The frustration, hurt and anger of the family of Patrick Finucane at the Government's announcement this week that it would not be granting a public inquiry into his murder is completely understandable.
Mr Finucane (39) was murdered in the most brutal of circumstances. The Belfast solicitor was sitting down to Sunday dinner when loyalist gunmen smashed their way into his home and shot him 14 times in front of his wife Geraldine and their three children.
Who wouldn't want to see justice for their loved one? It's impossible to imagine the trauma his family endured that February day in 1989, but not hard to see how its outworking still affects them 30 years on. Further, the subsequent investigation into the killing has raised troubling questions about collusion and the role of state agents.
Pat Finucane's murder also has become an incredibly febrile subject in Northern Ireland. Nationalists feel appalled at the refusal to grant an inquiry. Unionists feel sore that such attention is focused solely on one murder.
Why, they feel, shouldn't the light of publicity be shone upon those who partook in what could be considered war crimes carried out upon the general population?
Blithely saying everybody knows it was the IRA is not the answer. Grieving relatives want to put names and faces to those who carried out and indeed "only" authorised the IRA's campaign. After all, both they and the INLA claimed to be armies and in the end all armies have to be accountable for their actions.
From time to time, unionist politicians do articulate this sense of grievance, but crucially it's usually only in response to a nationalist clamour for a public inquiry into loyalist murders. In the fallout from the Finucane decision this week, they once more cited examples of IRA killings, but at the same time laid themselves open to the lazy charge of whataboutery. They point to specific parallels. Where, for example, is the inquiry into the equally barbaric IRA murder of barrister, unionist politician and law lecturer Edgar Graham, shot dead as he chatted to a friend at Queen's University in 1983? Or indeed into other mass atrocities carried out by republicans, such as La Mon, Ballykelly, Darkley or Enniskillen?
Simply retorting that these weren't murders carried out by the state or aided by the state is insufficient to unionists of all stripes. We may have had a dirty war for 40 years but the dirt wasn't all coming from one side.
There are literally thousands of cases where murky veils of secrecy need to be cast aside. The IRA was heavily infiltrated by informers. There is clear public interest in finding out who knew what and when, who aided and abetted "operations"; what strange alliances, bedfellows and connections allowed atrocities to be planned and executed even when it seemed against the immediate interests of the state.
But the hard truth is these same unionist politicians have let down the communities they are elected to represent. They have failed to articulate their case coherently. They are permanently on the backfoot.
There are no organised unionist legal campaigns to demand justice for families bereaved in the Troubles. Real leadership would be about making the running on the issue, not picking pointless fights with the Finucane family, who are only doing what the relatives of many victims, Catholic and Protestant, long to do but lack the means, the apparatus and general wherewithal to go about it.
It's easy for unionist politicians to mutter darkly that all deaths are equal but some are more equal than others when they speak of their cynicism about what is happening.
But they'd be better talking to their demoralised communities, whose numbers include many who have suffered, and then demand - not request - from the Government a new approach to the legacy of the Troubles.
Everyone has the right to the full story of how their loved ones died and that means, painful as it may be, every single person who died in the conflict here. There has to be a search, not just for truth, but for light, that people see fully the sequence of events that led to the deaths of their loved ones.
It can't be defined just on simple sectarian lines because while many murders fall under that rubric, many others are not easily categorised. There were Catholics murdered by republicans, Protestants murdered by loyalists.
Unfortunately the whole issue of legacy has run aground here, mired in bitterness and a feeling of ill-treatment. There are no truth commissions. Historical enquiries into killings can feel more like a bureaucratic process than a means by which a brutalised people can start to come to terms with its past.
There are no public monuments to the victims of the Troubles. There is no collective remembrance, just flowers left by loved ones at desolate spots across Northern Ireland.
Since the Good Friday Agreement, it's felt like we've been slowly narrowing down a hideously bloody and complex 30 years of low-level civil war into a few atrocities: Bloody Sunday, Ballymurphy, Loughinisland, Kingsmill, Pat Finucane. Other horrors like Bloody Friday, La Mon, Omagh, Shankill and Greysteel are remembered on landmark anniversaries simply because the scale of loss on each occasion would make us truly a wretched people if we contrived to look the other way then too.
But what is increasingly overlooked are the isolated deaths of individuals shot or bombed at their front door, in their shops, on the building site, driving their taxi, driving the school bus, having a drink in the local, walking home.
Who can remember the names of the Shankill Butchers' victims? Or the man who worked as a cleaner in the local RUC station, killed by an under-car bomb as he drove his daughter to school.
In an outstanding new book, Anatomy of a Killing, journalist Ian Cobain recounts in forensic detail the murder of RUC man Millar McAllister - the pigeon man - in 1979. He tells Millar's life story, profiles those who killed him and places it all in historical context. It's often uncomfortable reading, but it tells what happened.
If we are to build a meaningful shared future here, we cannot be plagued by the ghosts of the past, whispering in our ear about injustice. Painful as it is, we finally need to confront the total reality of what we did to each other in those decades when murder ran rampant.
The Finucane family deserve the truth. So do the families of 3,500 others.