My wife Karen told me about the shootings this morning while I was just settling down to start the day’s correspondence. All of the mass shootings that have taken place are horrific, but for so many young people this one seems particularly so. It’s been experienced “live” by many of them as they’ve followed the story unfolding as posted by eyewitnesses and victims on twitter, Facebook and Reddit.
When you live in the digital world and get most of your social networks news via those channels, when you’re watching something like this realtime it becomes just as real to you as if you were present. I had the same sort of experience using shortwave radio during the first Gulf War, it becomes hard to distinguish between the ambulances coming over the radio from the war zone and the ones rolling down the street on which we lived in Connecticut.
I’m hearing that the suspect who is in custody for these shootings is refusing to talk about why he did this. I’ve heard that he’s constructed a number of particularly sophisticated explosive booby-traps in his apartment. Why? Where did he learn this? What is he thinking he’s accomplishing?
There are no answers now. Even if answers are found for our questions in the next few weeks, I’d be surprised if they were sensible, or even helpful. Terrible things seem to be like that; they exist outside of sense and reason. They happen and we struggle to find categories to understand.
My prayers go out to the victims, their families, and to those who did this.
I’m praying too for those for whom this tragedy seems terribly close right now even though they are far away, who’ve had the wonder of an innocent summer night stolen from them, for what might be a very long time. God send angels to all, that they might feel the comfort of God’s love as best they can right now.