COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - At the root of the hideous and tragic shooting in Roanoke, VA is a man who found it easier to blame others for his life rather than recognizing he was responsible to work on correcting his own behavior.
The fact that he took out his problems on co-workers, killing them on live, local television made for an incredible spectacle. His criminal and cowardly act of revenge was the lead story across the nation.
As a news station, we share the pain the shooters actions caused our colleagues at the television station in Roanoke.
But in truth, it could have happened to any kind of business. Workplace violence is always horrific no matter where it happens. Vester Flanagan, the murderer of the two journalists, had serious problems respecting others - that's why he was fired.
Flanagan was apparently good at one thing: playing the blame game. In lawsuits he filed, he blamed employers...In Twitter comments he blamed his co-workers.
Flanagan blamed people for racial and sexual discrimination that was never proven. He blamed his deadly actions on the Charleston church massacre.
He blamed others because it was easier than working on his own shortcomings. Whatever mental illness pushed him over the edge is irrelevant now.
Sadly, he was a man with deeply rooted problems who lacked the ability to help himself, even when his former employer provided him with counseling. Even as Flanagan plotted his final revenge, he made sure to blame his victims on social media, saying they were against him.
Blaming others in the workplace for his lack of success turned out to be one of many warning signs that real trouble could follow. That's just one lesson learned from this very painful event.
General Manager Holly Steuart brings two editorials a week to WTVM. If you would like to respond to an editorial, e-mail your response to WTVM Editorial Committee or write to:
WTVM Editorial Committee
1909 Wynnton Road
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