I’m trying to deny awareness of commentary concerning the February 14, 2018 Parkland, Florida school shooting, but – alas, I have succumbed to being drawn into that commentary mostly due to the inane and insensitive rhetoric I’m reading.
17 people lost their lives. That much is clear to most commentators. From there, the reasons, methods, those responsible and “what action needs to be taken” spins just like a centrifuge in a lab separating us from the victims, from each other, from reason, from compassion and from reality. Accusations and pointing fingers won’t protect or heal or bring back anyone.
It really doesn’t matter if the killer was a ( ) and used a ( ) – please don’t fill in the blanks. Anyone can do anything, good or bad, to anyone else using anything they choose to use. The loss of 17 lives is tragic. So is the loss of 1 life. The point here is we need to stop thinking we can completely “protect” ourselves with barriers or bans or laws or protocols. We can’t. No one is telling those victims right now “There were laws and protocols in place so that should make you feel better.”
Something, or someone, gets into the head of a person and turns that person into a predator. What if we got into that person’s head first with awareness, understanding and loving intervention so we could offer counseling and, if necessary, treatment or even institutionalization? Maybe then, that potential predator would never become a bundle of rage in the first place and they wouldn’t listen to rage inducing music, draw destructive images and take up fetishes for destructive devices whatever those devices might be; the tongue, the graffiti marker, the bludgeoning stone, the knife, the torch, the truck, the plane, the gun or the bomb…..or the hateful and hurtful rhetoric. If one still becomes a predator, society must be willing and able to swiftly take the necessary action. Ranchers understand this.
Predators know how to divide and attack the flock. Shepherds know how to gather and protect the flock. The only way to protect ourselves and those we love (that should include everyone), is to show respect and compassion for one another – NOT separation and isolation over bankrupt forensic rhetoric.
Can we stop being so repulsive in our opinions and instead work on becoming attractive, attracting those around us into dialogue and a true sense of community? Can we stop being so divisive and instead be cooperative, dare I say even communal in our concern for one another? Can we put off our insatiable appetites for destructive sensationalism offered to us by the media and instead take up as our only desire the pursuit of reasonable truth as it leads to the common good? If we can do these things, we will not scatter when the predator comes, but will instead stand together in defense against whatever weapon the predator bears.