Originally published Monday, October 9, 2017 at 06:00a.m.
Why God? Show your hand. Okay, so I have asked this question before. But we humans are in a big mess when 59 folks at a country music concert in Las Vegas get mowed down with military assault weapons like we are in some war zone.
Are we? Five hundred people injured, countless lives torn apart, ravaged by a madness that seems to be gripping this country and we need answers. Help us!
Are you still there, God? Just wondering because everyone who died deserved to live (well, except for the gunman). And why must we face such violent carnage? Families traumatized, police, doctors, nurses and all first responders having to wade through the rubble of the lost and injured. How can any of them (or us) sleep at night?
My minister explains that God weeps with us. My niece gave me the book, “The Shack,” to read which is supposed to explain that in our world we have freedom, hence bad things can happen to good people.
My grandson says that the world is screwed up, but humanity still shines in our worst moments. A Las Vegas reporter claimed that he never saw such heroism and courage as he did the night of the massacre, when ordinary people were doing impossibly brave acts.
Hug your loved ones, love your neighbor, wake up glad to be alive and proud to be an American. One grandson in the Navy told me these are the words his commanding officer spoke on the Day After. Everyone agrees we should pray (most of us do). But the questions linger.
Why would someone do such a vile and evil act? What happens when people who seem to lead “normal” lives snap and become mass murderers? One of the first mass murders in America was in 1966 when a 25-year old architectural engineering student and former Marine sniper climbed up the 27-story clock tower in Austin at the University of Texas. With three rifles, two pistols and a sawed-off shotgun he killed 15 people. He killed his wife and mother prior to his shooting spree and had a note in his pocket that said “Check my brain.” After police killed him, the autopsy revealed a brain tumor. Yet, there has been no consensus on what “made him do it.” He was the youngest person to ever become an Eagle Scout and had an IQ of 139.
So in 50 years we haven’t learned that much. Except that we know how to help, hug, love, pray and care for the wounded, bury the dead and give all we can to honor those who left us too soon. It is not the world we want. It is not the life we imagined or hoped for ... but it is where we are at. Let the pundits, lawyers, politicians, psychologists, clergy, law enforcement and reporters weigh in and explain it all. I am not listening!
If we could have solved this we would have done it after the slaughter of school children at Sandy Hook. Or after an Eagle Scout killed 15 in Texas. But the goodness of America will not be reduced by our worst moments. We are defined by our greatest acts of courage and compassion. We have freedom. And in that can be proud. Dear Readers, keep the faith and carry on.
Judy Bluhm is a writer and a local Realtor. Have a comment or a question? Email Judy at firstname.lastname@example.org.