My heart goes out today to the people of Aurora who have suffered this immense and mindless tragedy. To those who have lost their loved ones and to those who escaped with injuries this incident will never make any sense.
The question WHY? will always haunt them. Already the nation is screaming for more protection, more security. And, yes, the Government has already set the security apparatus in motion and we will gladly surrender more of our freedom so that we can feel safe or, at least, enjoy the illusion of safety.
As much as this is the time for sympathy and healing for those who suffered this tragedy it is also a time for national soul-searching. It is easy to isolate this incident as an evil act of a madman and tighten security and move on with life. We have done this over and over again but the scourge of violence refuses to disappear. Why will it, when we find so much joy in violence that we will suffer any inconvenience to see one set of madmen brutalize and destroy another set of madmen?
We are so enamored by violence that we willingly feed our children a strong diet of violence from the time they learn to walk? It is so much fun to kill the bad guys. This mindset takes root as people mature and so we create a justice system that encounters and eliminates those who dare to put into action the fun games they play as children.
By eliminating the bad guys we think we have created a safer society. We blissfully ignore the fact that violence has become so pervasive that it has overtaken our speech, entertainment, relationships, politics, culture, religion and, in fact, every aspect of human life.
We have long since discarded the warning issued by President Eisenhower exhorting us to “beware of the military industrial complex” that is glorifying violence in order to create a market for their weapons. It is one more example in the current tsunami of materialism where profits can easily supersede people. People are dispensable, profits are not.
The NRA will once again remind us of its warped wisdom: Guns don't kill people, people kill people. A majority of us will either accept it or dismiss it. We will pay no heed to the fact that guns enable people to kill people.
We will uphold our right to bear arms and gladly surrender our basic freedoms.
The question that comes to my mind today is: ARE WE CIVILIZING SOCIETY OR EVILIZING IT?
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