What does it take to enrage you? That moment when your words fly on pure emotion because enough is enough. Is it a driver that cuts you off at high speed? What about being an eyewitness to blatant racism or on the receiving end of some obvious injustice?
I know some people who never express rage. I admire them but know full well I am not capable of such distance from that which would bring about such a strong response.
Another senseless shooting and 7 people die at the hands of a mentally ill gun owner. The father of the 20 year old college student lets it fly and somehow millions feel a new sense of relief. He calls the politicians bastards who do nothing, he wears his pain in public. The news media responds but we all know that nothing is going to change. We are the gun country. We are the place where anybody, anytime, can be cut down just for being there when somebody else snaps.
Usually the perpetrators are delusional. They have the look. They leave videos or manifestos...or in this latest case, both. There were usually warning signs. They often manipulate the social workers, the police, their friends and neighbors who would be aware of their mental state at any given moment.
But we as a culture seem incapable of change. We can't seem to find the rage. The same rage when an illegal/immoral war involves our friends and family. The ire that comes when we feel manipulated by Wall St. bankers and nobody is accountable. The anger that comes with millions of cars being recalled long after the fact.
Maybe this time will be different. Maybe this time tens of thousands will take to the streets, withhold their votes for candidates who sit on their hands or look the other way when the lobbyists grab their attention with fistfuls of cash.
But it's going to have to be much more than 6 or 7 college students on the brink of their own independence. After all, we are well past the ultimate nightmare: a crazed, well-armed mentally ill gunman in an elementary school.
Today is Memorial Day. How ironic.