When crazy people do crazy things, like shoot up a club full of weekend revelers, the world shudders in collective agony and then quickly attempts to find meaning in the madness.
But sometimes, I wonder about the conclusions we so hastily draw.
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Here in the U.S. we have suffered dozens of mass shootings at schools full of children. My mind reels at the pure evil of anyone who would point a gun at a child and I think most of the world feels just as sickened as I do. Still, I've never heard these incidents specifically characterized as crimes against children.
And I've never listened to anyone position the tragedy as just another example of society's ugly biases against youngsters.
In this age of worldwide terror attacks, we've solemnly come to understand that shootings at schools are not necessarily conducted by people who hate children. Bombs on subways are not crimes against commuters. Assault rifles at the theater are not attacks against movie enthusiasts. Suicide bombers at restaurants are not strikes against hungry people.
Mass shootings and other terrorist acts are designed to plant fear in the hearts of all people, to remind us that every day - no matter who we are or where we go - we take a chance with our lives. The goal of terror is to make us feel naked and vulnerable and alone as we step out into a world full of hidden foes. Those who create terror desire to fill our minds with the crushing realization that none of us are every truly safe and to poison our souls with paranoia and suspicion toward our fellow man.
We have every right to be afraid.
But we cannot let our fear divide us.
As much compassion as I have for the innocent human beings slain in the Orlando shooting, I cringe when I hear this tragedy positioned as a crime against the LGBT community.
No matter what the demographics of the victims, terrorist attacks are crimes against all of humanity. And in their nefarious wake, we must always stand united.