Italians have their own home-grown types of violence and murder – from the family-style Sicilian mafia to the ideological madness of the Red Brigades. They also have a certain propensity to kill family members when life overwhelms, generally starting with the mother-in-law before moving on to wife, children, brothers and sisters -- a recent shooting even expanded to include the next door neighbors. But the random shooting of strangers in a public place (a school, mall, office, fast food restaurant) is a foreign concept that is generally associated with the US.
I am sure that over the next few days I will be asked many times why these terrible mass shootings take place on American soil. I certainly don’t have any answers, but perhaps I can come up with a few questions. Could it have to do with the sense of alienation that comes hand in hand with a culture based on the individual? If the individual is the basic unit of survival and self-reliance and independence are core values, what happens when you feel backed up against the wall and alone, who do you turn to, where do you go? It is you against the world, as an individual, alone. Instead, if the family is the basic unit of survival, and interdependence and mutual reliance are core values, do you take your family along with you, killing them, then yourself because in any case, they can't survive without you? To each culture, its murder madness.
As I was writing, a sudden (and violent) afternoon storm came through, leaving this gift to share.