Life IS NOT a Video Game

When I was about four years old I was spending time with my four cousins. My dad and my uncle were business partners, Their eight kids (four from each family) were sort of raised as one family. Each family had three boys and one girl. Time with my cousins was precious and sometime raucous. I have many great memories of our times together, but here is one I would like to forget.

We were playing “Cowboys” complete with holsters and cap pistols. I had a great idea from watching a Roy Rogers TV show. I was hiding behind the door waiting for my cousin Johnny to walk through. And then, just like on Roy’s show, I would knock Johnny on the top of the head, and he was supposed to fall to the ground unconscious. Well, instead he just screamed “Mark HIT ME”. I did and I got a spanking—well deserved. Over the years Johnny and I have laughed about my naive belief that I would not hurt him. When “Life Imitates Art” it can be messy.

This past Wednesday three high school seniors in bucolic Arvada got the idea that it would be fun to throw landscaping rocks through the windshields of oncoming cars. They managed to kill a 20 year old girl driving home from work. This happened on a road that I drive on eight times a week, two miles from my home. Today as I drove by there a young girl was on her knees at the growing memorial, in a state of prayer. The rock throwers have been charged with aggravated first degree murder.

There are no consequences that can undo this act of evil. For all practical purposes, their lives are over as they know it. They were caught by a forensic analysis from cell tower locations. They hit six other cars and the locations and times matched their cell numbers to the events. To add to this, when the police went to arrest one of the suspects, his father attacked the officers and he is now in jail. The apple does not fall far from the tree.

There is no way I wrap this up with a cute or pithy end. This is an epic tragedy. I can not help but think that these three killers have honed their skills playing hours of “virtual violence”.

Her name was Alexa Bartell.

I love you all,


3 thoughts on “Life IS NOT a Video Game

  1. That story has been heartbreaking throughout the metro area, Mark. Don’t know if it was inspired by a video game or not, but given that one parent decided to respond with violence, I think it likely goes deeper than that for those kids. With each passing day I shake my head at where this country is headed. RIP Alexa.

    Liked by 1 person

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