"Our innate human desire to distinguish patterns, to process a rare
atrocity within the scheme of our existing knowledge, to understand
then allocate blame, is confounded here ... Faced with relatives,
propelled by the burning, righteous energy of the bereaved, it is hard
to stymie their desire to rewind history, to put in place measures that
just might have prevented their loss ... Since the London bombings,
some have stopped travelling by Tube and, I confess, I never board a
carriage now without scanning for potential bombers or ownerless bags
or being troubled by a quickly suppressed slo-mo vision of flying body
parts, the carnage of a blast ... The randomness of life is harder to
bear with age, that gathering anxiety about mortality that leads to a
more cautious, duller life ... It takes courage to live in the face of
arbitrary horror, without, for most of us, a religion that can
attribute the cruel and unpreventable to the acts of an unknowable but
wise God. But we must: as a nation and as individuals. There is no
sanity, no fun, nothing to be gained from being Ms Worst Case Scenario."
, writing in the London Times about the shooting rampage
in Britain on Wednesday, which left 13 dead including the killer, a 53-year-old father of two
Want to add to this story? Let us know in comments
or send an email to the author at
hhorn at theatlantic dot com.
You can share ideas for stories on the Open Wire.