After acknowledging that skydiving at Cross Keys began when the area was rural, and that there have been 27 fatalities in the last three million jumps nationwide, Monica Yant Kinney calls skydivers "nuts" and essentially calls for Cross Keys to be shut down -- because it is a threat to the people who decided to live near a dropzone.
But at least that was an opinion piece. Here is what passes for news:
The headline in the print edition is "Deaths of 2 men are brief interruption at skydiving school." The editors of the on-line version wisely toned down that headline, but the subtext of the article is the same: skydivers at Cross Keys are callous to the deaths of their own. The reporter did not quote one experienced skydiver who criticized the decision to jump on Sunday after the fatalities, probably because few would do so. As John Eddowes said, the ethics of the sport dictate otherwise. That may be difficult for those who do not jump to grasp (heck, sometimes it's difficult for me to grasp), but I doubt that many drop zones would have made a different decision.
Today's Inquirer illustrates how some who have never jumped perceive our sport as the province of the callous and the deranged. One almost gets the sense that these people do not understand that, life being a series of calculated risks, the surest way to waste a life is not to take any of them.
For many, the risks of skydiving outweigh the benefits. I respect that. There is no sense in making the gamble that skydiving entails if you don't enjoy it. For others, myself included, there is a beauty and truth in 65 seconds of freefall that justifies taking the chance that something will go horribly wrong. I wish the Inquirer respected that, but it doesn't.