A few days ago there was a shooting at a mall in Kansas City. I am from the area (an hour east, but still), and still read the Kansas City area news fairly regularly. As if the story of the shooting, especially after Virginia Tech, was not enough to make you wonder what is going on with the world, and how to feel safe, and what is going on in these people's heads, this story was on the web tonight.
Apparently, the shooter left a voice mail with his sister shortly before going on the shooting spree. He asked his sister to take care of his kitties, saying they were all he had to love, and that it was too late for him.
Now I know that we are supposed to hate these people, to paint them as entirely evil, inhuman creatures capable of the unthinkable, and to feel only for the victims. And don't get me wrong - I feel for the victims, for their families. But this story, this man's voice mail to his sister, has me heartbroken. Yes, I feel heartbroken for the man who shot innocent people.
Because, really, what is it that causes someone to do this? A person who has been loved, and who has lived a happy, fulfilled life, does not do this. A person who has nothing left in the world but his "kitties" does not go to a mall and shoot innocent people. And though their lives were cut short, maybe those victims felt at some point something this man never did - loved.
Maybe I'm reading too deep. Maybe I'm thinking too much. Maybe I'll be attacked by all sides. But I just can't help but think that just maybe, if we all stopped for awhile, slowed down a bit, held our babies, rocked our children, hugged our spouses, smiled at strangers, and the world loved a little more, then there might not be people who felt so unloved that they did these horrible, horrible things, and that those innocent victims might still be here.
He did a horrible, unthinkable thing. But at the same time, I hope his sister takes good care of his kitties.