As I heard about the tragedy in Colorado this weekend, my mind went back to a hot summer night in 2005. That night I was the one sitting at midnight in a dark theatre, waiting for a blockbuster to start showing. My beautiful daughter, just five years old, was asleep at home with a baby sitter.
It could have been me in that theater. We look at a tragedy like this and after the initial shock, we wonder why. Even now, police are looking for explanations that go beyond just this single killer. They are searching for his political affiliations, religious or philosophical beliefs, hobbies, or writings. We will learn /much about this man over the coming weeks, but what will we learn of will fail to satisfy.
President Obama, speaking in Florida said, “Even as we learn how this happened and who’s responsible, we may never understand what leads anybody to terrorize their fellow human beings like this.”
I’m afraid he’s all too correct this time.
But our human hearts and minds cry out for a why. We want someone to explain the unexplainable. We want it make sense. It’s as if we believe that if we can just answer that question of why and lay this vicious attack at the feet of the Tea Party, or 2nd amendment lobbyists, or OWS, or gun control lobbyist, then we will be truly safe.
This is from Former FBI senior profiler Mary Ellen O’Toole :
The biggest question remains motive. Will the letter Holmes sent give any insight into that? Other cases, like the rambling video sent to a TV network by the Virginia Tech shooter have shown us that even when the suspects try to explain their actions, it rarely makes sense to anyone else.
“I can guarantee you, we will find it unsatisfying because there’s nothing that this individual could say to us, the general public, to sit back and say now I understand why you did this”
Despite our searching, somewhere in our hearts we know we won’t understand what caused this man to commit these horrific crimes. We know we aren’t as safe today as we were yesterday. Our world changed again in Aurora, Colorado, just as it did in Columbine, and in New York on 9/11. When we tell our kids that things are just so different than we grew up, it is because we are all affected by tragedies like these.
But even if we discover his motive, it wouldn’t bring back those lost.
Note: This post is part of the 31-post Ultimate Blog Challenge. I will be posting 31 times during the month of July, 2012. Since that is a ton of content, I made a page on the blog where you can see all my entries.