In a horrific tragedy out of DC, Albert Peterson, a defense contractor, shot his wife and two sons before turning the gun on himself. The 57-year-old man was said to struggle with paranoia and with increasing worry over the state of this country. According to the Daily Mail, the final straw was Obama's probable re-election.
If that's true (and it's still a big if), then it really does show just how truly warped people are about this election. Obviously, if it's true, there is also some mental illness. After all, who on Earth would kill his beautiful teen sons and wife just because of an election? But even the Washington Post says the family wasn't having money troubles, and Peterson's main concern seemed to be the economy and that he was "worried about politics" and wasn't able to let things slide off his back very easily.
Things are bad. It's true. But they aren't that bad.
The idea that this man believed that his family would be so hurt by Obama that they were better off dead is frightening, indeed. Now, granted, there was a history of mental illness in the family. According to the Mail, both his brother and father had also committed suicide.
Furthermore, there is no assumption about all Republicans based on this one man's depraved acts. But this is a lesson for all of us, Dems and Republicans alike. No matter how intense and ugly this election cycle is, none of this is life or death. No one would be better off dead than living through a President they didn't choose.
Obviously there is more to this story than just the election, and this would be an awful tragedy even if there were no motive at all. But the motive and Peterson's alleged thinking do sort of give us pause.
Just how seriously are we taking all this? Can we take a step back and understand that nothing is worth hurting anyone? If not, maybe we should be seeing a professional.
It's impossible to know what signs Peterson's family did or didn't see. Obviously people knew he was passionate about the election and the state of the country, but maybe they just saw a person who is normal, but passionate about politics. Maybe. It's hard to say.
What we do know is that a beautiful family is dead, and no matter what the "reason" is, there is no excuse. I am quite certain that, given the choice, Peterson's wife and two sons would have chosen life. Even with Obama as President.
Tragically, he didn't give them that choice. My heart breaks for this whole family, regardless of whether or not the Obama part is true. This is just sickening.
Do you think this story could be true?
Image via jayneandd/Flickr