Last night, a mom in Jackson, Miss., let her six-year-old son stay sleeping in the car while she ran into Kroger. While she was inside, it seems that three car thieves stole the vehicle and at some point they ended up shooting the boy, Kingston Frazier, dead.
A photo of someone carrying the mom like a rag doll turned my heart to lead. She had fainted with grief.
It’s a feeling we all instantly understand, and it may haunt us. I was reading the other day about how empathy, that wonderful human emotion, is also no friend of freedom. Once we empathize with a loss, it’s only natural to want to prevent anything like that from ever happening again, no matter what it takes: A law. A vow of constant protection. An embrace of vengeance.
It struck me as sickening that the news reports carried a click-through photo album of all the different family members reacting. As if flipping through nine pictures of one shocked relative after the next had some point, other than an invitation to gorge on tragedy.
At this site, we’ll soon get back to our discussion of what it means to think we can prevent all risk. But for right now, the only thing I’m grateful for is the outpouring of support, not shame, for the mom. But that is small comfort indeed.