For the most part I would like to think that most people understand that trauma may cause an individual to behave in certain ways that are not healthy. So we offer compassion, empathy. We try to understand that they have experienced psychological pain. But what happens when that person we know has trauma reacts in a way that is so terrible, so unthinkable, is has to be deemed as “evil.” No more compassion, no more empathy, because you’ve taken a life, done something heinous. Then what? How can we reconcile a trauma with a trauma? I suppose it’s impossible. You can try to understand, but what about those innocent people? Because you see, those that incur the wrath are not usually the ones that inflicted the trauma, and so round and round we go. It’s no excuse. Everyone who has trauma doesn’t hurt others. True. Its gun control you shouldn’t be able to buy automatic weapons. True. It’s a mental health issue, we need federal funding. True. We need more first responders. True. We need more state money for training school personnel. True. You see, these are all valid solutions (depending on who you ask) but I think they all are good solutions. There is no cure all. And while we continue to have mass shootings, mayors continue to offer condolences, police continue to try and combat it, presidents give press conferences, and yet people continue to die. And here we are. Still not understanding how these “monsters” are created. We are constantly connected to technology and further disconnecting from each other. And the results are scary and terrifying and unimaginable. But the shooter becomes an afterthought because there is always the next shooter, the next tragedy, the next community that will be shattered. How on earth can we fix this? We have to talk to each other. We have to truly understand those around us. We have to speak up and say something. We have to be inquisitive and wonder and ask people, how are you? What’s going on with you? And listen with intent. LISTEN. And if you can’t offer a solution, offer to find some help. Otherwise ticking time bombs will continue to go off leaving us confused and broken. And our communities cannot go on like this. Conversations need to be had and an open dialogue must exist because our lives quite literally depend on it.