I have wanted to write of the latest massacre in Santa Barbara, but I haven’t been able to unjumble my thoughts. I’m numbed with the reality that mass killings are now commonplace. How is this acceptable? So many things in the news have overwhelmed me lately. I’ve been shocked and the details are so unfathomable that I turned off the news and lost myself in a fantasy book about a utopian culture this weekend.

But my brain wouldn’t turn off the thoughts. The horror remains. I tried to write cohesively and after sitting for an hour looking at a blank page, I gave up. So here are my random thoughts that I’m compelled to get out.

  • The Whys? Our crazy gun culture; misogyny; lack of help for those with mental health needs; an entitled segment of society; a paralyzed political system corrupted by money; the 24-hour news beast that must be fed; the list goes on and on.
  • The paradigm has changed. My daughter just graduated for the largest, most diverse class ever from Louisiana State University, with more women in that class than men. What’s significant is that this happened at a large Southern university. I love the South, but we’re not known for progressive social movements, so for this to happen here, it means it is happening everywhere. This American century is going to be about how we accept the diverse nation that we are.
  • So what do those in power fear? Loss of power and as the paradigm shifts they cling to the old way of thinking more tightly.
  • The young man who killed so many in California was part of an “alpha” male Internet group that is so anti-women that the Southern Poverty Law Center follows them for fear of the hate crimes they may commit.
  • As this country continues this diverse shift in our population, there has been a systematic assault on women’s rights. Louisiana just passed a law making it harder for women in this state—one of the poorest in the country—to have a safe abortion. I heard a startling statistic recently that crime actually started to go down 15 years after Roe v Wade. The theory was that when a child is wanted and loved and cared for, they are less likely to turn to crime in their teen years than a child who was unwanted.
  • It’s an easy jump from this hate crime in Santa Barbara to the other side of the world with the Nigeria #bringbackourgirls crisis, where a terrorist has kidnapped young schoolgirls. The biggest threat to this man’s world view was an educated girl. Who is it the Taliban feared? A young 14-year-old girl who loved education. What did they do? They shot her in the face to shut her up. But they couldn’t quiet her words and that young girl from Afghanistan was honored with a Nobel Peace Prize nomination. There probably will be more killing of women as we assume an equal position in the world. But it won’t stop the rising tide and it won’t shut us up.
  • I don’t believe in saying the murderer or terrorist’s names. I believe they thrive and often act for the publicity. I don’t want them remembered for their heinous act.

I hope that in the near future we look back on this violent era as a time that preceded a shift in human consciousness to one of living together in peace. I found a TED talk that reports even though it may not seem like it, due to the constant bombardment of bad news, that we are now living in the most peaceful time in our species’ existence. If you need that bit of hope, check out, Steven Pinker’s, “The Myth of Violence” 

I wrote a post 10 Small Things I Can Do Now after the Newtown massacre in which I listed all the victims names.

I honor the lives of those taken in California and pray that the madness will end.

Weihan Wang

Cheng Yuan Hong

George Chen

Katherine Breann Cooper

Christopher Ross Michaels-Martinez

Veronika Elizabeth Weiss