What happened in Arizona over the weekend–the shooting of 18 people who were gathered at a “small-town” style Congressional event–is horrifying.
I can’t seem to get over it. I don’t know why this is striking a deeper chord with me than the myriad of other shootings that have occurred over the past 20 years.
I guess because I have reached the age and stage of life where I identify strongly with other people who are nothing like me–or who, in reality, are mostly like me, with small differences. (Blogging will do that, I suppose.)
Because I could have a nine-year-old daughter. I could have a 30-year-old brother, a 76-year-old kindly neighbor. I could be a 40-year-old member of Congress. Why not? We’re all human. We all have dreams and passions. Sometimes people are even lucky enough to find something that they are truly good at, and then even luckier to find a job doing that. What fun to love getting up to go to work in the morning.
The person with whom I cannot identify is the shooter. Stripping away all the potentials–mental illness, disappointment, derangement–I just feel completely alienated from someone who would take the life of someone else without provocation.
And then I wonder about the value of HIS life. Why he should be allowed to live after he directed this course of his life, after he appointed himself the executioner of others.
And then I get scared. Because I am not so morally righteous that I should be allowed to judge him or anyone else. And that alienation from him disappears, because I don’t know that he should be able to live, thereby allowing me to become what I despise.
How do I stop?
Dear United States:
Please don’t let guns boss around the Constitution. You’re too good for that.
One Tired Ema