There is an eighth victim in the tragic and deadly weekend brawl that killed a Roseboro man and injured six others, including a Sampson County Sheriff’s deputy. That victim: Lakewood Country Club. In truth, there are even more, because one needs to include the country club’s residents, its members and the wonderful communities that surround this normally tranquil area.
And it is up to us as a county to lift them up, reminding all those who prefer to spin gossip, exaggerate the truth and point fingers of the Lakewood Country Club we know and respect — an endearing decades-old community whose residents are not only our friends and neighbors, but the people who contribute to local civic clubs, offer a helping hand to disadvantaged children, assist senior citizens, raise money to improve the neighboring towns of Roseboro and Salemburg, and support the county and any number of its other efforts and programs.
With state and national media organizations swooping in to cover “the story” of a private party that somehow got way out of hand and a now-dismissed deputy spewing incendiary comments that sparked yet more controversy on social media and beyond, suddenly the once quiet country club, nestled among the pines between two of Sampson’s small municipalities, has been thrust into a not-so-positive spotlight.
It is an unfortunate place in which the country club and its residents have been thrust, and really through no fault of their own.
Some would argue that the clubhouse rental policies should be called into question. Right now, we don’t know what those rental policies are, but we would argue that the policies nor LCC should be made to shoulder the responsibility for the actions of those who apparently were bent on causing mayhem.
The finger of blame needs to be pointed directly at those who caused the problem, something we rarely do in today’s society, opting instead to find something else to blame. Whether a bad childhood, the absence of a parent, drugs, a country club’s rental policies, most want someone other than the culprits to shoulder the blame.
We’ve no doubt Lakewood Country Club and every other country club in Sampson County will be re-examining their rental policies after this incident, but to thrust LCC or those connected with it into a negative light because of the actions of others is ridiculous.
Everyone it seems has rights but no one it seems is made to should responsibility.
In this case, the responsibility lies with those who drew weapons, swung fists or instigated such a volatile argument that it led to such a deadly outcome. That responsibility does not belong to LCC, and its residents and members shouldn’t have to pay the penalty of a situation for which they had no control.
It is easy to allow one bad apple to spoil an otherwise impeccable record. It is our hope that Lakewood Country Club’s stellar reputation will outlive the negative hype, the social media posts and a one-night event that, while tragic, should not be the thing by which it is judged.