Tragedy in Millisconds
A titillated audience sits and watches the beginning scenes of a media-hyped movie when a dark camoflaged figure appears at a theater exit door and begins a live gun-shooting scene of horror that will leave twelve people dead and sixty-plus others wounded and fighting for life. In those milliseconds one warped mind has changed the direction and shapes of so many lives and families. Those with close connections to the victims and those of us around the world can only sit in astonished apathy and ponder the cruelty of fate. We sit helpless and hopeless and we know that there is absolutely nothing we can do about this mindless atrocity.
We know that occasionally life presents us with these kinds of perverted acts of violence…they have come since the dawn of time. No amount of pondering can give us answers that will remotely satisfy our minds. A young and promising mind has tripped over itself to produce a monster who will now join the arcade of other historical ogres of terror. What else can we say or do but to explore so many psychological avenues of the mind? What else can we do but watch the media frenzy and listen over and over to the gruesome details of the slaughter? Then, somewhere in time, we will for the most part forget this monster of the movie house, like we have for the most part forgotten the Columbine school tragedy, the Gabriel Giffords shooting and massacre of innocents in Tucson, the Richard Speck monster in Chicago who brutalized and murdered eight student nurses, the University of Texas sniper, the Oklahoma bomber Timothy McVeigh, on and on the list can go.
What else can we do but store away in our subconscious this terrible act along with all the other horrible acts in our history? There is nothing else we can do because to dwell too long on the mad meaningless acts of man can only dislodge some important part of our own humanity.
In the end, we are left to feel the sorrow of families who have lost their loved ones. We are left with the humble hope that those families will be able to continue their lives with the knowledge that tragedy’s reason lies beyond the scope of humankind’s understanding.
Billy Ray Chitwood
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