Friday, December 14, 2012

Thoughts on a tragedy

There really are no words to express the heartbreak we all feel over the senseless murder of  innocent children and adults that happened today.  I cannot begin to imagine how the parents, friends and families feel or how they can even process what happened to them today.  My heart goes out to all of them and they will be in my prayers, that they may find some peace and comfort from God's presence.

In the aftermath of things like this, people all want to find someone to blame,  and often it is not the person who committed the murder.  They want answers.  The answers aren't as easy as gun laws or even improving the availability of mental health services.   The answers are in the mind of the murderer and in the mirror to some extent.  Obviously, the murderer is to blame for his actions.  He made the choice to steal his mother's guns and use them to brutally murder her and those children.  I don't automatically like to jump to the "mental illness" defense, because, as someone on Twitter wrote, " without actual proof, don't accept mental illness as an explanation.  Perfectly sane people are perfectly capable of choosing evil acts".  I would also add that even if there is a mental illness, that may not be the cause of the behavior and most mentally ill people are not dangerous.  A person can be sane and evil or mentally ill and evil.

Why would I say that answers may lie in the mirror?  Because we have created, allowed, and participated in a culture that creates these monsters.  I'll talk about the gun issue later but will just mention that there are societies with guns in every home that do not have these types of incidents.  There are reasons for that.  We in America want to blame the gun, an inanimate object, for these things, but we need to look at the reasons behind that.  These mass murders are a symptom of a much deeper problem.   Why are these people wielding these weapons?  Why do we have this problem that other "gun toting" societies don't have?

We live in a sick, permissive society that discourages accountability and responsibility and then we can't figure out how we end up with such messed-up people?   We have extended childhood and adolescence artificially so we don't expect people to act like grown-ups until they are in their 30's.  We allow, encourage, and celebrate all sorts of horrendous behavior, expose our children to it and wonder how we got here?  Open your eyes, people.

We no longer want to have rules and standards for fear of being "judgemental".  We don't parent or discipline our children, preferring to be their "buddies" instead or, worse, partying with our teenage children to be "cool".  In so many homes, the children run the show and the parents are subservient to them.  This is completely backwards.   Parents protect kids from the consequences of their actions when they get in trouble in school or the community.  We worry about "fairness" and everyone gets a trophy or we don't keep scores in sports. Winning and losing are a part of life kids need to learn.  We have overindulged kids who all think they are special who have developed absolutely no coping skills because their parents have protected them from disappointment and they've never been told "NO".  We have created in them a sense of entitlement that they "deserve" whatever they want.

We subject these same children to a Hollywood and media culture full of sex and violence.  We teach them moral relativity, there is no right or wrong, it is all subjective.   Prime time TV and even children's movies are raunchy and full of sexual innuendo.  They are overexposed to things that children should not be exposed to; things their immature reasoning and emotional skills cannot process.   They are overstimulated with constant activity, noise, gadgets and violent games and movies.    Many of their heroes and "idols" are very poor role models but we excuse and condone their behavior because they are "talented".   Parents are too busy working for their fancy homes, cars, or whatever to spend real quantity, not just "quality" time with their kids.  When mine was growing up, some of the best times and talks we had were when we were just doing everyday things.  Quantity counts.    We are guilty of continuing to give these Hollywood types, who are calling for gun control while getting rich portraying all manner of violence and mayhem in movies, music, and TV.   We don't turn off the TV or quit downloading the music or stay away from the movies.  We actively and willingly participate in the degradation of our society and the emotional disturbance of our children.  We turn our backs on the Jerry Sanduskys and the "open secret" secret of pedophilia in Hollywood.   Look at the truly horrendous people we put on reality television.  Kids are impressionable.   We sacrifice our children to the gods of entertainment and wonder why we have these troubles?

We have given our children a world of sex without love or consequences (or so we think-there are always consequences), freedom without responsibility, life without meaning.  It's ok to kill babies in the womb; its a "choice".  No, its a baby.   I've seen this quote floating around the Internet as if it is some profound wisdom "never regret anything because at the time it was exactly what you wanted".  This sums up the morality we have passed on; stupid, trite and meaningless.  So if today's murderer had not killed himself, he shouldn't have to regret anything because at the time, what he really wanted was to kill people?  Should the pedophile not regret raping a child because at the time it was what he really wanted?  How stupid and ridiculous.  Of course, we should regret things, not go on beating ourselves up forever or wallowing in guilt, but we should regret when we've done wrong.

We push materialism and superficial "beauty" ideals instead of character and intelligence-real intelligence and critical thinking-not regurgitating a bunch of propaganda from leftist professors and pseudo intellectuals.  We have educated idiots with no real, tangible job skills and thousands of dollars of student loan debts who cannot support themselves and expect that the government should take care of them because they can't find a job. 

And then we have the media who gives these guys what they want; 15 minutes of fame.  Not that they shouldn't report it but the sensationalizing needs to stop.  Many of these mass murderers are really unremarkable people or guys who in society might be classified as "losers".  The way the media handles these stories plays right into the fantasy they have of power and instilling fear into people-going out in a "blaze of glory", allowing them in death what they didn't have in life.   Don't give it to them.  If other potential nutbags out there see that they aren't going to get the notoriety they want, it may help discourage, rather than encourage things. 

Now we'll talk about guns, only for the fact that the gun control crowd is already out in full force.   Funny how when it comes to liberals' pet issues they say "you can't legislate morality" but somehow that changes on the issue of guns or murder.  Isn't that a moral issue they are trying to legislate?   Beyond that, the reality is: 1) Like it or not, our Constitution guarantees the right to bear arms; not for sport or hunting, although that is well and good, but for the purpose of protecting ourselves from government itself. 2) Gun laws only take guns from law abiding citizens, not criminals, who by their very nature do not obey the law. 3) Chicago and DC have the strictest gun laws in the US and the highest rate of gun violence because.. see #2. Look at Mexico as well.   4) As mentioned earlier, there are societies with higher rates of gun ownership (Switzerland and Israel to name 2) who do not have this issue of mass murders, which implies that the issue is NOT the guns, but rather something else. 5) Places with severe restrictions or bans on guns generally fall into 2 categories: countries full of people who cannot protect themselves (see info on UK crime) or dictatorships.     Most of these mass shootings have taken place in "gun free" zones.  There have been other attempted mass shootings that have been stopped by armed citizens, but the media doesn't like to report on those.    Most legal carriers of guns are respectful, law abiding citizens who use guns for hunting, sport and the potential for self defense if needed. I own 3 semi automatic guns myself and most gun critics don't even know what that means.   If some scumbag wants to inflict heavy damage, they will find a way, either by illegally obtaining guns or finding another way (homemade bombs, other weapons. vehicles as weapons, etc).  

I am not advocating for any government interventions or censorship on any of the ills of society I have mentioned (except abortion, sorry, I can't see how it ok to kill a baby in the womb and then not as soon as its born).  We should have the sense to police ourselves.  And truly, we cannot legislate morality in most cases.  We need to begin acting according to our principles or actually getting some principles; saying no, speaking up, not giving money to watch sleazy and harmful entertainment, getting involved in education or homeschooling our kids-we need to make hard choices, myself included.   The problem is not the guns, it is us.  Until we see that, we will continue doing what we've  done and nothing will change except the continual loss of freedom as we give up our freedom for the illusion of safety until the time comes when we have neither.

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