When tragedy like this strikes, I feel myself clam up. Sometimes it feels like the world around me is alight with emotion, and I am sitting on the side feeling numb. There are many conversations that need to be had: about mental health, about gun control, but also about our society and the role each and every one of us play in it. It is far easier to mourn with a suffering community than it is to stand up and figure out how to help it. We are, most of us, in shock and grief. But if we don't deal with someone mentally ill beyond our capacity to help or understand them, how are we supposed to understand where this problem begins and, thus, where the roots of its possible solutions lie?
I don't pretend to begin to know, but I think what got us here is alienation and belittling of others' beliefs. We can't interrupt anymore, we can't be quick to shut down any person's voice. We must now listen to one another grieving and say, How can we change?
This article speaks directly to why I am afraid of this country on guns, and why any peaceful person who values their right to free speech and thought might be as well.