Like everyone else in our country, I was stunned and sickened to wake up to the news of yet another insane act of extreme violence in "the land of the free and the home of the brave." As we collectively grieve, we collectively ask why? What could possibly motivate a brilliant young man to carry out such a calculated and brutal act?
Speculating about his motives will dominate the news for weeks and months to come, as the official investigation unfolds. Did he imagine himself a part of the movie production? Was he high? Or low? Did he choose to make the game world the real world? What about games? What about guns? Could something like this happen in our community? Sadly, this is the one question we can answer.
What was his relationship with family and friends? Were there any warning signals? Who might have picked up on them? Who might have missed them? What about his emotional health? His mental health? His physical health? Under what circumstances did he leave his educational program?
Why would someone channel all this energy and creativity in such a dastardly direction? Was this just an intellectual exercise for an otherwise unchallenged and bored young man?
Can we really secure every public place sufficiently? Should we have to? Is this the direction our homeland security is heading? We are left with so many questions and a profound sadness.
I recycle a particular question. What if he was simply seeking attention? And he was willing to go to all this trouble and create all this pain to gain his moment of fame. Might all of this attention be considered success from his perspective? After all, he has become famous, literally, overnight.
What if someone had taken the time to simply listen to him? Might they have discovered a young man in pain or turmoil or harboring some seriously antisocial point of view? Might they have been able to intervene in some way that would have prevented his subsequent insane behavior? We'll never know of course, but it's worth pondering in the spirit of discovering themes around what triggers these seemingly random acts of violence that have become such a cultural cancer afflicting the homeland we all love.
Our hearts go out to the communities most impacted, to those who lost loved ones and to those who are recovering from wounds. We are all wounded by these kinds of acts, and we must work together to heal and to learn everything we can to prevent our society from continuing down this path.