As a nation, whenever we are forced to endure the painful aftermath brought on by those who use murder as a means of expressing their extreme distaste for society, there seems to be that innate need to make some sense of the senseless– or to apply reason to the unreasonable. The irrational ruthless actions of one man sitting alone at the Pulse in Orlando, Florida, will once again stir our collective conscience to ask ourselves why. Why did this happen? Why do they hate? Why do they kill?
For much of the immediate future, there will be those countless supposed expert voices espousing answers and solutions. And unfortunately, there is nothing like a national tragedy during an election year to fuel the self-righteous indignation of that portion of the political class that tend to speak only to our fears. Those same human beings will attempt to convince us of some greater truth concerning the motivations, affiliations, and ideologies of those that engage in violent behaviors. But in the end, there will only be a whole lot of speculation carefully woven between the sorrow and the tears.
During my own lifetime, I’ve witnessed far too many of these unconscionable deeds, and when all was said and done, the theories and explanations always fell far short of our need to know why such reprehensible attacks occurred.
Right up until that moment when Jack Ruby fired the shot that would end the life of John F. Kennedy’s assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald seemed to be redefining his role and responsibility in the death of the President. And after years of inquiries and investigations, we are no closer to knowing the workings of the mind of a man whose loyalties and attachments were mercurial and contradictory to say the least. I suspect that ultimately our understanding of Omar Mateen will be no different. He will be just another name in that long litany of those that have unjustifiably bloodied our history and broken our hearts.
So we are left with only a handful of truths concerning this crime and its political ramifications:
- Most mass killings in the United States have been carried out using legally purchased weapons. So we can probably save some lives with commonsense regulations that do not impinge upon the intent of the Second Amendment.
- Some individuals should not have access to either airliners or assault rifles.
- And certain politicians should definitely not have access to either Air Force One or America’s arsenal.
- But most importantly, we need not ask why–but instead why not?
There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why… I dream of things that never were, and ask why not? Robert Kennedy
Posted by: Chris Poh for American Public House Review