Senseless, without sense or social reason

 Christina-Taylor Green was shot outside a Tucson grocery story when she went to see Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was meeting with constituents there (AP).


Christina-Taylor Green was shot outside a Tucson grocery story when she went to see Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was meeting with constituents there (AP).

There is a reason we call some kinds of acts senseless; they are without sense, they have no coherent thought process behind them.  It does not mean there is no thought process at all; even a suicide bomber in the midst of a throng of innocent people celebrating a holiday has thought about the act.  And many of the perpetrators and their backers have very elaborate, seemingly well-reasoned intellectual arguments to support their actions.  However, those acts we as a society label senseless can not be explained in rational social terms; and in the end, that is the most important thing we have as social beings – a basic agreement on acceptable and unacceptable behavior.  Shooting people randomly (even in war situations random executions are termed “illegal”) or in any other way, killing people indiscriminately, people who only by coincidence are even to be found in the place of violence can have no justification or explanation in any rational, sense-ful way.  What freak set of circumstances brings a girl born to the sound of airplanes senselessly crashing into public buildings to a parking lot where a young man is senselessly killing everyone he can?  Regardless of how polarized the rhetoric might become, or how bizarre the details of the shooters live, there is no one to blame – there is no sense to be made of this – it is simply sad, very, very sad.


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January 2011
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