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If "Everything" Changes, We Lose

It's taken me a few days to try and process what happened this week.

Our soldiers are suppose to lay down their lives for our citizens, not die at the hands of them.

It doesn't make sense, and I don't think it is suppose to. Whatever delusional and disturbing sense of identity two people thought they had found, that they would take the lives of two soldiers, isn't suppose to be rational. My heart broke as I read of the mother of the Ottawa shooter, with no explanation for their son's actions, wanting to hate the very child she brought into this world. What happened was a terrible tragedy on so many levels.

I must admit, my sadness quickly turned to concern. Words like "terrorism" began to quickly emerge from certain media outlets and individuals on social media. "Terrorism" is not a new thing in this country (FLQ), but usually (not always) refers to actions conducted by an organization. I am worried that a word is being used for emotional/political reasons. It is still unclear as to the level of involvement of these individuals with ISIS. Therefore, it is imperative to maintain a high level of clarity in how we discuss these events. We need to be aware of the nature of these attacks so we can appropriately address them. There is another dimension that also causes me concern.

Just earlier in the week I was fuming in my car as I listened to talk radio, hearing people speak in such generalized, bigoted terms about people groups in regards to Monday's murder. On Wednesday, I imagined a Canada of fear. People of a certain faith fearing retribution for the actions of fundamentalists who don't speak for the whole. Fearful politicians creating fear based legislation which causes neighbor to look and judge anyone who appears different. I hope my fears never come true.

There is a fire in all our souls that can consume the entire world - the fire of human prejudice, whose most dangerous fuel is fear.

Yes, measures need to be taken. Investigations need to be carried out. Evidence collected and security reevaluated - which is simply a proper response to any sort of crisis, but if "everything" changes, if our free, open and caring society that many before us paid the ultimate price to provide, disappears because a couple of misguided and angry people made evil choices, I am afraid we have lost the "war" before it may or may not have even begun. Our rights and values are our most cherished national resource - hold on to them tightly now more than ever, there might be people trying to take them away.


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