I listened to the local talk radio station as I drove into work this morning. It's top of the hour, two-minute national news segment mentioned the sequester and other such things, as well as the shooting last night in the parking lot of a Coastal Carolina University residence hall, which resulted in one death among the student body.
But it was hard to pay attention to what the news reader was saying after he identified CCU being near "Myrtle Beach, California." Conway wasn't mentioned. It was humbling on a couple of fronts.
One, this is not the kind of national news we want to create. Bad things such as these happen everywhere, of course. Because of the recent school and mass shootings that have received national attention, this one made the national wires as well.
And it is particularly disturbing to know that students experienced this, from the story:
University Place resident Kaitlin Eriksen was inside her balcony when she heard four or five shots in quick succession. She went on her balcony to see where the shots came from and saw the victim, a man, fall against the back of his car’s rear window.
“He took about two steps back and then collapsed. He just fell out there,” Eriksen said.
CCU freshman Katrina Shuleski lives in University Place and was home at the time of the shooting. She didn’t hear anything, but did go outside and saw a crowd of dozens standing around.
“I just saw somebody laying on the ground,” she said.
And, two, it is was a bit humbling to have the area make national news, not only for something disturbing, but to have Myrtle Beach placed in California.
The Myrtle Beach brand is a strong one and will likely survive this incident and the upcoming "Myrtle Manor," which is premiering on TLC on Sunday night. Still, it was a reminder that we have to continue massaging our image, never forgetting to let the rest of the country know not only who we are - in our best moments, not just the worst - but where we are as well.