Colorado shooting: How can we make sense of a senseless act?
Published Friday, July 20, 2012 8:11PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, July 20, 2012 11:41PM EDT
It will be said that society is now “searching for answers.”
It is human nature to do this, of course. And maybe never more so than when there is nothing else we can do.
There is no way to reverse a massacre in Colorado; no way to undo Monday night's bloodshed in Toronto.
So the only thing left is to ask "why."
"Why did it happen?" And by implication, "How can we stop it from happening in future?"
But maybe what we are trying to know cannot be known.
At least, that's what Jessica Ghawi thought, after narrowly escaping last month's gunfire at the Eaton Centre food court in Toronto. “We don't know when or where our time on Earth will end," she wrote.
From her own questions came the insight that "every day is a gift," but no clue that she would have so few of them left.
Asking "why" in Toronto did not stop it from happening in Colorado, where Jessica Ghawi was one of the victims.
But that's the problem with a rational question about events that defy rational answers.
Who could explain how even the most misguided thought might naturally have triggered another… and another… until finally triggering a slaughter of unsuspecting strangers.
Who could describe the motives for madness, until the rest of us say: "Oh, I see."
As much as we might wish to understand…
The measure of our own sanity may be that we cannot possibly understand.