Some of the headlines I encountered this morning while browsing the national news sites:

"Virginia Governor Forms Panel to Probe College Massacre"; "Listen and assess, educators urged"; "How can we protect kids?"; "Will shootings spur Congress to act?"; "Analyst: Schools need to teach aggression"; "Will tragedy lead to a more secure future?"; "Was Virginia Tech killer inspired by violent movie?"

Here's what's bothering me. As more of the details surrounding the killer emerge, it is becoming increasingly clear that the perpetrator of this heinous massacre was an unbalanced, psychopathic individual who planned his attack well in advance. Gun control laws can perhaps be effective in preventing spur-of-the-moment impulse crimes. But it's hard for me to accept that any laws or regulations could have prevented this tragedy. If this determined murderer would not have been able to legally purchase a firearm he would have acquired one on the black market, or devised another method to commit his planned mass murder.

Nothing disturbs us more than the realization that we are indeed vulnerableAnd yes, this person was known to be "strange." But I think that deep down we all know that it isn't practical to involuntarily commit to a psychiatric ward everyone who fit this description. And actually this particular killer was ordered by the court to undergo psychiatric evaluation, and the professionals "determined" that he presented no immediate danger to the public.

Perhaps this is my amateurish naiveté speaking, but I really don't think that we need a blue ribbon commission to analyze the event. I think a basic summary of the tragedy could read as follows: "Deranged individual releases his pent up rage by murdering thirty two people. Unavoidable tragedies happen..." And then, painful and impossible as it may be, we must focus our efforts on what’s ahead of us.

And one more thing which irks me: Why must we be inundated with these reports while the pain is still fresh. Even if there is a need for panels, commissions and the enactment of preventive legislation, could we not be allowed a decent mourning period before we move to investigative mode? Will any of these measures lessen the grief of families, friends, and a nation which lost their loved ones in such a nightmarish manner?

It seems to me that this rush to finding answers and solutions is due to society's deeply engrained fear. Not so much a fear of mass murderers, but a fear of vulnerability. We are taught to believe that living the "American Dream" means that our destiny is in our own hands. If we plan wisely enough, work hard, put away enough money in our 401k, eat right, stay fit and take an annual physical, we can expect to live long and happy lives.

While this is indeed often the case, once in a while we receive abrupt and unwelcome reminders that this is not always the case. We can do everything right, and some quirk of nature, or some mentally imbalanced individual, can deliver a crushing blow to all our carefully devised plans.

Nothing disturbs us more than the realization that we are indeed vulnerable; that there are certain things that, no matter what precautions we may take, are simply beyond our control. So our first and immediate reaction is denial. We are not vulnerable. We could have prevented this tragedy, and will immediately take measures to ensure that it will never occur again... We will grasp at the flimsiest of straws to prove to ourselves that we still are in complete control over our destiny.

It is this absolute trust in the A-mighty which allows us to cope with the tremendous pain and griefThe person who truly believes in G‑d and His providence does not fear vulnerability; the word doesn't exist in his/her lexicon. One is never "vulnerable" to random acts of nature, nor is one ever the victim of another's evil (or illness). Everything which occurs to a person is predetermined — "on Rosh Hashanah [their fates] are inscribed, and on the fast of Yom Kippur they are sealed." This doesn't in any way diminish the pain and grief which result from such tragic events. Indeed, Jewish law mandates mourning periods when we are required to express our hurt and pain. But it does eliminate the most dreaded feeling of all: vulnerability.

Indeed, it is this absolute trust in the A-mighty which allows us to cope with the tremendous pain and grief. While standing over the coffin of one's most beloved, one recites the following blessing: "Blessed are You, L-rd our G‑d, King of the universe, the true Judge." Superficially it may seem cruel to expect the grief-stricken mourner to make such a declaration at this difficult moment, but actually it is the message of this blessing which gives the mourner the wherewithal to withstand these most difficult moments.

This also does not absolve us from constantly seeking ways to better protect society from the various threats to our safety. But we must never lose focus of the fact that ultimately it is all in G‑d's hands. Ironically, relinquishing control makes us immune to vulnerability.

Yes, we know that we are in G‑d's hands, and trust that all He does has good reason. But the pain is unbearable. We anxiously await the day when G‑d will wipe away our tears for good, and usher in the promised era of peace when we will know no more sorrow.