The potential for violence lives within all of us, and I'm no exception. Violence in my novels is contrived--it's pure fiction--but reflects a core truth about human nature. It's never meant to be gratuitous, but rather serves the story.
Most of my young gay friends are uninterested in the history of my membership in ACT UP, but a few, like Jake, are curious, even insistent. I answer their questions and try to explain what it was like to be 25 in the East Village in 1989.
In government, corporate and nonprofit offices across the country are women who are smart, work hard and care about their profession but are regularly ignored because they are viewed as too mousy or too pouty or too inexperienced or too something.
Our responses may not make intellectual sense tomorrow, or whenever this calms down (hopefully with no or minimal additional violence), when we can look back at things in the cool calm of rational hindsight, but they make emotional sense now. Because we are afraid.
There's a little of Christopher Dorner, without the violence, in all of us. That terrible loss of faith in this country expressed in Dorner's manifesto, and experienced daily by many disgruntled Americans these days, is the true state of our union.