I visited my friend Archna yesterday. She, like so many others I know, was distraught over the Newtown shootings.
What was happening to the world?
We embarked on a conversation about many things.
Was the world more cruel in medieval times? No, Archna said. Back then at least you knew you were going to be killed. There were fights and public executions but were there 20-year-old bursting into schools and murdering young children?
Maybe there were.
Maybe we just live in a world of heightened awareness and non-stop information sharing. Mt employer, CNN, has been broadcasting live from Newtown since Friday.
What was the answer to preventing another massacre like this? School security guards should be fully armed, Archna said. I don’t know about that. Yes, she agreed. Perhaps that might lead to more bloodshed.
She doesn’t think stronger gun control is the answer. Look at the crazy guy who knifed 22 children in China?
Maybe the answer was better health care access so that mentally disturbed people could seek the help they need.
I could tell that she, like all of America, was grasping for solutions.
There is so much violence in the world, she said. I told her about massacres in Syria and Congo and other places, where young children die every day.
Why was the world letting Bashar al-Assad do this to his own people?
With all those questions, I left her at the new branch of her restaurant Bhojanic. We were both thinking the same thing, I believe. What gave us the right to be so happy, to lead such trouble-free lives in a world that contains so much sorrow?