It was around 4:00 when I heard about the shooting at the 23rd Street Home Depot in Manhattan.

I followed the Twitter feeds to find out what was going on. It was amazing how many people were tweeting about this incident. Every few seconds another handful of tweets would appear.

Anytime an innocent person is murdered, it is a tragedy, and these tragedies should never be taken lightly, nor should they be used to push a nefarious agenda.

Yes, I’m talking about all those anti-gun zealots out there who use every well-publicized shooting as an opportunity to trivialize the importance of the second amendment.

I’m also talking about overzealous gun rights advocates who will tell you that every single gun-related murder in the U.S. could’ve been avoided had the victim been armed. This isn’t true, as most folks, even many long-time gun owners, are not properly trained to act quickly and responsibly in such situations.

If you’re a regular reader of these pages, you know I’m an unapologetic supporter of the right to bear arms. There’s no middle ground with me, and I have no patience for any individual that seeks to dismantle the second amendment.

That being said, when something like this happens, it absolutely should be used as an opportunity to instigate open and respectful dialogue. Today, I’m going to do just that.

An Absolute Tragedy

This afternoon, two people in New York City were killed. That means there are now two families and two groups of friends who will never see their loved ones again. They’ll never share stories with them again, break bread or love each other in real time.

Again, this is an absolute tragedy.

It’s also a tragedy that today, as the Internet lit up with stories of this horrible shooting, dozens of other similarly gruesome shootings have gone unnoticed. Shootings that have occurred in some of our nation’s most depressing and violent cities and towns. Places where unemployment is extremely high, education is not valued and the war on drugs kills more people than old age, cancer and heart disease.

Here in Baltimore, this stuff happens every single day. Sometimes it’s reported and sometimes it’s not. That goes for the mainstream media, independent media and social networks.

So the question is, why are some lives worthy of national media attention and some are not?

I pose this question, not as a segue to a brilliant answer. I pose this question because I think it needs to be discussed by a community of like-minded individuals that respect the second amendment, non-violence and the cause for liberty.

So what do you think?