|A child's drawing|
In the past week, there have been three such incidents.
- The first was, of course, the incident that occurred on November 5 at Fort Hood, Texas. Major Nidal Malik Hasan opened fire at a soldier readiness center, killing 13 and wounding dozens.
- The next occurred on the following day, November 6, in Orlando, Florida. A disgruntled former employee, Jason Rodriguez, entered the offices of an engineering firm and shot 6 people, one of them fatally.
- The most recent incident occurred just yesterday, November 10, right here in Tualatin, Oregon. Robert Beiser entered a medical lab and opened fire with a high-powered rifle, killing his ex-wife and wounding two others, before turning the gun on himself.
Of course, we are all shocked and saddened. But, as the casualty count rises, our shock is not quite as severe as it was for the previous such incident.
No one knows why these horrors occur, much less what to do about them. There is a certain element of our society that instinctively seeks out a scapegoat, and that element, of course, is focusing on the Fort Hood incident, and pointing to "Islamic extremists" as the root of the problem. Their solution is predictable: oppress Muslims, fear the "other." But the truth is this: the "others" that they fear are we!
Over the years, I've seen news reports of suicide bombings in other countries, in Israel, in Iraq, in Afghanistan. And I was moved to pity when I thought of the everyday people in those lands and wondered how it must be for them to have to live under those kinds of conditions.
Well, this week, I've had it brought home to me: those places are no different than these United States. We are those people living under those impossible conditions. One world, one people, indeed!
I wonder if we'll ever have the courage, in this bitterly divided country (thank you, Junior Bush), to have a real discussion about this. I wonder if we'll ever have the courage to try to seek a solution that doesn't blame anyone, a solution that heals.
Brace yourselves, folks. There is going to be more.