It's not often you hear

Greg Fischer Editor-in-chief
Greg Fischer

I guess I'm supposed to feel a certain way about a shooter tearing into a newspaper office and murdering five innocent writers, and I do. Fear is the word that comes to mind.

My mom called yesterday. "Some Sunday morning drama is calling up my momma," is a song lyric that the Sunday-mom-telephone-call always calls to mind. She said she's scared for me. After all, every now and then an angry man will call up the office and complain about his name coming up in the arrest report.

I wasn't really fearful until mom called. I can't get scared of my own shadow. I'm a journalist and a news editor for a living. That's what I do. I don't intentionally try to hurt people for a living. That occupation is called "psychopath," I believe.

Being that we serve the communities of Ascension Parish, frankly I am thankful that the level of crime here is low. Violent crime, anyway. Drugs and Drinking and Driving appear to be probably the area's worst afflictions.

But you never know.

Mom said, "Boo, you ought to carry around a gun." I told her that I've thought about it. Every now and then I'm sure that people we write about aren't happy that their business is in the streets. But I say that's what happens when you turn against your community. The parish wants to know who isn't living right, and who they need to watch out for.

I, personally would prefer to write "puff pieces" all day. It's stressful to take on a corrupt organization from where I'm sitting. Last time I got into it with an entity that wasn't doing right, I came down with shingles. That wasn't fun. Although I did win second place for my investigative work at the Louisiana Press Association awards luncheon, I'm still not sure if it was worth it.

That's when I got my first gun, by the way. My dad was worried about me too.

So what I can say is that I offer my position up to my creator. I hold the deepest condolences for Rob Hiaasen, Wendi Winters, John McNamara, Gerald Fischman, and Rebecca Smith--the five murdered writers at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland.

To everyone: sometimes, stories come up that involve heinous people doing awful things. No doubt we are forced to inform the community of these things. It is our function as journalists to inform. We make mistakes too. We forgive. The community forgives us too, especially when they see typos and run-ons. By the way, thanks to all the folks who point it out to us on Facebook.

If you are struggling with the content of the news, reach out. Again, some people like shooter Jarrod Ramos are probably psychopaths and need more than a reassuring word from a guy like me. That aspect of society could be discoursed ad nauseam, and this is not the place.

Journalists are people, too. Real people who have a job to do each day. We studied to get to where we are. We have families. We come under attack when we make mistakes, and it's almost always public because of the nature of what we do.

But as editor of the Weekly and The Chief, I still hold firmly that we want to spotlight good people and growth more than stagnation and corruption (on any level). I'd much rather see someone read the paper and smile than frown.

Lastly, I never want to have to use my gun.