Texas Christmas Day Shooting Massacre Is Reminder of Holiday Truth

Seven people in Texas are dead after a tragic Christmas Day shooting massacre in an apartment complex. It happened soon after the family -- four women and three men between the ages of 18 and 60 -- opened their gifts. Police told ABC that all were members of the same family and that one person did the shooting and then committed suicide.

But what would drive someone to do that?

It's a topic that is the subject of comedy everywhere -- the horrible holidays and how to "survive" them while dealing with so many family members with whom you don't get along. For many, the holidays are anything but happy. They are a reminder that our families are difficult, complicated and often not very likable. There is a reason the rumor claiming that suicide spikes around the holidays was able to persist for so long.

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Oh, yes. That old tale is a rumor. It is one that is easy to believe. The time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is stressful in a way the rest of the year is not. We deal with family members we don't like, our to-do list is a mile long, we spend money we often don't have and we have to do it all with a false sense of cheer and excitement many of us don't even feel.

It is exhausting. But that does not mean we kill ourselves. In fact, the highest rate of suicide is in the Spring, not in the winter at all.

But for this poor family, obviously someone found the holiday stress too much to bear. He shot the rest of his family as they cleaned up the wrapping paper shortly after they opened their presents. It is an unimaginably sad story.

Yesterday most of us who celebrate spent time enjoying our families. We watched our children's eyes light up at the new things "Santa" brought, we laughed with our husbands and wives and ate delicious food. While the weeks leading up to Christmas are often very stressful, the actual day is a release for many of us, a reminder of how sweet family can be and yes, a reminder that there is a reason we go through all the stress.

It is not a time where people should have to be scared for their lives, especially at the hands of a family member. What could have drive someone to do something like that? It is impossible to imagine and police are not releasing much yet.

The irony is that Grapevine, Texas is a festive community, most notably known for being the
"Christmas Capital of Texas," according to the State Senate, due to the sheer number of annual holiday-season events. Now an anonymous 9-1-1 call from someone who only hung up and said nothing has changed all that. Mayor William Tate released a statement Sunday night. In it, he said:

This is obviously a terrible tragedy. The fact that it happened on Christmas makes it even more tragic. This appears to be a family situation and anyone who has a family will be incredibly saddened by that happened.

Indeed, we are. And confused. How could this happen? For now Grapevine will have a new name. They will be known as the place where a senseless tragedy that killed so many and left so few answers happened on the day so many were simply feeling great love and joy. It is beyond tragic.

Can you imagine what might have caused something like this?


Image via deansouglass/Flickr

 

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