I’m not sure if anyone’s heard about this yet, considering it happened not even half-an-hour ago, but there was a fatal shooting here in Florence, not even fifteen minutes away from where I live. An elderly man, depressed and angry, shot two African merchants in the San Lorenzo marketplace before committing suicide near the Duomo Piazza. My friend Daniel was walking home around the time that this happened and he heard the gunshots, thinking they were fireworks. He made it home safely, thank God, but he’s understandably shaken.
It’s hard to believe that some place so picturesque and peaceful as Florence could be the site of something like this. I mean, racists taking a gun to the subject of their hate seems more of a tale for the Confederate South rather than the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance. I’ve always felt safe here in Florence, and that’s not to say I don’t feel this way any longer. A few weeks ago, I had a run-in with an unsavory character while walking home from a party at 2AM. I dealt with him appropriately (aka throttled him) and got home safely, but thinking back on the incident, plenty could have gone wrong. I realize that isn’t anything like a shooting, but I reiterate that I’ve never felt unsafe here. Despite creepers in alleyways, I know I can take care of myself if things have to get dirty. But a gun?
Thinking that this is an isolated incident would be naïve. Granted, I don’t imagine this will be happening again in Florence any time soon, but I realize things like this happen all the time. It’s not pretty and it’s not okay, but we can’t say that it isn’t unusual, sadly. I’m glad that Daniel didn’t get caught up in it, though I imagine he’s not feeling very well at the moment, but it certainly puts things in perspective. People with guns in states of mind like this man don’t exactly discriminate.
No Mom, I won’t be going out tonight.
More information: http://uk.ibtimes.com/articles/266427/20111213/florence-shooting-neo-nazi-murdered-african-street.htm