I’m sorry to those of you in need of a good chuckle right now, but I feel like there’s very little to laugh about at the moment. Sam Campbell is taking a break this week to let me say a few things.
As many of you know by now, a woman jumped from a downtown Corvallis building last week, surviving the fall but later dying from her injuries. This has now widely been reported as a suicide, but said reporting was not the first news about the incident to go out. An anonymous Corvallis local was nearby when it happened, and posted what they had just witnessed on popular gun-boner forum ar15.com.
While I won’t share the specific thread, it made its rounds early after the event, being the only recognizable Google search result for quite some time. The comments posted on the forum were beyond disgusting, ridiculing the event and the person who lost their life, as well as taking it as an opportunity to poke fun at Oregon’s liberal culture. An uncomfortable number of those comments came from people listed as living in the local area.
There are two primary takeaways here. The first is that, while I’ve been around the block as far as dark Internet holes go, I’ve never seen anything quite this brutal and horrible. The second, don’t forget that we’ve got people like this in town. Corvallis doesn’t tolerate hate, but that doesn’t mean we’re free of it. Oswalt is in the middle of getting his just desserts, but he’s hardly the whole of local hate. No matter where it arises, we have to remain vigilant against these kinds of pathetic monsters.
After emailing ar15.com website administrators, they did sincerely apologize for the behavior of those on the thread and subsequently locked it down, but not before posting comments criticizing those participating in the thread. The system message at the end of it reads “Comments like some made here are unbecoming of our members and human beings.” I agree. And while the thread is still there, this sentiment will serve as the final word to anyone who views it.
The one decent aspect of all of this is a reminder that there’s still room to meet in the middle when tragedy strikes. I didn’t expect it, but feel a hell of a lot better to have encountered it. My sincerest condolences to the family and friends of the woman that died.