Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Millions of words...

I listened all yesterday to the reports of the incident at the Washington Navy Yard. Living in the DC area, it was kinda hard not to. This morning I see a jumble of articles in Drudge, and imagine that papers around the world are headlining the incident. Millions or words will be written, and every aspect of the shooting will be examined. The dead perpetrator's life has already started to be investigated in minute detail. There is much we know about him, much more we will never know, and millions of words will be spent trying to rationalize, explain, and account for the unaccountable. In the end we still will have only a vague understanding of why one guy brought a shotgun to work and tried to kill as many people as possible before being put down. Ultimately evil is just a real and palatable thing that exists in our world whether we acknowledge it or not. Laws, counseling, and community can sometimes mute it's effect, and sometimes can exacerbate it.

What is more worrisome for me is the million words that will be written. I can imagine that the troglodytes squatting in caves around the world, dreaming of virgins in paradise, would view this spectacle with an eye toward what a wonderful opportunity it presents. The massive reaction that it enjoined and the world wide attention it has garnered is sure to inspire them. This is the real danger that the incident brings to all of us - and I am hopeful that somehow the current administration will surprise us and do the right thing to gird our defenses for what may be coming. That being said, this administration has a demonstrated track record of doing all the wrong things to press such incidents in the service of its own ends ("never let a crisis go to waste"), and there are apparently no adults left in the room to mute that effect.

The Navy Yard shooting may indeed become for our era the sinking of the Lusitania, which triggers a backlash of the rolling back of freedom on a scale not previously imagined or possible, coupled with an increase of troglodyte attacks that only strengthen that reaction. And as we drift further and further down that road, we will all forget that it all started with one unbalanced individual with a shotgun. Therein lies the true and ongoing danger this incident brings to the rest of us. God help us all.

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