Social media is boiling with talk about Friday's massacre at a school in Newtown, Connecticut. That's no surprise.
But there is something remarkable about a number of conversations, many of which begin with a phrase like: "I don't normally post about politics, but..."
Because of the unbelievable toll of the shooting, or the innocence snatched from the children or many other reasons, even those who usually keep their political views to themselves had something powerful to say.
Something about the tragedy turned many people from observers to advocates.
"I normally don't post anything related to gun control or politics, but this has to stop. We need to wake up and change," Los Angeles social media consultant Dan Levey tweeted.
His tweets are eclectic but rarely controversial. But after the news that a gunman killed 20 children and six adults before ending his own life, he felt compelled to be forceful with his views.
Levey was a freshman at a school in Aurora, Colorado, when the Columbine shooting happened nearby. He had watched movies at the theater in Aurora that was the site of another mass shooting this summer.
"It just all kind of added up and I was upset over (Friday's mass shooting)," he said. "I still am. I just had to say something about it."
Usually, he steers away from politics on social media, leaving others, as he put it, to argue about it.
But in the 24 hours after the shooting, he has become an unofficial lobbyist for gun control.
The fact that most of Friday's victims were children sharpened a political view that he had slowly arrived over the years.
"For the longest time, I didn't have a problem with people owning guns, but after yesterday, I definitely changed my views a little bit," he said. "If this isn't a wake up call, I don't know what is."
The gun-control debates that raged on Facebook and Twitter immediately after the shooting turned others off, and led them to make uncharacteristic posts advocating strong opinions.
Gina Griffin, a client relationship manager in Buford, Georgia, said she makes it a point not to be overly opinionated on her Facebook wall because such posts invite negative responses.
But she could not rationalize the events in Newtown and began, "I try to stay out of the politics because of all the anger it brings. BUT..."
What followed was a lengthy screed against those engaging in debates over gun control. The real problem, she wrote, is Americans' attitudes toward mental health issues. She made her position clear: "It's not guns that (are) the issue, it's people not recognizing the warning signs and getting involved to prevent a tragedy."
By her own description, Griffin tries to spread positive thoughts on Facebook, mostly through photos she shares.
On Saturday, however, she wanted to be heard above the crowd.
"Everyone went to the gun issue, that's all everyone is talking about, but it is not about that," she said.
Those normally family-photos-only types used words like "unspeakable" and "irreconcilable" to explain what compelled them to use their cyber-pulpit.