Christchurch may sit on the other side of the world, thousands of miles from Scotland, but that doesn’t lessen our understanding of the horrors carried out by Brenton Tarrant.
The victims, as we reveal today, range from those just starting out in life to those in their later years.
Age, innocence, nor frailty mattered to Brenton Tarrant when he embarked on his merciless slaughter.
All that mattered to him was that they were Muslim and that he could stream his carnage live on the web, complete with commentary.
Many difficult questions must now be faced and answered.
The first is why this man carried out his truly awful atrocity?
Did he not see the irony in his own justification that his family were of Irish, Scottish, and English stock and that he was somehow protecting his “heritage”?
Each one of us, if we trace back our roots far enough, will have forefathers or mothers who took refuge or sought opportunity on different shores.
In many cases, they were welcomed and helped to build strong nations and communities.
Yes, immigration and migration come with challenges but these are – and must be – surmountable through understanding and tolerance.
The second tough question rests right at the feet of those executives responsible for creating and running social media.
Time again these platforms have been used to share hate, plan atrocities and, in this case, live stream the final bloody act.
Time and again the likes of Facebook and Google have responded with hollow words and woefully inadequate actions.
They have to accept that they have blood on their hands – and not for the first time.