I am grateful to the news sources which have consistently avoided naming the young man who carried the gun. It is a good thing that I can't at this moment remember his name. No fame needs to be given - ever. But my heart breaks for him. That he felt this was the way to be noticed; that he believed this to be a path which would fill the voids in his life.
Those who were terrorized by these events are surely innocent victims. Victims of the shooter, but also victims of a society and a culture in which this has become such a common outlet for terrorism.
Among the survivors of the shooting are many who are becoming vocal and politically active. I am heartened by their efforts and pray that those who "despise their youth" (I Timothy 4:12) will not be able to silence them or shame them or belittle their voices.
I cannot simply close my eyes and pretend that we live in a world without violence. And, when violence occurs it is difficult not to respond in kind. The Jesus story teaches us that we do not have to return hatred for hatred. The way of Jesus sets aside our own interests for those of the greater good.
It would be a great world if some could have powerful guns and no such guns were to end up being used to murder. Bu I can't close my eyes and pretend that that world exists, either.
The pattern of violence on display in Florida last week may be the new norm. The world has momentum on its side and it is a tough challenge to stop its spinning. Maybe the political action committees will arrive at a resolution.
Those who follow Jesus already know how to stop it. We just need the faith to live it into reality.