It can happen here

If we learn nothing else from last week?s tragic mass shooting at Excel Industries in Hesston, it?s that no community is immune from such a senseless atrocity. If we have naively clung to the notion that our home community is too small, too incidental, too secure to experience such an event, that notion should have been stripped away Thursday.

Yes, the odds are low. But here?s the wild card none of us can dismiss: It takes one person. One person who is angry. One person who bears a grudge. One person who feels wronged by the world and wants to retaliate. One person clouded by mental illness. One person who chooses to leave a legacy of horror when no viable future is imagined. One person.

Everything else is readily accessible. Weapons are easily acquired in our society. Back?ground checks apparently have limited effect. Opportunity exists almost anywhere a perpetrator envisions it. Inspiration and how-to preparation are as close as the evening news.

It can happen here.

We should not allow that reality to dominate our thinking. We cannot surrender to fear. Awareness is sufficient. In one sense it will, and should, affect the way we view others and our communities. We can observe more carefully, listen more intently and, we hope, filter the data through the grid of our new reality. ?DR

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