I woke up to NPR trying to talk about a story about which they had only about 20 seconds of facts, yet they kept on for minutes. And then a few minutes later they returned to repeat their long sparse story. There's got to be a better way for the media to say "This is important" without saying the same few things plus a lot of nothing over and over again.
And how do we respond? How do we keep on living our lives when we're assaulted by news like this over and over again? 50 people dead. 53 more in the hospital. People's different internal narratives will lead them to rant about guns, ISIS, the NRA, immigrants, God, gays. About terrorism. Hate. To pray for the victims? Does that include the shooter? To pray for the responders who have to identify bodies and clean up the horror. For the families, some of whom might only now be finding out their loved one was gay? Oh dear, the world is so heavy, even as far across the country as I am from Orlando. And people in Iraq and Afghanistan and Syria deal with this sort of slaughter more regularly. How do they survive? My personal experience is that children help us survive. We must provide for them for the youngest of them are mostly unaware of what has happened and they force us to get back to normal to attend to their needs.
Only time lessens such pain. But the time between atrocities gets shorter and shorter. Distractions can make the time go faster. So let me try to distract. A little. The coverage I heard this morning repeated that the police were investigating whether this was terrorism or a hate crime.
I'd like to divert you to a long discussion on whether hate crimes are terrorism I put up September 14, 2012. It looks at the legal definitions of terrorism and hate crimes and points out inconsistency of some politicians who strongly oppose hate crime legislation (and as cautious as I am about jumping to conclusions, I can't imagine how shooting up a gay nightclub can't be a hate crime) also strongly support antiterrorism legislation. It's one of my better posts.
I'm already imagining reading a Bridge of San Luis Rey type book - though ten times longer - that tells the stories of all the people killed and wounded at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando.