Everyone suddenly knows what it is that drives a young man to arm himself with a weapon and extinguish light.
Driven by their own beliefs, agendas, and experience, they label, pigeon-hole, and validate. Nobody seems to consider that perhaps all of it is more complicated than what we read and hear and see. We want so much to make sense of it, to understand and control it, that we do all that we can to simplify it.
After all, we have kids. We want them safe. We are good, God-fearing folks, and we believe most definitely that there’s a right and a wrong. That it is good or evil, black or white, left or right.
But maybe that’s the problem.
We spend so much time pushing people into places we think they belong that we forget.
Sleeping and waking and working and faking. Doing whatever it takes to survive.
And when we are cornered, afraid of what may become of us and everything we believe to be true and right and just, we bite. We fight. We lie and cheat and steal and walk into schools with weapons wanting to kill those sacred, beautiful things we once had—innocence, possibility, dreams—all because we’re afraid that life as we know it is being destroyed by the OTHERS. The liberals, the conservatives, the waffling wimps in the middle, the whites, the aliens, the blacks.
It’s always somebody else’s fault.
The immigrants. The corporations. The lazy bastards at home milking the system.
It’s never us.
We’d never do that.