Sunday, January 27, 2019


A gunman killed five people at a bank in Florida this week. I hesitate to add the "lone" to that description since it seems to convey something more sinister. Acting alone in these situations is pretty much the way they work, even though investigators will spend at least a few moments looking for additional suspects. Because the kind of evil that is involved in taking a life must surely be generated in the minds of a gang or an army or a nation. Or just one guy, acting alone.
After killing five people, the gunman barricaded himself inside the bank, attempting to hold off the assembled SWAT team. He eventually surrendered to authorities. These same authorities were not quick to assign a motive to the crime (murder), since robbing the bank did not seem to be the motive. They referred to the event as "senseless."
And so Sebring, Florida takes its place on the ever-expanding list of cities and towns in America that can claim a mass shooting as part of their infamy. In response, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said this of the suspect, "Obviously, this is an individual who needs to face very swift and exacting justice." 
Obviously. One might wonder if the subtext there is that the suspect should be dragged through the streets, or simply shot on sight. Which makes sense to him because now that we know someone is a killer, killing is not senseless. We have laws that say we can take someone's life. We are a government by the people and for the people and the people must be protected from senseless crime committed by senseless people. 
Which makes me wonder what sort of sense existed inside this gunman's mind at the time of the shooting. My guess is that he had made peace with the idea that he might be killed himself, or that he was somehow invulnerable to the bullets and lethal injections of the world that had generated the senselessness. 
So now we are left to make sense out of it. Until the next one. 

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