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Steve Bartlett: Thinking about Fredericton

A monument set up by residents of Fredericton at the headquarters of the Fredericton Police Force on Friday afternoon. Four individuals, including two police officers have been confirmed dead after an early morning shooting in the New Brunswick capital.
A monument set up by residents of Fredericton at the headquarters of the Fredericton Police Force on Friday afternoon. Four individuals, including two police officers have been confirmed dead after an early morning shooting in the New Brunswick capital. - Stu Neatby

I’ve been fortunate enough to visit Fredericton.
It was 10 years ago to cover the East Coast Music Awards, a hectic weekend of interviewing and photographing then rising music stars.
That was hardly the toughest gig in the world, and a job that got even sweeter at night.
After long work days, there were longer nights of watching the best in East Coast music showcase their stuff at various venues around the New Brunswick city.
I loved it there and, as people do when visiting great places, I daydreamed about what it would be like to live there.
Unfortunately I haven’t made it back there since.
Fredericton has constantly been on my mind since Friday, though.

The shooting deaths of Robert Costello, Sara Mae Burns — both police officers — Donald Robichaud and Bobbie Lee Wright have me thinking about the New Brunswick city for the wrong reasons.
I’m thinking about victims who were loved, who loved in return, and who contributed to society.

I’m thinking about their families, co-workers and community, all in mourning.

And I’m thinking about more gun violence, about the July 24 Danforth shooting, about the 2014 Moncton shooting, about a 2017 family tragedy in Upper Big Tracedie, Nova Scotia, about a double homicide that happened a kilometre away in 2013.

Even though I’m thinking about all, I can’t comprehend any of it. There have just been too many deaths.

And I’m struggling to write about it, to say something constructive about the issue that hasn’t already been said.

But still, there’s a drive to say something because I want the gun violence to stop. But how?

Politicians and legislation can only do so much.

It’s up to everyone, all of society, to address this problem.

I don’t exactly know how, but believe it starts with more discussion.

Let’s start talking about gun violence and about preventing it.

Enough is enough.

Steve Bartlett is an editor with SaltWire Network. Reach him at steve.bartlett@thetelegram.com.

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