Darkness visible

There’s something terribly depressing about the hand-wringing commentary in US media that follows every small-town massacre. I suppose liberals have to go through the motions, because not to do so would be tantamount to tacitly condoning the craziness of US laws. So I started on Roger Ebert’s NYT OpEd piece with a sinking heart. But the closing paragraphs brought me up short. Here they are:

This would be an excellent time for our political parties to join together in calling for restrictions on the sale and possession of deadly weapons. That is unlikely, because the issue has become so closely linked to paranoid fantasies about a federal takeover of personal liberties that many politicians feel they cannot afford to advocate gun control.

Immediately after a shooting last month in the food court of the Eaton Centre mall in Toronto, a young woman named Jessica Ghawi posted a blog entry. Three minutes before a gunman opened fire, she had been seated at the exact place he fired from.

“I was shown how fragile life was,” she wrote. “I saw the terror on bystanders’ faces. I saw the victims of a senseless crime. I saw lives change. I was reminded that we don’t know when or where our time on Earth will end. When or where we will breathe our last breath.”

This same woman was one of the fatalities at the midnight screening in Aurora. The circle of madness is closing.