In order to understand any problem
one must have empathy.
One must imagine themselves
in the shoes of another.
Humanize the enemy.
The spree killer.
With love and family and fear.
Somewhere something went wrong.
With that deer in the headlights blank stare,
the ability to feel the other’s loss lost.
To be the shooter
You think it will never stop. That you will never come out of the box. That life has put you in. That you will never have a true friend. Will never be loved fully. Think that if you ask for help that you will be condemned. You never felt joy. There is no comedy. There is no laughter. You always saw humanity as a disease. You feel if every human was dead it would free the earth from the cancer we feed, inside of all of us. Inside you, you are the only one who understands. Who ever will get IT. Getting it is the everything. The only thing you ever got. Thinking too much, was the only thing you ever thought. Having always had a hard time. Never fitting in. Never getting picked for the team. Never being seen. INVISIBLE. You feel it will only get harder. Hard times getting harder.
You now see an entire generation of spree shooters, like you. Rising up. Imagine if only, we tried to understand you. We would not.
You imagine a game where you are the winner. Have all the power. Gaining rank with each kill. Just like the heroes you seek to fulfill. Others like you, who sought the thrill of the slaughter. Emulating with each calculated kill. You level up. You visualize where you will start. Will it be from the parking lot, or while inside. Where you will take the first shot? Where will you be stopped? Will you take the last shot?
If we could only understand, your plan?
An entire generation of spree killers like fireflies.
Out of nowhere, lighting up and blowing out.
Where do they go after they act out?
Their brain matter spilled.
In the afterlife, are they sitting in a circle talking about their lives?
Why they chose the path they did?
Choosing targets instead of choosing life.
Are they finding redemption or are they plotting reincarnation?
To steal more life.
For we all could be killers and lovers, at once.
Know now, the human heart has unlimited potential.
Genocidal hate filled triggers.
To forgive all with the blink of an eye.
Love all sinners.
To be someone’s final or first hope.
Somewhere, another shooter
Is buying more ammo.
Laser targeting bodies with red dots.
Counting bodies, not sheep to go to sleep.
Somewhere, there is love for him.
A love for his generation.
A love that could change all outcomes.
In a culture they seek to kill.
We seek to thrive.
For our children to survive.
Let us find empathy for all.
Let us not target anyone with isolation.
Label or condemn.
Stare deeply into their eyes and say, “Hello.”
To level up.
To complete the game.
We must realize we are all the same.