Unless a person has been living under a rock or in one of those 18th century log cabins made popular by PBS shows, you've heard about the shooting at the theater in Aurora, Colorado during the midnight screening of the latest Batman movie. Twelve people who were in the theater were killed, and a lot of people were injured. The media is calling this event a massacre, and people are scared. How could something so senseless happen?
In the mind of the man who committed this crime, everything probably makes perfect sense. Whether he is mentally disturbed or not, what he was doing was perfectly reasonable to him. It was perfectly reasonable for him to legally buy guns and other items over time in order to implement his plan. He may tell us why, believing that we will understand that what he did was reasonable.
Many of us thrive on consistency, routine. Consistency builds trust. We need to trust that the bus will come and pick up our kids for school at the same time each morning. We base our trust of the world on what has happened yesterday. If the bus arrived consistently every other school day in the past, we trust that it will show up today. Without our ability to trust in a routine, we might not be able to function effectively. Being able to trust helps us feel safe.
Acts of violence destroy that feeling of trust, and we feel unsafe. We work so very hard to feel safe, and it is gone in an instant, even if we are nowhere near Colorado. So we try to make sense of the senseless acts that surround us on the news and on the internet. The random killing of random people is not even in the ball park of
reasonable. It's just crazy, or evil, or wrong, but it is not, by any
stretch of the imagination, reasonable. But it must have made some kind
of sense to this guy, must have solved some sort of issue for him. We want to understand, we want it to make sense in some way. If it makes some sense, then maybe those people didn't die for nothing. We think that if we can just understand why this happened, why God
allowed this, why the world is screwed up, then it will all be okay.
As hard as it is, we have to accept that sometimes things don't make sense. This is one of those times. It isn't going to make sense, ever, and we need to face that. Whatever this guy's reasons for doing what he did, they don't make this okay. Nothing this man says will ever justify his act of cruelty. As far as I am concerned, this criminal should never see the light of day, and should never be mentioned again. His name should be stricken from the books, his picture banned, instead of being plastered all over the place. We should refuse to dignify this act by glorifying the perpetrator.
Don't let the fear of this event consume you. They say that living well is the best revenge. This guy wanted to inspire terror in people. Instead, go to the movies, go to restaurants, go to sporting events. Hug your children and kiss your spouse. Be kind to strangers. Live your life the best way you can, in spite of the senseless acts.