The Students and the Teachers

The students and teachers were interviewed
after the Valentine’s Day Massacre in a high
school in the city of Parkland voted safest
city in Florida two days ago. They seemed

so composed, so articulate under the circum-
stances, so unaffected. The TV interviewers
pried as they always do insensitively —
questions verging on exploitation and

cruelty, but those interviewed carried on.
What is that all about? Shock or the new
normal or something in-between. Seventeen
dead, many injured. And so we await political

posturing from senators and representatives
speaking sheepishly,”It’s too early to
talk of gun control. It’s a time for prayer,” —
muffled sounds from deep in the NRA’s hip

pockets. We wait for the scholars’ books
explaining after much research. It is the
ten-year anniversary of the shootings at
Northern Illinois University. I conducted

the memorial service for the mass murderer
who killed five students and injured an
additional 17, before fatally shooting him-
self. What’s to remember? The skinny, bright,

vulnerable, humorous little kid? The crazed
killer the family didn’t know and who heard
of his gruesome deed on the television? No
clues? His sobbing sister, her partner com-

forting her with embraces, kisses, tears,
decried the plethora and availability of
guns and parents who sat stunned into
silence while I was expected to say some-

thing meaningful about the love of God
in the midst of tragedy. Tragedy all around,
fear all around, anger all around, cowardice
all around, tragedy all around. Who can

stand to listen to the Godforsaken news,
the impotent cries for sanity and the
reverberating roar of demented laughter
rising from the bowels of hell.

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