“One of These Incidents”

As the country struggled to understand the why’s and how’s of yet another mass shooting, GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson made the following comment during an interview held just a few hours after the tragedy:

“Obviously there are going to be those calling for gun control, but that happens every time we have one of these incidents, obviously that’s not the issue. The issue is the mentality of these people. And we need to be looking at the mentality of these individuals and seeing if there are any early warning clues that we can gather that will help us as a society be able to identify these people ahead of time.”

Comments like these made in the aftermath of such a tragedy, by someone not directly involved is understandable. Unless you’ve had someone snatched out of your life so suddenly that their beds are still unmade, words remain unsaid, hopes die unfulfilled…unless one has lived through the unimaginable horror of having someone you gave birth to, raised, loved, or just sat next to in class… murdered, one could never understand the depth of the imprint it makes on the lives of those left behind.

But, when someone refers to the murder of 9 students, attending college, in Oregon; 9 churchgoers , attending prayer services, in South Carolina; 20 children and 6 adults, attending elementary school, in Connecticut… when that person refers to such an occurrence as just “one of these incidence…” it alludes to a level of disconnection from the human experience that I find alarming, from someone with designs on the presidency of the United States.

I do understand his position, as presidential candidate he must tread lightly for fear of isolating members of his political base. Put another way, as a conservative, he didn’t want to give any leverage to those looking for tougher gun laws. I understand his position… but I don’t accept it.  So far, in 2015 alone, there have been 298 mass shootings resulting in 379 deaths, and I believe the families, left behind, deserve more than political “half-speak” from a man renowned for his compassion… they deserve honesty, they deserve empathy, they deserve answers.