COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - From Columbia, South Carolina to our friends in Kentucky,
Last weekend, our community was rocked by shocking gun violence in Columbia's Vista entertainment district.
People out for a relaxing evening of fun with friends had their safety and security shattered by the acts of a few individuals. In all, eight people were shot and injured early Saturday morning.
One of those people was a Wildcat football fan in town visiting from Lexington, Kentucky.
Denise Massey and her boyfriend Jimmy Brannon were here for fun, fellowship and a taste of what South Carolina's capital city has to offer. But instead of enjoying a big-time SEC game within the confines of Williams-Brice Stadium, she's now in a hospital bed fighting for her life after being shot.
What happened last weekend in the heart of our city is not indicative of who we are.
Columbia is full of welcoming, friendly people and safe, family-friendly environments. This is a hospitable place where visitors are met with a handshake, friendly smile and polite conversation.
Please don't let the lawless acts of a few individuals who decided to use guns to solve their problems affect your perception of our community. It's disappointing and frustrating that a few lawbreakers who didn't care about the safety of others has painted us in a negative light.
No, the "real" Columbia can be found in the acts of those who have rallied around the victims with a kind word and offers of help in the form of prayer, food and shelter. "Our" Columbia is found in the many who care about making this a great place to live, work, raise a family and relax.
Despite its best efforts, no community can guarantee random violence will never happen. And, for certain, crime and gun violence is an ongoing battle to be waged. But don't let that stop you from enjoying our city and all the great things the area has to offer.
That's my take, what's yours?