In the wake of yet another senseless mass murder I am left with the same question as many others: Why?
murder slaughter of 20 children and seven adults is beyond comprehension. I have a brother who once was a little baby in my arms, I had two of my own children and helped raise three more, and I have a tiny grandson – I cannot comprehend the grief and loss felt by all those moms, dads, siblings, extended family, and friends. I hope I never can.
Why does this have to happen? There are several factors in my opinion none of which can be isolated and controlled completely.
The fact that people who are bent on killing others and themselves have ready access to machines designed for the purpose of killing not animals but humans is one factor. I am all for hunting if that is your bag. Kill it, eat it, go for it. I don’t hunt – I did when I was young but lost my taste for killing animals when I killed a jack rabbit for no other reason than to kill it. When I presented my “trophy” to my Dad he asked why I had killed it and what I was going to do with it. I had no reason and suddenly had no desire to ever hunt again.
On the other hand, I carry a gun for a living and have no qualms using it under the correct circumstances. That was not an easy decision and that situation haunted my dreams (literally) for years. But I have no doubt I’d be scarred forever if I had to use it. But I know I will when necessary.
Another factor is mental illness. Unfortunately, there are people who, for whatever reason, and wired for self-destruction. I have seen it several times where a person is determined to take their own life and most are eventually successful even if it takes a few tries. Why is this? I cannot answer that but there are those who can, and they need to be brought to the forefront to inform and educate all of us to recognize the signs and symptoms in order to help these tortured souls.
Another factor I see is the de-sensitization of humans to the value of human life. Think about all the role playing video games where opponents are killed. Think of every action movie where waves of disposable soldiers/firefighters/police officers/bad guys/bystanders are slaughtered with reckless abandon. Each and every one of those disposable humans would have had a family were they real. Sadly, many people have a hard time discerning fantasy from reality and this notion of disposable humans becomes a part of their psyche.
I don’t feel I am disposable. The people I work with aren’t disposable. They bleed, they die, they leave family behind.
Along those same lines most people who think about suicide don’t take into consideration the finality – there are no second lives, no do overs. If you are a believer, you know the consequences of those actions are horrifying. Regardless, after that selfish suicidal act, someone has to find the remains, tell loved ones, clean it up, and deal with the aftermath. There is no glory in that.
Rather than glorifying the people who shoot and kill disposable humans at will until their ammo runs out, we should at take a moment to remember the consequences of those actions.
Maybe instead of crying out that our liberties are being assaulted when we can’t buy a gun designed for war, we should work to assure that our most vulnerable are not being assaulted. Instead of complaining when we cannot buy a war machine that will shoot 30 rounds a minute to keep in our house we should be looking to provide a mechanism for those weapons to be placed only in the hands of those who need them – the soldiers they were designed for.
Maybe instead of allowing our passion for change wane in the coming days we should remember everyday each and every person killed in atrocities like Sandy Hook.
Why do these atrocities happen? I don’t know, but I am tired of them.