I am going to have to explain this one day. These senseless acts of violence. A gun, shots, and death. Of people who are guilty of no more than living their day to day lives, harming no one, wishing no one ill.
I did not even know about this tragedy until Sunday night. Having not watched any TV over the weekend or listened to any radio stations, I went about my weekend as if nothing had happened. I was shocked when I turned on Dateline at 8pm, thinking, initially, that this was an old case they were updating.
I watched, shocked, and switched from channel to channel trying to find as much information as I could about the shootings – easy to do in this age of 600 channels. I tried to let it soak in that more innocent people were dead because of one person’s decisions.
I listened to people talk about how they knew the shooter and thought him dangerous, radical, and that he might even be a serial killer. People steered clear of him and his ideas and beliefs. I did feel a bit of anger building in me. If so many felt this way, why didn’t anyone say anything? Alert law enforcement to keep an eye on him, tell other neighbors to note any odd behavior?. Something! Anything to prevent this tragedy?
And then I thought, would I? Would I even know what to do? If I went into my local Sheriff’s office and said, “This person scares me. They might shoot up a crowd, or a school, or my kids!”, would anyone even be able to do anything about it? We have limited resources and spend all of them plus some on crimes that have already happened, not on ones that might be prevented. Do I even have the skill and ability to determine what that kid that scares me a bit is even capable of? Or will my fear of a defamation lawsuit, them targeting my family, and just my own frustration in what to do stop me?
And if I don’t alert anyone, and they do something tragic, selfish, and cowardly, will I blame myself for not acting? Will I be standing in front if a news camera saying, “They scared me. I thought they could be a serial killer?”
As my anger subsided, the sadness returned. This is why it is a senseless tragedy. No one could have known, predicted, or stopped it. And now Grandmothers, Grandfather’s, Father’s, Mother’s, and a young daughter are dead. And I am just standing in shock.
I am going to have to explain this one day. To my girls. Who will be confused and scared. And I don’t know how.
Someone needs to explain it to me first.