Another Shooting, Another Memorial, and No Reason Why.

Featured, News — January 27, 2014 at 5:21 pm by

There seems to be a random public shooting every week in this country.  This weekend, tragedy struck close to home as two innocent young adults, who did nothing but show up to work, were murdered by a disturbed gunman in Columbia Mall.  No motives for the gunman’s actions are known at this time, but the odds are that any real “reason” for this crime will be one that only the gunman himself would justify as a reason to kill another human being.  There will be no sane motive for these actions.  Saturday’s shooting is probably another instance of a disturbed and violent individual taking out his destructive aggression on strangers.

These attacks have changed us as a society.  Fifteen years ago, we never thought about things like this.  Now we are forced to think about escape routes and plans of action wherever we go out.  Malls, restaurants, gas stations, movie theaters, and worse yet, schools have all been targets of these mass killers.  These psychopaths are waging their own personal war of terror on their own communities.

But these terrorists have no ideology, no religion to hide behind.  Instead their attacks are carried out for reasons only they know.  At least after 9/11 we had an enemy in Al Qaeda.  A radical Muslim group that had a leader, an organization, and an identity.  Even though the randomness was the same, at least our government could fight back.  Leaders of Al Qaeda, including Bin Laden himself, have been hunted down and killed; the terror network can be monitored and weakened.  With these random, non political/religious shootings the “network” is usually a network of one.  The warning signs are subtle, and sometimes not ever revealed.  It is an almost impossible situation to stop.  There is no why.

Which makes these mass shootings even more difficult to comprehend and process.  And how can we possibly prevent something like this from happening again?  There seems to be no rhyme or reason to it all.  Politicians will seek some sort of target to blame and the gun debate will rage on. Both no- gun and more-gun folks both seem to have some valid points, but that argument seems moot to me.  Guns aren’t going anywhere.  What we do need to do is put more of an onus on mental health and treatment.  But that will only benefit those who seek treatment.  The only thing we can really do is be aware, be aware of our surroundings and the people around us.  While that may sound ridiculous, it is true, the only thing we have in these situations is each other, so being aware and reporting strange behavior is becoming a must.

This is another week to grieve the ones lost.  But also take time to appreciate family and friends.  And let’s look out and take care of each other.

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