My heart broke on Friday as I read the reports coming in from the online glut. As the day continued the binge got worse. Everyone reacted, proacted, nonacted. Gun control this, 2nd amendment that, mental health bandied about like it was some sort of raffle ticket.
I have no words to begin to assail or even to assuage the grief those families and neighbors and friends must be feeling. Love is all I can give. Hopefully with time all those so senselessly torn asunder will be blessed with the balm of numb distance to mend their wounds. Most of us will forget, some never will. And the data-arcology that was created as everyone let loose on the internets with all of their righteous indignation, sanctimonious intoning, heartfelt pleas, anguished cries, misinformed opinions, clueless revery, and etc, all of that will be forever re-liveable if someone cares to reconstruct it. Why on earth would anyone want to relive something like that again? Who knows.
Most of the people directly affected by that poor young man's violence are probably still in shock and will be numb for some time to come. The brain has such wondrously horrific ways of dealing with traumas. I feel the most for those children who survived, because they're going to grow up not even really knowing why they feel so afraid. Some part of their brain they don't even know exists is likely going to actively suppress the formation of the linkage necessary for conscious recall of those ghastly memories, but their body will still hold on to those memories. Their body is going to remember forever that feeling of being terrified, so terrified because everyone else around me is terrified, and what your body feels affects your brain in ways most people don't even know. That breaks my heart so much.
Now almost a week on I am seeing the "how could an all powerful god allow such evil to happen" pieces trickling into my news feeds. By far the best one I have seen (both in terms of its compassion and success as a piece of communication) is the indictment of evangelical hypocrisy and doublespeak that takes the form of, in summary; "please point to the place in the New Testament where Jesus grabs a weapon and pops a cap in the Philistine's asses." Guns are guns, humans will always find new and more obscene ways to make lethal decisions.
I can forsee with a little bit of hope that maybe somehow we will all come out of this better citizens of this country. Perhaps it is time to consider what makes one a citizen and what makes one a civilian? Should there be a legal distinction? What would the ramifications be throughout the socio-economic faults that lie so deep within this country?
I unfortunately don't see any good coming from what is probably going to be a protracted battle in the mental health establishment regarding this young man's status on the Autism Spectrum, Asperger's, OCD, and all of the various other acronym's and proper nouns that populate the DSM V. I'm not a psychiatrist, but I do know that each of us is different and that your connectome is malleable, and more under conscious control than you believe, and you can change your brain in both good ways and bad.
Sadly also, there exists the potential in each of us for the ravenous, hideous beast.
Some times its just too much to think about.