy. If we can teach people this, we may stand a chance at stopping this kind of madness. People don’t deserve to get shot. That’s not why you bring a child into the world. You bring a child into the world to do good things. We’re here to make the world a better place. We’re here to help and love and care for each other. That is our goal in life.


I think we need a hotline for people who feel a lot of hate and rage and think a gun is the only way to gain power. We need a hotline so these people can call for help. If you’re thinking of shooting somebody, don’t. You’re not going to make the world a better place by doing this. You’ll be throwing your life away for nothing. Sooner or later, the police will catch you and you’ll end up in prison for life. It’s not worth it. Hate isn’t the answer. A gun isn’t the answer. Killing people isn’t the answer. We need a hotline for potential shooters so they can be connected to people who can help them and teach them the skills they need to handle the world. The hotline will be staffed by professionals who understand the psychology of violence and know how to talk to people who are filled with rage and hate. We need to tell people that hate is wrong - that it can only destroy, kill, and bring grief. It is not the ultimate power. All it does is hurt people. When you learn the skills of love and emotional intelligence, you can do a great deal more and make the world a better place. That’s the real way to have power, by learning how to care for people. Love is the truest power. It can help you live a better life and it is far better than killing people; you gain nothing from that. You may feel like you have power, but all you’re doing is inflicting endless grief on people. Please get help. You can have a much better life than spending the rest of their life in prison for murder. You have no idea what prison is like. It’s horrible beyond words, and if you’re in for life, you’re never going to see freedom again. You’ll be caged like a wild animal. You can have a better future than that. No matter how much hate and anger you may feel, you can have a better future.


We cannot afford anymore horror stories like the one in Sacramento. The impact on society is terrible. It causes people to lose their faith, to be frightened, and makes them feel like there are no safe places. We need to reach out to potential threats and try to stop them before they shoot people. They endanger society. We need to tell them that hate doesn’t work, that spending the rest of their life in prison is not good, and that they cannot go out and kill people and sentence families to a lifetime of endless grief. Nobody deserves that. Race doesn’t matter, gender doesn’t matter, age doesn’t matter. What matters is human life. Everybody can do something good. For me, it’s being a public speaker and being an advocate. We need to help people find out what they’re good at so they can contribute something positive to the world. Horrific events like the shooting in Sacramento don’t have to happen. I don’t even know what I would say to the mother of the two boys who were shot. There really isn’t anything to say to a mother who’s just lost both her sons due to gunfire. There’s no way of truly comprehending that type of grief until it happens to you. And believe me, that’s not what you want. Nobody wants to understand this. That’s one club you never want to join - a club of parents who have lost their kids due to violence. I don’t know what I could say to a mother who has just lost her children, other than I am trying to do something about it.

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