The killings in Colorado (the state where I was born and lived for 40 some odd years) are very difficult for me to accept. I remember Colorado as a granola-fed live-and-let-live open green happy wild strawberries kind of place. After Columbine, I was shocked, but thought it was a one-time-only weirdity. But now, my confidence and innocence have been shattered about the home state that I love. So, I have been meditating on peaceful thoughts for the families of the victims, as well as the family of the obviously deeply disturbed young man who carried out this terrible deed.
Now, I've lived quite awhile. I remember terrible American tragedies, the Kennedy assassination, the Texas clock tower shootings, Bundy, Gacy, Son of Sam, the Boston Strangler, Lucas, Gein, Zodiac, all those serial killers, Manson, Natural Born Killers Starkweather and Fugate, In Cold Blood Clutter killers, Columbine, the DC snipers, Jared Loughner, Bin Ladin, and many, many more.
It's not the killers themselves that have held my attention, but the terrible senseless mind-numbing drift of people into murdering madness. Some say they were born to it. Some say they were made into killers by terrible circumstance. It's not important, I guess, somehow, people who might be in the car next to you on the freeway, in the line ahead of you at the grocery store, standing in a movie ticket line beside you, feel the need to kill, to destroy, to wreak havoc, to instill fear, to see blood, to turn the national and world-wide attention to themselves. They are bent on getting their 15 minutes of fame in a spray of bullets, crazed photos of themselves all thrust into our collective consciousness and drowning our hearts in an ocean of blood. We sometimes become jaded. When I lived in New Orleans, sometimes during Mardi Gras we would hear bullets being fired. The first time we just stood there wondering what on earth? The second time we ducked, like all the street-wise people. The third time we just carried on while a woman died not a block from us. We heard the shots. They didn't hit anyone in our group. Party on.
I'm not proud of my jaded heart, but there it is. There have been so many killings, for no reason, for crazy reasons, for idiotic reasons. We don't even need to go to war to see death around us. When we do go to war, we come back senselessly damaged, the mental scars worse sometimes than the physical. Video games and movies spray blood like it is nothing abnormal. Like flying paint. Like water spraying. We become "comfortably numb."
I want to scream today. To wake myself. To wake my neighbors. To wake the world. To save the world. To make it stop. But I know I would just be howling in the wind. My heart is broken today.