As with anything in this country today, politics has inserted itself into the deaths of 20 innocent babies and the 6 adults who gave their lives caring for them. As much as I would like to believe that this tragedy will unite the country in a quest to solve a growing problem, initial reaction from people across the country says otherwise.
Friday afternoon, before we had any details about the shooting, the clarion call from the Left was for gun control. Their simple argument was that if the killer didn't have access to guns no one would have died.
This line of reasoning was countered by the people on the hard-Right claiming that the root cause of this tragedy was the fact that God and prayer has been outlawed from schools and that we live in a Godless country.
Maybe senseless violence can be eradicated by simply never letting any person other than the government and military have weapons. Maybe senseless violence can be eradicated by making sure every person in the country prays.
If you make sure you don't think too deeply about the problem of senseless violence you can reasonably deduce that both of these arguments are correct. However, adults don't solve problems by spouting emotional soundbites and sharing silly pictures on Facebook. Adults solve problems by examining them and thinking about them. Neither of which seem to happen anymore. We've all settled into our little camps, foolishly believing our simplistic approaches will supply the answers to the difficult problems we are being confronted with.
To say that removing God from the classroom caused the murders of these children is profoundly juvenile. If the children had opened the morning with the Lord's Prayer do you honestly think they would have been saved? An argument can be made that if the killer had religion in his life he might not have committed his heinous acts, but lack of prayer in school is meaningless if there is a lack of prayer at home. Either way, I have my doubts that religion is a panacea for evil fed by defect.
To say that gun control is the answer is to completely ignore reality. I had one seemingly intelligent person tell me over the weekend that the 2nd Amendment was intended for people to protect themselves against bears. Sadly, to explain about being forced to house soldiers against your will and to have those soldiers be from a government entity that treats you as a sub-human subject would be fruitless in the face of such enormous ignorance. The simplicity and silliness of this statement knows no bounds, yet this is emblematic of the adults we produce in this country. Britain has gun control and has a higher violent crime rate than South Africa. (UK Daily Mail Online - December 17, 2012). Is access to extremely powerful weaponry an issue by extremely unstable people an issue? Of course it is. But stripping an entire country of its rights to protect us from a dozen lunatics is just silly. I'm a strict Constitutionalist but I understand we are facing issues the Founder's didn't. Do I believe that if madmen with assault rifles were confronted by armed people these crimes would end? Absolutely, but the problem is deeper than just giving every person in the country a concealed carry permit or putting an armed guard at the entrance to every elementary school in the country.
I reject the gun control and prayer in school arguments on the grounds that there are no easy answers to difficult problems. We live in a country that allows a predominant political party to cheapen life by insisting that abortion is a viable alternative to responsibility. We also invite murder and carnage into our homes on a nightly basis under the guise of "entertainment." A quick look at CBS's prime-time programming this week shows that of the 21 hours of prime-time shows CBS is airing, 12 hours contain shows about murder, kidnapping or rape, with an additional 3 hours containing shows that are usually about murder but contain no press details. That means that potentially 71% of one network's shows will bring murder, violence, kidnapping and rape into our homes this week. There are 4 other broadcast networks and hundreds of hours of alternative programming I didn't look at, but I think you get my point. We need to look at what we invite into our homes and into our brains. Add the sheer violence and mayhem of the video games many of our young men spend their formative years with, and we have to conclude that gun control and God are not going to solve our problems. Simplistic political pandering is exactly what we don't need today. Sorry America, but we've made murder commonplace and entertaining, so stop whining about that which you allow.
Let's look at he facts as we know them right now:
- The killer was a twenty year old male
- The killer had social problems and other mental issues
- The killer had easy access to guns quite possibly because of an irresponsible gun owner
- The killer's family knew of his issues and were seemingly unable to help or get help for him
There is a trend that needs to be examined before we fool ourselves into thinking our knee-jerk and emotional responses to everything will ever solve anything.
Wouldn't a country that was actually concerned about protecting the lives of innocent children be asking questions about the facts as we know them rather than spouting silly half-baked ideas about gun control and God?
We need to stop lying to ourselves about the societal rot that is infecting the minds of the marginalized and the mainstream.