Thursday, November 5, 2009

We in the greater Fort Hood area were shocked by the news that emerged from the army instalation today. A military psychiatrist, Major Hasan, opened fire in a room crowded with soldiers processing deployments and other movements, killing 11 and wounding 31. Police gunned him down and we thought he was a 12th casualty, but a later report revealed that he survived and is in stable medical condition.


It made national headline news. One congressman promised that all the questions would be answered, but I'm not sure he can deliver. The media is making all kinds of hay about the fact that he is Muslim. One reporter had a telephone caller who said he shouted anti-American slogans as he shot, but this is unconfirmed. Was that so? If so, is this man afiliated with Al-Qaeda or the Taliban, a turncoat in our midst? If so, then how did he go this long undetected? If not, then what was his motive? That, I'm sure, is the biggest question, along with, "How do we prevent this in the future?" There are other questions, here are some of mine:

How could a mental health professional with years of experience do something so insane?

It seems probable that he never expected to survive this incident. Now that he has what does he think? What does he feel? What will he do? What will the Army do?

What about his family? Is his marriage over? One reporter said that his wife spent the afternoon in the Family Readiness Unit counselling family of the wounded. Does that reflect a rift in the marriage?

And then lurking behind the closed doors of all the minds of those who were here in October of 1991: Why does this feel ominously like Luby's?

Answers will be partial and long in coming, patience is hard to exercise. And there are no quick answers that help in a situation like this, tempting as they may seem. One must sit in the anxiety and let it percolate. After all, the ultimate question here is not what happened.

It is how will this form you? What will it contribute to who you are? By the power of the Holy Spirit you can use it to become more wise and compassionate, by yourself you could easily use it to become cinical and cold. The answer is not on the TV. It's within you. Jesus said, "Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks."

1 comment:

Kes said...

One of the biggest things to come out of this, like so many huge major deals, is all he misinformation. First, the misinformation that Maj. Hasan was among the casualties (along with the first responder, Kimberly Munley). There's actually a fair amount of disagreement as to the correct version of Maj. Hasan's name. Is it Nidal Malik or Malik Nidal?

This cloud of misinformation is probably the biggest impediment to getting the answers we all want.