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There are no words

Cape Gazette of Lewes, Delaware

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Words cannot express the stunned emptiness that is still with us as we wake up, and another day has passed, yet little in our lives has changed since we heard about the shooting in Orlando.

Most of us didn't know any of the people who were slain in Florida, just as most of us didn't know any of the little children who died in Newtown, or the people who went to watch a movie in Colorado, or those who went to a holiday party with coworkers in San Bernardino.

Even if we didn't know any of these victims, that uneasy emptiness comes, uninvited, when we hear of yet another mass shooting. Maybe it's because faced with so many shootings, we know we could have been among the ones who died. Worse, it could have been our children. Or our loved ones, our friends.

Maybe the constant threat of unpredictable, horrific violence is seeping into our consciousness, eroding our optimism, our confidence, leaving us with this ever more familiar feeling. Empty. Joyless. Numb.

It's a feeling that for some sparks anxiety and anger, an anger that quickly turns to blame. Even before we have learned the names of the people who died, the blame begins.

Anger is one stage of grief, but it must not become griefs only stage-indeed, it appears that the perpetrators of several mass shootings were motivated by intense anger fueled by isolation and mental health problems.

Indeed, more anger and constant blame fuel the divisiveness that could lead to the next mass shooting event. In their place, every issue of the Cape Gazette reminds readers, "The price of liberty is eternal vigilance."

Not vigilance to spy on our neighbors or define them as enemies, but vigilance to watchfully protect ourselves and to embrace the people around us so we recognize and respond before their problems result in violence. In the increasingly diverse, violent world we live in, as a nation we can give in to anger and divisiveness, or we can work toward understanding, respect and vigilance.

Whatever we choose, the world is watching.

Cape Gazette editorials are considered and written by members of the Cape Gazette editorial board which includes Dennis Forney, publisher; Trish Vernon, editor; Dave Frederick, sports editor; Laura Ritter, news editor; and Jen Ellingsworth, associate editor.

Copyright 2016 Cape Gazette, Lewes, Delaware. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: June 14, 2016

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