When tragedy breaks us down

Updated
Ex-LAPD officer Christopher Dorner
Ex-LAPD officer Christopher Dorner

Let me finish tonight with this tragic story of Christopher Dorner, the ex-police officer who is believed to have come to his fiery end in the California foothills.

We live in a big country. So many people living lives of challenge and joy and sadness and, so often, basic human triumph. People grow up, survive the tough time of adolescence, get past the taunts and hazing and bullying, and cliqueishness of high school—times we’re told are the “best of our lives,” but aren’t.

We get by the challenge of finding work, of finding someone to love and be loved by. We find children who come our way, meeting as strangers and then committing ourselves to them for life.

Yes, this is how 300-plus million of us do it. We do. We make it. We live lives that end up making good sense to those around us.

And, sometimes, in the worst of times for some, it all goes bad. Sometimes, it’s in the way we think or feel or can’t do either. And it all breaks down, and we, too, become dangerous, even lethal.

When these things happen, they make the news and we feel something as we watch the story of a man killing others, killing out of vengeance or dead-end human frustration with existence itself.

It is easier to tell these stories as we did last night, as I did here on television, than it is to fathom them—this story of a former police officer, former military officer who served his country ending up in a cabin up in the California mountains—fighting it out—knowing it’s all come to this.

It is the stuff of old film noir, but last night, here it was a part of the human story, the American story, the story of a neighbor who couldn’t deal with what came.

May he rest in peace.

When tragedy breaks us down

Updated