A sympathy card from staffers at The Virginian-Pilot to the staff of the Dayton Daily News.

Our town’s turn to join the club

Commentary

There are other things we could have talked about with Teresa, the brown-haired woman who sat next to us in a patio bar on a booze-soaked island in the middle of Lake Erie.

Like me, Teresa is originally from the Cleveland area, and the Browns were on the TV and actually winning.

Like my husband, Teresa is a mean karaoke singer.

Like us, Teresa likes to travel.

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My husband and I took a quick trip to Put-in-Bay and Kelleys Island for his birthday and to decompress, just a little, from the aftermath of a mass shootings in our neighborhood, the Oregon District.

Days before the trip nine people were killed in heart of Fifth Street.

We are journalists and went to the scene.

Travel, karaoke and Cleveland came up during our chance meeting with Teresa, but that’s not really what we talked about after Teresa found out we were from Dayton.

Dayton, now a member of the mass shooting club.

Dayton — Teresa knows it well.

Teresa and her husband, Ray, were here a few weeks ago for the Steve Miller Band show.

The Columbus residents stayed at the Inn Port D’Vino, our neighbor’s B&B in the Oregon District. They ate at Salar and went to Blind Bob’s.

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They even walked down an alley the killer emerged from as he opened fire into a crowd of people celebrating summer in the early hours of Aug. 4.

Like a lot of people, Teresa had been following the news of the mass shooting.

Like far too many, she didn’t have to imagine what it was like to be there.

She had seen even more carnage in Las Vegas the evening of Oct. 1, 2017.

That’s the night a gunman opened fire on a crowd at the Route 91 Harvest music festival.

Fifty-eight people were killed and more than 400 wounded. It was the deadliest mass shooting in American history.

Teresa was about to sing karaoke when the shots began to ring out. Bloodied people crowded into Teresa’s hotel.

Eventually Teresa, her mom and a young couple they didn’t know made it to Teresa’s hotel room where they stayed until the hotel lockdown was lifted.

At first it seemed ironic that we meet Teresa.

Really, it wasn’t.

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There have been hundreds of mass shootings since Las Vegas, and likely will be hundreds more after Dayton.

There have been 253 mass shootings in the United States this year alone, according to Gun Violence Archives.

The newest members of the mass shooting club — Dayton, El Paso and Gilroy, Calif. — made “Time” magazine’s recent “Enough” cover with all the rest.

There is no escaping, it seems.

Cities swap mass shooting best practices with new members of the mass shooting club.

Newsrooms know what is it like send cards, candy and pizza to other newsrooms covering the latest tragedy.

People in bars in the middle of one of America’s five Great Lakes swap stories of fright.

You order a new round of drinks.

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