My decision to stop following these world tragedies does not come from a lack of empathy for its victims. Just the opposite. I feel overwhelming sadness when I see and hear the details that accompany reports of these events. It reminds me of the times I would sit with family members of murder victims as they recounted the pain that so thoroughly soaked their lives they feared drowning. At least then, I could dedicate myself to bringing them the small relief that comes with holding the person who killed their loved-one accountable.
Aside from the thread of mental instability that is woven into each of the acts of violence that makes my heart beat faster when I see a “breaking news” bulletin flash across my TV screen, the perpetrator of every mass murder is unique. Microscopic analysis will not lead to a universal insight followed by a cure.
It doesn’t matter whether he pulled the trigger because he was raised to hate Jews, or he was taking retribution for high school bullying, or he heard God’s voice direct him to slaughter non-believers. In the end, listening to days of detail about an individual killer, and the destruction he caused, does not change the events and only confronts me with a grim reality of which I am acutely aware.