This story about a shootout at a city council meeting hit close to home for me.
I've never been to Kirkwood, Missouri, but I went to a lot of city council meetings when I was still in journalism.
City council meetings can be fascinating when you really follow them. I've seen the first part of this story play out before. It starts with a minor issue. In this case it was parking tickets, but sometimes it's commercial signage, utility bills, sidewalks, property liens, code enforcement, etc. Sometimes the city is in the wrong, and sometimes the person who is complaining can't wrap their heads around the concept that the laws, however minor, apply to them. But whatever the issue is or whoever is right, things escalate. Tempers flare, lawyers get involved, people take sides and a complex drama unfolds right before your eyes.
But I've never witnessed any physical violence (Although there was almost a fistfight at one meeting I attended. They broke it up before anyone threw any punches.) It's a frightening ending to a narrative I've seen many times. I can almost imagine what that town is experiencing right now, and yet at the same time I can't begin to fathom it.
And I'm not evening thinking about the journalist that was shot.