A Specter of Evil
A specter of evil visits.
A Specter of evil settled upon Buffalo on Friday. In person, it was a deranged teenager who dressed up like a combatant and ended the lives of ten innocent people, who were just in the store food shopping.
They didn’t do anything to bring this horror upon themselves and their community. They were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. In trying to understand this awful twist of fate, one is mindful of the Thornton Wilder work, “The Bridge of San Luis Rey.” Some unknown string of fateful timing had brought this awful person into their lives and caused their untimely deaths.
The families and friends of these fine people are left stunned and bereft. No one can quite imagine what caused this awful tragedy. What powerful delusion of hatred had driven this callow youth to take such dreadful actions? It is a horror on a scale of evil that most of us could never imagine.
We have to take a look at the society around the shooter to look for causation. A person, this young, doesn’t concoct such bigoted delusions on his/her own. They have been fed a diet of hatred and bigotry by older people, even more evil than themselves. These elder bigots are the kind of monsters that infect the gullible with paranoid delusions that make then do such awful things.
Actions like these surface throughout the world, when impressionable youth are fed a diet of hatred and urged into delusional thinking where their messianic actions will repair injuries imagined by older and more cowardly friends and relatives. Terrorism is too generic a word for the horror that they wreak upon others.
The shattered lives of families of the victims are mute testimony to the extent of the damage done. And somewhere, usually far removed a monster smiles at the carnage he has wrought.
At times like these, we can but comfort each other and condemn the hatred that sent this child forth. Then, we need to look within ourselves and stifle such awful feelings should they arise. As a nation, we are a good and decent people who need to call out such awful behavior and rhetoric whenever we see its emergence from the darkness.
Go with God, my friends. Pray for the families of the bereaved, that they may find solace in the Lord and their friends an families. And let justice remain in the hands of our own avengers, the law enforcement personnel.
Joseph Xavier Martin