(April 10)  Gov. Andy Beshear (D-KY), who lost what he called a “close friend” in Monday’s shooting in a Louisville, Kentucky, bank, is doing a wonderful job of focusing on the essentials while refusing to politicize the event.

“There will be time to talk about ‘issues’ in the coming days,” Beshear, a Democrat, said. Right now, he said, we need to concentrate on supporting the families and friends of the victims and on showing love to each other.

On love and, yes, on prayer. Beshear, obviously speaking emotionally from the heart, repeatedly called for prayers, both from Christians who had just celebrated Easter and from those “of all faiths.” Beshear did the usual thing, a very appropriate one, by praising the courage of police officers who arrived as quickly as three minutes after the shooting began and took down the gunman before even worse carnage could occur. As it was, four innocent victims (in addition to the shooter) died, and nine more were wounded.

It is a rare thing to see a politician openly denounce the politicization of a tragedy — rare and welcome. There were no paeans to gun control. No angry answers suggesting that if people in the bank had guns, the shooter would have been killed before police even arrived. No jumping to conclusions about motives or about criminal justice policies. Instead, Beshear said all of those things, in the immediate aftermath, are inappropriate.

Sometimes compassion should be not just paramount, but everything. Nothing is gained by premature speculation or half-baked blame-casting. As the governor said, there will be plenty of time to analyze, discuss, and debate what happened and why.

For now, just be human and humane. That is enough.

[That is the full column.]



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