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 Thursday July 17, 2003
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EDITORIAL - A tragedy that could have been prevented

by DM Editorial Board
July 09, 2003

Our View - Doug Williams' shooting spree in Meridian could have been prevented.

A lesson should be taken from Tuesday's shooting spree at Lockheed Martin's Meridian plant. Doug Williams was known by his coworkers as a staunch racist. He repeatedly made racial threats against black workers at the plant.

He was clearly unstable.

So perhaps what's even more tragic than the families that lost mothers, fathers, sons and daughters is the fact that gunman Doug Williams' killing spree likely could have been prevented.

This is a man who bragged to line-mates about his desire to kill people, telling one, according to The Clarion-Ledger, that he knew he was "capable of doing it."

Some Lockheed Martin workers even said Williams was the first person to come to mind when they'd heard what had happened in the morning hours Tuesday.

Clearly, the warning signs for disaster were present in Meridian, yet appropriate measures were never taken to report or stop the harassment Williams was inflicting on some of his coworkers. Instead, he remained employed by the plant; and security was so lax, Williams was able to sneak a small arsenal in to act out his sick scheme.

A man in camouflage bearing a shotgun and a rifle and allowed to walk right into a factory run by the nation's largest defense contractor is outrageous and unacceptable.

Threats of murder or destruction, no matter how innocently intended, have no place in today's society.

The only real solution is to turn to a zero-tolerance policy on anything that can be construed as a threat on someone's life.

It's the same painful lesson we learned after the Pearl, Paducah and Columbine school killings. It's the same painful lesson we learned after the Sept. 11 attacks. It should have been applied to the workplace environment long ago.

Mississippians continue to fight the racist stereotype with which they are commonly tagged. It is discouraging for the rest of the country to assume this racist behavior serves as an accurate depiction of the views of all Mississippi citizens, when in fact it does not.

It's just that: extreme.

The DM Editorial Board is composed of Editor Laura Houston, Managing Editor Suzanne McKay, English major Joel Moore and Online Editor Joy Douglas.

 end of article dingbat

EDITORIAL - A tragedy that could have been prevented
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07/10/2003 Ok, wait just a minute now. I've... Peter
07/10/2003 To the astute members of the DM... Trial Lawyer
07/10/2003 Listening to NPR's account of the... Diogenes
07/10/2003 I find it interesting that everyone... Alan
07/10/2003 PREVENTABLE?? College stupidents,... phillyreb
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07/13/2003 Racism is "pretty likely in that... Etolonel Colonel
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