That's how the President of the United States, Barrack Obama, described his feelings about the latest Fort Hood shooting.
Me too. I noticed tears running down my face too as I thought of the distressed families, not the least the widow of the shooter, who thought they were safe here on U.S. soil—but they weren't. And now they weep, uncontrollably.
And the shooter was a veteran. That'll set the hiring of veterans back for a bit, for sure. Employer to recruiter: "Nice guy, would be a great asset here, but he's a veteran; remember that Ft. Hood shooting? You never know."
Actually, we do know. Some things. For example, we know that four out of five vets returning from Afghanistan or Iraq do NOT have post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD). And for those who do, work is actually therapeutic and healing.
And we know that if a civilian goes berserk, employers don't stop hiring civilians. They don't even hesitate. But if a veteran kills someone, it definitely affects the hiring of veteran among some—I emphasize "some"—employers, who in their heart of hearts, alone and late at night, confess to the stars and God that they do tend to think of veterans as "damaged goods." "And Ft. Hood just proves it."
In high school algebra I learned mathematical "arguments" which always said, at the end, Q.E.D. That's shorthand for the Latin phrase "quod erat demonstrandum" which translates as "which was to be proved" or more loosely, "which we set out to prove." Some employers read the story of Ft. Hood and nod to themselves, "Q.E.D." which we may translate as "just as I thought." There was a prejudice already there; Ft. Hood didn't create it. Employers—some employers—already thought so.
Hiring is always risky. Any employee may become a problem. If you are an employer you have to take that risk.
In the wake of Ft. Hood, we don't need braver soldiers. We need braver employers.