Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A Sad, Sad Situation

Well, it has happened again.

It happened this past weekend just like it did in Oklahoma City, in the hands of innocent people opening packages, like it happened at Virginia Tech, at Fort Hood, in a shopping center near Tucson.  It happened and it keeps on happening.

A deranged young man, often with an extreme political agenda, decides that to achieve his twisted ends he needs to kill some innocent people. In Norway this past weekend, there was a bomb and people died.  There was shooting at a retreat center for young people on an island for an hour and a half and dozens upon dozens of youths died. It's sad when anyone dies a sudden, violent and meaningless death, but even sadder, I think, when they are young people with so much ahead of them. And that future is taken from them in an instant.

The pictures of Norwegians in deep mourning are heart-rending. We have seen images like these before, but that doesn't make this grief observed any easier. Our thoughts, hearts and prayers go out to those who are suffering so.

Norway has strict gun control measures but somehow this sick individual got around them. While I am not a fan of guns--I am very uncomfortable with the idea that in Virginia people can carry guns into public places--I don't think we are going to solve the conflict between those claiming their right to own and carry weapons and those wishing to limit the ownership and use of guns.  It's just one of those insoluble issues.

I would have to say that strict controls didn't help in this case. And I'm not sure what would stop future tragedies of this sort. Quick-response teams that can control violence and limit casualties? Enhanced mental health services to detect and treat the angry and frustrated among us? Our individual awareness of people who are unstable or troubled and our reaching out to them?  Perhaps a combination of these measures is needed.  I am sick at heart with these events and I don't want them to happen again.  I hope and pray that they don't, that we never have to see again the stricken faces and piles of flowers at makeshift memorials.  Enough is enough.

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