The shooting in Aggieville over the weekend is the sort of thing that makes people immediately jump to conclusions. I would urge you to wait awhile before doing that, with one exception.
You can read the facts as we know them elsewhere in this copy of the newspaper, or on our site. Suffice it to say that a K-State football player named Reed Godinet was shot in an incident that occurred sometime around 1:30 a.m. Sunday. As I’m writing this — on Monday afternoon — we do not know his condition, but we have heard from multiple sources that he is expected to survive. What happened? Who was the shooter? These things we do not know. Another person, as yet identified only as a 24-year-old man, sustained a concussion.
There are plenty of rumors, and then speculation based on those rumors, and hard positions being staked out based on the speculation.
One thing you learn in professional journalism is that there really are mutliple dimensions to every story. What happened? That’s hard enough. Why? That’s even harder.
It’s tempting to jump to conclusions, such as: Aggieville’s gone to hell in a handbasket. Things sure have changed. It’s not a small town any more. And so on.
To that, I would say: It hasn’t been a small town for a century, not in that sense. Aggieville is a college bar district, and stuff happens when you mix a lot of young people and alcohol in close quarters.
Guns? There might be more people walking around with guns than there used to be, but I don’t know that for a fact. All it ever takes is one person, and that person just as easily could have shot somebody in 1978 as in 2021. Somebody shot at the editor of this newspaper in the 19th Century. Didn’t hit him.
A football player was involved, but we still don’t know why. No sense imposing any of your pre-existing biases about football players, pro- or anti-.
This will take a long time to sort out, but I’d imagine the police will get it figured out. Remember, they have the power to get warrants. You don’t, and I don’t, and we can’t interview participants or witnesses with the threat of the criminal justice system as leverage. They’ll arrest somebody, and charge him, and then we’ll find out what evidence they’ve gathered, and then we’ll have a much better idea what happened and why. Having said all that, there’s one thing I think I can say without hesitation: This sort of stuff often happens near bar-closing time on weekends. Going to bars in a college town is a lot of fun, partly because of the element of risk, but there’s a tradeoff.
What I tell my kids — all of whom are in the age-range when they are likely to uhh, partake — is pretty simple: Get the hell outta there at midnight. That’s a conclusion I can stand by, my bar-owner friends notwithstanding.