It happened again. Just as we knew it would. I'm not sure I have the words to describe what I'm feeling. Soulsick comes close, I guess. What compounds this horror are the inevitable, insensitive, callous comments of people like Mike Huckabee, who blames this tragedy on "God being driven from the classroom". If only we were that lucky.
Let's pretend for a moment that god is real. How stupid does one have to be? How little self-esteem does one have to have in order to worship a being that would willingly sacrifice 26 innocent people, most of them children, because he feels he isn't being worshiped sufficiently? A being like that is worthy only of my contempt. It's one of those times that I wish god were real. Then there would be someone to blame, an enemy to vanquish.
But that is not the case. Not much is known yet about the shooter, but given the nature of all the others, one can make some assumptions. In order for any human being to calmly take the lives of children and others who pose absolutely no direct or imminent threat to them, one would have to have suffered a serious break with reality.
Having spent a good portion of my misguided youth engaged in "better living through chemistry", I can tell you that, even under the most nominal of conditions, our perception of reality is built on little more than a house of cards. One of the most complex things that exists in this universe is the human brain. It's both fragile and resilient. Even with all the technological advances over the last 30 years, and our ability to store a lot of information in a very small space, the closest we've come to true artificial intelligence resembles more the brain of an ant, than a human. Our brains got us to the top of the food chain, and have created most of what we interact with in our daily lives. There is a lot of power there. So, when they break, things tend to end badly.
When those broken brains are in control of bodies that have access to a lot of firepower, things end badly for a lot of people.
To me, America's obsession with guns is indicative of fear. Canada has just as many gun owners per capita as we do, but less than half the gun violence. Why is it so much worse here?
Fear. Fear that has been carefully cultivated by those who have a vested interest in making, and keeping us afraid. We all know who they are. That fear, which we are being spoon-fed with on a daily basis, is one that many of us are all too willing to embrace. We're afraid of everything. Mostly each other.
It is a cowardice that, frankly, is embarrassing to witness.
The older I get, it seems, the less willing I am to take another's life, even to save my own. Mostly, I think, that it is because I have already lived through what they have yet to. How could I take a gift of that magnitude from anyone?
For the next few days, however, if anyone within arm's reach tells me that those children could have been saved if those teachers had been armed, or they try to portray this tragedy as "god's will", I may just make an exception in the form of a fat lip, or a poke in the snout.