Those who attack us want to be angry, to seek revenge. That's why they provoke us. Their command of the language of fear trumps yours and mine tenfold. They want this anger, this fear, to be our new normal. Fear isn't a stable state of being. A culture drenched in fear and violence begets more violence and fear. When an attack feels possible anywhere, fear becomes the ultimate weapon; in every instance, its threat proves more effective than its practice. We must not let them. This must never be normal.
My boss might have felt that Kevin Vickers wrote that letter because he thought I'd feel beholden to him, or the police, or that I'd cover their stories more favourably. I don't think so though. I think he wrote it because that's the kind of officer he is. He is humble. He's not one of those "tough, bad guy" cops. He's a negotiator with a kind, fatherly smile, and a seemingly genuine desire to help.