Pray for those hurting in Bogue Chitto

Published 12:20 am Wednesday, May 31, 2017

An almost unspeakable tragedy — one so awful that it made national headlines — happened Sunday.

A man, who although remains innocent until proven guilty despite effectively confessing to a reporter — gunned down eight people including a sheriff’s deputy and an 11-year-old boy in the small community of Bogue Chitto, just south of Brookhaven.

All of the victims except the sheriff’s deputy were related to the alleged gunman.

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Such an utterly senseless tragedy seems to be becoming an all-too-common occurrence.

In this case, surviving relatives say the awful series of events began with the gunman coming to retrieve his children after he and has wife had become estranged. Someone called the sheriff’s department — which was the right thing to do — and violence followed.

Many of us try to understand, try to get in the mind of the killer in such situations to figure out what snapped. That’s an impossible task because a rational person wouldn’t murder person after person in cold blood.

Guns in highly emotional situations often wind up being the spark that ignites gasoline.

We must look at situations such as the deadly shooting spree and realize that we may never understand the circumstances that led someone to snap, but we can try and recognize the potential for such emotionally charged situations in our own spheres of influence.

Talking through things with an emotional person may help highlight the potential for violence so that it can be prevented, or such a talk may help the person calm themselves down by having an ear to lean on.

For now, we all need to pray for the victims, their families and the man who committed this horrible act.