There is nothing special in saying I was saddened to hear of the incident in Colorado where a young man randomly shot at and killed or injured more than seventy movie-goers who were simply enjoying a Friday night.
But I do have somewhat of a unique perspective now living in Hong Kong. There are a lot of posted rules here. And there is adherence to rules. There is obedience. Restraint. Conformity. Pragmatism. And no citizens with guns. Things Americans often find confining or boring. But for the first time in my life I never ever think about safety.
All of the coverage on CNN this weekend pieced together facts or covered the personal histories of the victims. It was all funeral and no politics. Saddened submission, grief-filled acceptance. And familiarity.
No anger. No real horror. No outrage.
It felt as though Anderson Cooper had given up. And expected the rest of us had too. That people shooting other people without provocation was normal. Those interviewed echoed the cliche about never knowing when your number is up. As though getting shot by a stranger is like a car accident or an illness. Just something that happens with nothing really to do except figure out how to process our sadness, together, again.
Is that really the best we can do? Really?
It was haunting and very strange.
It occurred to me that we might have come to accept this as normal. Just back luck to be shouldered along with life’s other hardships?
But it wasn’t always normal.
Why is there not a movement among parents to protect their children from random violence? Has the endless empty debate from leaders made us so stupid or hopeless that we swallow the illogic of restricting guns=loss of freedom=bad?
Have we lost all common sense?