By the way, the same thing happened in Indiana this past weekend, although it's not all over the national headlines. Probably because no "innocent" lives were taken.
A rural Indiana SWAT team was engaged in a 31-hour standoff with a man who had blockaded himself in his own home with his wife and child as hostages. The man was known to have PTSD and a history of battery charges, likely stemming from the demons that haunted him. After 31 hours, the police executed the man through a window of his house when he stood in sight for just long enough, and then, there was an outcry of what a tragedy the whole thing was.
Yes. But this situation was a tragedy before the police took that fatal shot. It was a tragedy before the SWAT team arrived on the scene. It was a tragedy before that man took his wife and child hostage. It was a tragedy before it was "tragic."
Because, you see, sometime before we all became aware of this tragedy, this man's innocent life was already taken from him. It was stolen away by the PTSD that afflicted him so powerfully that he did not even feel safe in his own home, probably not even in his own skin.
We celebrate the rescue of the woman and child. We do. And we should. We praise the police for protecting "innocent" lives, for doing what they had to do to make sure that these two persons were safe. We do. And we should. We think it's such a tragedy that it came to this at all. We do. And we should.
But the real tragedy is that none of us recognized the tragedy that was already unfolding before these tragic events. The real tragedy is that we, as a society, as a community, as brothers and sisters, failed to save this innocent life before it "had" to be taken.
That's the real tragedy.
Unfortunately, the truth is that before these men become "the faces of evil," plastered all over the headlines, scorned on social media, spit on by their communities, and willfully forgotten, they were faceless in our communities, and we simply missed them. We neglected them. We failed them.
And then, we scream, How could you?
How could you....
All those innocent lives...
...this innocent life. This innocent life that we never even noticed. And why? Because it wasn't tragic enough. It wasn't a tragedy until it became tragic.
By then, it was too late.