Deah Shaddy Barakat, his wife, Yusor Muhammed, and her sister, Razan Muhammad Abu-Salha, were gunned down in Chapel Hill, NC by a self-professed "anti-theist" and gun enthusiast who maintains that he killed the trio over a parking space dispute.
As of yet, I haven't heard enough of Craig Stephen Hicks' side to be 100% certain that he didn't just snap out and kill three human beings over a petty neighborhood squabble that could have easily been resolved in a handful of other, adult, peaceful ways. From the sound of things, he was a guy carrying a shit-ton of anger who made other neighbors a bit wary--and that isn't a good sign. Some people are like powder kegs. When they go off is a just a timing issue with their particular fuse.
But this is a terrible tragedy, because these were such promising and even already accomplished young people. They were the kind of young people with goals and ideals about what they wanted to be--how the hell is some cheap-ass story about a "parking dispute" satisfactory when in a reasonable world, those young people would still be building their futures? It's infuriating that lives are lost this easily over one man's rage.
And I do find it hard to think a parking dispute alone was the trigger. Not with all the anti-theism combined with the DIY attitude of the arms-bearing--a gun is a very particular tool, not a Swiss Army knife for life's inconveniences. I have a hard time taking seriously the comments of Hicks' wife, who insisted this couldn't have to do with any bigotry on her husband's part. I sort of wonder if, like a person who sleeps next to a snorer that becomes immune to the racket, she just stopped noticing the ticking of the time bomb living with her.
The story is yet young. But I will point out that this is why in many ways, while I retract from supporting organized religion in any way, I have an issue with actual "anti-theism". It's one thing to believe religion is mostly made-up "just-so" stories that glaze over the real truth of the world we live in. It's another to become actually "anti-theist" and develop hate for the actual people who still have religion in their lives. Life is precious and too short to go around carrying a bunch of hate.