Most of you have surely heard the news by now about the fifty people killed in a gay bar called The Pulse in Orlando. You hear news like that and it causes such sadness and reflection.
It's probably no surprise to anybody who's been following me long enough, but I've lived in Florida most of my life and even though only two years of my life were spent in Orlando, the city's only a few hours drive from where I live.
This tragedy happened in my own state. Though I don't frequent watering holes in general, I've had a few fun nights watching drag shows in gay bars, and aside from just feeling bummed out in general, it forces me to realize that we, as a species still have a LONG way to go.
Regardless of anybody's belief, there is a biological imperative, written in our very DNA, that condemns and forbids the taking of human life.
Unless, of course, that human is different. Unless the external authorities say it's okay. Unless the cancerous dogmas demand blood for sin.
Or maybe it's as simple as, "These people will never breed. These people who will never breed are wasting resources that should be mine. My race must continue."
I've always felt that trying to understand human nature, especially the outliers, would go much further into preventing these kind of tragedies way more than simply shouting, "Ban guns!" or "All Muslims are terrorists!" or even "Homophobia!"
And as I bow my head in respect for the dead and condolences for the living, I'm still left with an unanswered question:
Why do we kill?
What drives us, as human beings, to break away from our empathy for others, or even our apathy for others, and make us want to kill?
Did this murderer really not care about the people he shot? Did the faces he murdered affect him at all, on a biological level? On some level, in some way, did this murderer know what he was doing was wrong, and simply ignored that inner voice? Did his dogma really strip all empathy away? As he killed human being after human being, did he, in some small, largely ignored part of his psyche, start to realize that these "homos" that he used to make fun of had lives, hopes, dreams? Did he ever, in his blood-spilling, have a moment of pathos, realized his wrongdoing and like Macbeth decide he was in too deep to go back? Did he feel empty, like a hollow vessel; a puppet on a string pulled by the invisible hand of his deity?
I don't know. We can only speculate.
But I do think, if we are to lessen the killings, the terrorist attacks, the answer cannot be more war, more senseless finger pointing, more irrational "tolerance" for the intolerant, and more stupid "safety" theater.
The mind of a religious zealot who would kill for his beliefs is best fought with understanding and principle, with psychological testing and the realization of an action/consequence dynamic, with coming to terms that not all dogmas are peaceful; not rehashing old phrases about "tolerance" to a sect of religion that demands death, nor endless wars and meeting senseless violence with more senseless violence, substituting more freedoms for a police state.
May the dead rest in peace,
And may the living heal.
Listening to: my heart
Watching: the world
Playing: hard to get
Drinking: necter of the gods