As you probably heard, the shooter apparently was on a campaign to kill sinners according to his diary. It shocked his church and family, and it seems fairly obvious he was pretty troubled.
The thing is everyone is talking about how they were surprised.
I think by now, we’ve heard so many times that “oh, he shouldn’t have done that” or heard how “how surprising this is” to think that maybe we should stop being surprised. It’s clear that when people miss someone is on the way to a violent breakdown missing it is no surprise because it happens all the time.
It’s up to us to watch out for each other. Not keep watch on each other, we don’t need some panopticon police state in our heads (we’ve got enough would-be’s in the world). We need to make sure we’re there to ensure our friends and family and neighbors don’t fall into the darkness.
It’s up to us to pay attention for when things look like they’ll fall apart. It may not be a mass shooting (and for all of you I hope it never is), but it’s realizing someone may have a drinking problem, or is losing their way and falling in with radicals, and so on.
It’s up to us to actually care about each other as opposed to expect people to follow some rote behavior that will inevitably cause them to snap or snap worse.
When someone snaps and there’s surprise, that’s no surprise. That’s a problem.
Steven Savage is a Geek 2.0 writer, speaker, blogger, and job coach. He blogs on careers at http://www.musehack.com/, publishes books on career and culture at http://www.informotron.com/, and does a site of creative tools at http://www.seventhsanctum.com/. He can be reached at https://www.stevensavage.com/.