My Heart is Filled with Sorrow

I was 11 when a sniper took position in a Texas University clock tower and started shooting. I remember my shock. At 10 years old in 1966 the memories of another shooting in Texas was very vivid memory.  Ten years olds in 1966 were a different breed of 10 year old than 10 year olds in 2017.  We didn’t have Internet, social media, 24 hour news cycles.  We lived in technologically simpler times.

The Texas Tower shooting happened at the University of Texas in Austin on August 1,1966.  Here is a Wikipedia link to the story:

It was the first of its kind, and unfortunately not the last.  The most recent happened two days ago in Las Vegas, Nevada.  At this point, this blog post could turn political, turn into a rant, turn into many things but it won’t.

Since my confused 10 year old musings in 1966, I have had too many refreshers on senseless shootings.  My musings have changed. I now know that Texas isn’t the only place terrible shootings and murders happen.  Senseless shootings, bombings and murders happen too often.

I have many questions, and no answers.  I feel deep and inexpressible grief for the victims of these senseless acts of violence.  I do not condone violence in any shape or form, but I can see bits of understanding when a person is driven to injure or kill someone they know, someone that has had a part in their life. It isn’t right, it is inexcusable, but there are glimmers of understanding.

When someone chooses to cause violent death to large numbers of people that they do not know, do not have contact with-I can’t fathom that. I do not understand what drives them to those actions.

We live in a world that is not safe. How do we make it safer? How do we stand strong and reasonable without deteriorating into a polarizing battle?  How do we stand for an end to violence, without standing for an end to freedom? Where does one individuals freedom begin and end?

As you can see, I have lots of questions, no answers.  I live in a state where there are lots of hunters, and gun ownership is almost a given.  I live in a state where bad things happen, but not on the scales as other places. Why is that? It is that we have so few people for the amount of land? It it because you never know who is capable of shooting back? Why is it?

This is not what I planned on writing about today. When I sat down these are the words that poured out of my keyboard.  They weren’t the words about fall and the changes it brings, or words about my crazy cat, words about creating or experimenting.

I have no answers, but I have lots of sorrow.  Sorrow for those that were killed, and those they left behind.  Sorrow for those injured, and the roads they face back to physical healing.  The mental and emotional scars from this concert will be deeper and a long time healing.  There were people from my town at that concert. They are home now.  Two of them are nurses, and they stepped immediately into crisis mode-offering whatever help they could.

I can still take a bit of hope from the stories of the helpers that come out of these senseless tragedies.  As long as the helpers continue to be courageous, stepping in to help whenever that help is needed, as long as they far outnumber the ones that cause that need for help, maybe we can hope for change.  I would like the ones that cause that need for help to be the ones that get that help first BEFORE they cause trouble. If that were to happen, maybe there wouldn’t be so many senseless tragedies.


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