Cross Words

I have been trying these last few days to wrap my head around how a person can have so much hate in his heart, and for himself, that he would plan to kill dozens of people who just wanted to have fun at a concert listening to live music, outside, in a city.  I have been trying these last few days to wrap my head around how a person can have so much disregard, anger, derangement, I don’t know WHAT to call it, that would make a person want to kill people he did not know and who did not do him wrong, in a mass shooting.  I have been trying these last few days to wrap my head around how a man can order equipment to modify guns that he already owns so that the only purpose of the modification is to kill a large number of people in the shortest number of minutes.  I guess what I can’t understand is what words must have been going around his head during all of this planning…

I understand ‘crimes of passion’ like when you walk in on your husband making out with his secretary, or find your wife in the backseat of your car with your gardener…I get that.  I get it, that that kind of fury could make a person pull a gun and kill the person who is causing the pain.  I do not “get” what must be in a person’s brain to bust out windows in a hotel suite and take the weapons that he modified to randomly shoot people who he did not know, so my mind has been heavy with thoughts about what words we let linger in our brains.  An unthinkable attack, by a man who obviously thought a lot about what he wanted to do and was going to do.

The words that we let sit or swirl or rot in between our ears becomes our hour after hour narrative.  I feel like a mentally ill person who has access to weapons probably has a very different internal narrative than a man or woman who enjoys venison or elk and has guns for hunting, or a husband and wife who like to shoot clay pigeons for fun on weekends in the fall.  I think that there is nothing wrong with having a gun for hunting or sport or if you are one of those fearful folks who “needs protection” then fine, even to have a gun to feel you can better protect your family and your home, okay, I get that…but none of those things are related to a mentally unstable person and his choice to murder numbers of strangers. The narrative that would make a person purchase many more guns than a “normal” or “reasonable” person would ever need for any thing, and modify some of them to be nothing more than killing machines I imagine, is not at all the same narrative as that of a man who goes to Cabela’s for a new gun for deer season.

I think about the words that must have been going through that man’s brain, and wonder what happened to him in his life that would make him think whatever he was thinking, to want to hurt so many people.  How much hate for others and hate for himself must have been living in his brain?  How many cross words must he have been thinking, over and over and over, to do what he did?  It makes me terribly sad.  The words that we, the collective WE, let live inside of us, I believe become us…think happy thoughts, just like Peter Pan told us to, really matters to me…happy brain, happy everything.

“Do good work.  Be Kind.”  I say these words every single day at 7:06 am and again at 8:07, first to a seventh grader with brown hair and brown eyes, and lastly to a fourth grader with blonde hair and green eyes.  My Nana duties include getting each of my granddaughters on the bus every day as their mother gets ready for her work day as a school teacher.  I decided on the first day of school  that I would say these words every morning to each child.  I decided that life is hard, no matter who you are or where you are or how old you are, and that it is possible that my words each day are the ones that would linger longest in their little growing brains each morning, and that it matters, very much what those words might be and how the words might make these children feel.  I feel so sad for these families of the 58 victims of the shooting in Las Vegas.  I feel so sad for mothers who lost their daughters and fathers who lost their sons and brothers who now have no sister and girls who now have no boyfriend and so on and so on…I feel terribly sad for all of these people who lost somebody and I feel terribly sad for the killer…I feel angry of course, and wronged as a civil law-abiding human, BUT I do feel sad that somebody could have so much suffering awfulness in his head for so long.  Cross words linger and rot and poison and I think if we could all just try a little bit harder to say kind words, to express love, to comfort and care, it could, however infinitesimally, make the world a better place…

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