Words are inadequate when thinking about the parents and children in today's tragic shooting. Only a visceral sense of pain and anguish can come close.
We can't make sense of such violence, no matter how many people the media interview or how much it is reported over and over. In fact, living in an area where one of the first school shootings took place--Thurston High--I know the impact it will have on the community and the people involved for the rest of their lives.
I have come to the conclusion, however, that we as a people would be far better off if we didn't headline such events. Yes, they are news and as a journalist I understand the need to maintain the news cycle, but when we give so much attention, so much time and so much energy to such horrific events, it seems to me, in some odd way, we encourage them. For a psychopath, and such killers have to be psychotic, the idea of becoming world-famous has to be incredibly appealing. To go out in a blaze, if not glory, at least notoriety. It's not at all surprising that two shootings have occurred within a few days. Copycatting for fame is all too common. (Incidentally, The brilliant Sherry Weddell puts it better than I here.)
What I do know is that the more we put our focus on such events, the more we feed the evil. And make no mistake, evil is a consummate consumer of negative human emotion. The more fear we generate, the stronger the evil becomes...and the more fear it desires. It's true on a personal level and it's true nationally and globally.
I can't stop the media reports, but I can stop my own feelings from becoming part of the current of fear and pain. I will not watch tv. I will not read on the Internet. I will not continue to talk about what has happened. I'm not pretending it didn't occur, but I will not continue to feed the evil.
I will pray for the victims.
I will pray for the shooter.
I will pray for our country.
But I refuse to give evil the constant attention it wants.
I will stop feeding the evil.