We have a large Finnish Community here in Blackheath. The terrible news of the School Shooting in Finland
reached us here this morning. The local Catholic Church in Blackheath set up a Cross on it's grounds near the road which has become a place where people go to place candles and flowers whenever tragedies like this happen. I think it is a great idea, so I took a votive candle and some flowers from my garden to lay at the Cross for the slaughtered children and teacher in Finland. When I arrived, I was surprised to see how many had already done so, and that there was a crowd.
I lit my candle, laid my flowers and stood for a while. I heard a woman say to to her friend in the crowd: "Why is it always men
who do these things?" A man in the crowd heard her and anglily said: "It's not because he was a man! It's because he was crazy!" The woman calmly replied: "Yeah, he was crazy. But women also go crazy, and I've never heard of a woman shooting 7 school kids and their teacher." The entire crowd went silent.
I'm still processing this little incident at the Cross.
At Blackeath Cross, one drizzling morn,
A crowd had gathered near.
To light their candles, lay their flowers,
And overcome their fear,
Twenty-something people gathered there
To pay their last respects,
To seven school kids slaughtered
For no reason that made sense.
A woman in front laid her flowers
In silence, and with grace.
She seemed to want to say something
In this sacred space.
She turned to her friend who stood beside
And gathering all her strength
Began to voice her thoughts to her
Without speaking too much at length.
She said "I wonder why,
As I try to make sense of this,
Why is it always men
Who resort to the gun, the sword and the fist?
Why does 'gunman' sound so familiar,
While 'gunwoman' doesn't quite ring true?
What is it about men
that makes them do the things they do?
And a man behind me in the crowd,
Started getting steamed,
He said "It wasn't because he was a man,
This guy was crazy, mad, obscene!"
"Yes he was crazy," the woman replied,
"But women go crazy too,
And I've never heard of a woman
shooting 7 school kids, have you?"
And all those other times came
Flooding back to me again.
A hundred news reports of men
Killing family, neighbours, friends.
And yes I can remember one or two
Where a woman's hand held the gun
But exceptions only prove the rule,
And the question still remains.