Like most of us in the US, I woke to the news of the terrible tragedy in Aurora, CO. The “breaking news” alert might have been what woke me at 5:46am. Breaking news alerts of this sort seem to come on a regular basis these days, so much so that I almost skim over them taking in words like Egypt or Syria, shaking my head, maybe silently praying for God’s mercy and then moving on. I had to reread the flashing headline a few times to take in the reality that it was in Colorado, that it was at a movie theater and that there were victims as young as perhaps 6 years old.
That desperation rose up in me, to know more, to understand better, to have an explanation. That desperation leaked out of my pores, through my fingertips as I scanned the internet for information. The internet is generally good for that, whether the information is accurate or not. I should know better than to read the commentary on news pieces, I blame the desperation for it this time, hoping that someone knew something more than the short news brief nearly ALL sources were giving. The commentary went right to finger pointing and pontificating. If it was mere question asking it would be one thing. If it was “I wonder if it had something to do with Rush Limbaugh?” or “I wonder if it had something to do with the Bain Capitol attacks from the Left?” it might fall under the natural desperation we all feel to know more, to understand better, to have an explanation.
But these were not questions, these were statements. When we state our opinions in public forums in the wake of tragedy, in an environment polluted already with political rhetoric, emotional manipulation and general uncertainty, those opinions stated as “fact” are dangerous. We already know how easily public opinion grabs on to the line of the day. We already know that we are at best, feeling some degree of desperation all the time in this country. It is not hard for a large population of people to jump to the simplest conclusion and then have trouble shaking loose from it, whether it is proven false or not.
My heart and my prayers go out to the victims and families of this terrible tragedy in Colorado today. My heart and prayers go out to the victims and families of those killed or injured in attacks such as this in every part of our planet. And I pray peace and wisdom and discernment for us all in the coming days.