I believe no one has the right to take good memories from me.
For most of the first thirty-seven years of my life I lived in Salt Lake City, Utah. Then came love, marriage, and a move to the suburbs. I also got a job teaching nearby, so I didn’t have much reason to shop in Salt Lake City. We went to Salt Lake to visit friends and family. I had many good memories of Trolley Square, just east of downtown. Years ago when we had streetcars it had been the car barns. In 1972 a devloper turned the old car barns into Trolley Square, a somewhat upscale shopping mall. I had dinner there, saw movies, there, went shopping there, but I hadn’t been there in a while. We have malls in the suburbs.
Then came the news one Monday evening in mid-February. A gunman had shot and killed five people and injured several others before being killed by the Salt Lake police. This jolted most Utahns and made the national news. The gunman, who turned out to be just barely eighteen years old, had left no notes or journals and few clues. He had no connection to the mall or the customers he shot. Sadly, this sort of thing has become all too common. The shootings on February 12th weren’t the first of this kind in the U.S., or even Salt Lake. The Trolley Squre tragedy was soon eclipsed in the news by the shootings at Virginia Tech.
I am not a woman who loves to shop, but I wanted to make a statement. Trolley Square should not be stigmatized by the shootings. I don’t see how anyone at the mall could have predicted what would happen that night.
In additon to well known chains, Trolley Square has many locally owned shops such as Cabin Fever. That February night. mosth of the vicitms were at Cabin Fever. Recently on a quiet Monday morning I visited Cabin fever. On this day I bought cards and gifts for family birthdays. Next I went to a natonal chain store for nice smelling lotions.
Shopping can seem like a frivolous thing, but using my wallet to make a statement was important to me. I beleive one person can make a difference. The Trolley Square shooter took his pain out on innocent people. I chose to spend money as a way to say he doesn’t desereve to hurt any more people.
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