This isn’t difficult. The first action required in the face of tragedy, such as the horrific massacre in Pittsburgh today, is to offer comfort. How hard is that?
We do that; we offer thoughts and prayers. We don’t generally blame the victims. We also recognize providing comfort means more than words and formulaic expressions.
We can offer comfort by our assurance that the impulses on which the demented act are not to be seen as socially acceptable, and definitely not to be triggered by ill considered rhetoric, or incendiary statements. Words matter. If we would offer comfort then we are called upon to give our fellow citizens a sense that we will not lend any assistance to those voices whose words should never be amplified.
We can offer comfort by considering the safety of our fellow citizens before we focus on our individual needs and wants. There are some serious questions raised at this point.
What does it mean to be a “responsible gun owner?” Does this mean everyone can purchase anything any time merely because it’s allowable? Does this mean some common sense regulation is desirable? What does a responsible firearm owner do with regard to safe storage? What actions might we take which would help our neighbors feel more comfortable, safer, in their homes, churches, synagogues, mosques, grocery stores, schools, and other public and private spaces?
This is not to “politicize” the situation, rather this discussion should lead to a situation in which we might all feel more comfort and solace.
We can offer comfort by refusing to tolerate the intolerable.