Where does one begin to describe the grief in Florida, where, yet again, evil intent in a man's heart rips again the fragile vale that separates this domain of the living where we dwell and the domain of death? Lives lost. Grief unreconciled.
We've seen evidence of the carnage caused by this evil, sometimes in the hearts of misguided religious fanatics, sometimes in the hearts of others some with serious mental health issues, and others whose motives remain unknown. In all cases, the evil consumes lives: lives ended all too soon.
And the grief spreads. To families, to friends, to neighbors, colleagues, acquaintances, and those who hear the news. Are we even at a point when virtually anyone in this land can name someone who died in a mass killing?
Will these horrors go on forever? Can they be prevented?
Some point to a failure of the FBI to act on information about this perpetrator. Some point to the need for more security. Some point to gun control. In many cases, there may not be definitive actionable information beforehand. And in most schools there is a good degree of security, but short of armed troupes, could any security stop a well-armed intruder?
Perhaps, 20 to 30 years ago, the political climate allowed politicians to propose and enact "common sense gun control." Now, this is virtually impossible in the face of a strong anti-gun-control lobby with ties to the current national majority party. While millions own fire arms without harming others, in the hands of a person possessed by the evil to kill, a fire arm can magnitude that hate and evil within into the consumption of multiple innocent lives. The weapon may not be inherently evil, but it can certainly magnify the damage of that evil.
I can only speak for myself, but at times I feel frustration and anger. At those times, I would not want access to a weapon that would magnify that anger. Better to wait for it to pass. Better for it to remain no more than a passing series of pulses in the neurons of my brain.
In the end, there are no easy answers. But we know that light overcomes the darkness. We need to reach out and reinforces our bonds with family, friends, neighbors and others we come to know. We need to talk, with open minds, about how to protect the innocent from the hate, anger, and frustration of those who might make manifest the evil within. We need bolder leadership to lead the way, a leadership that we don't seem to have fostered of late, but perhaps that form of leadership will arise from the grief in Florida.