Only Confronting Violent People Can Stop Attacks Like the Dallas Courthouse Shooting

With a portion of South Griffin Street still closed by investigators on Tuesday, it strikes us that the shooting this week at the Earle Cabell Federal Building in downtown Dallas has cracked open an important conversation about the state of our society both here in North Texas and across the country.First, there is a rush of relief felt across our city. The only person killed in this incident is a man who brought violence to a federal courthouse and who seemed intent on killing a large number of people. The attack brings to mind the incident at the Curtis Culwell Center in 2015 when a quick-thinking Garland police officer, armed only with a pistol, killed two would-be assailants who had arrived in body armor and armed with assault rifles. When only the bad guys end up dead, it is fair for a community to allow itself a feeling of solace in the outcome.But any such feeling is likely to be immediately followed by another emotion — outrage or dismay at the fact that violence is erupting in our public spaces in sudden outbursts and at an alarming frequency. In this case, the shooting took place at a house of justice. A courthouse is one of a few essential nodes within the body politic. It's where cases are adjudicated, where justice is handed out, and, in this case, where so much federal business is done. To target a courthouse is to target a pillar of our civil society.  Continue reading...

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