As our country deals with the horrible tragedy in Connecticut many people are trying to find something to blame. The most frequently blamed things when violence is shed on such a drastic level are religion (or lack thereof), guns and media. All of which provoke strong feelings in Americans and rightfully so. Our country was formed on religious freedom, freedom to bear arms and as far as I can find the U.S. is the only place were we are guaranteed the pursuit of happiness.
My thought on the subject is much simpler these people exist regardless of religion, guns or media. Our country for the most part believes in a higher power approximately 5% admit to being firm atheist. Belief in a God does not mean people are not going to harm each other; if anything some of the worst atrocities to have occurred on this planet have been committed in the name of God. There are no major religions that haven’t participated in violence to some degree the crusades, misguided jihads (the actual meaning of the word jihad is quite misunderstood in the western world) and seizing the land of others to repopulate an area. A simple lack of religiousness such as not going to church or temple does not imply that a person has no morals or no spiritual life, many people just do not find fulfillment in the rigidity of established religion. As a child I attended Sunday school which is protestant religious education. My parents although not church going folks had us attend most of my siblings ended their Sunday school days in their teen years. I continued to attend church into my twenties volunteering with the youth group. Does this make my brothers or parents less spiritual than I? Will their morals wear out before mine. Nope. I have friends who never stepped foot in a church and have better morals than some priests,reverends or Imams.
Now on to gun control a favorite for debate all around; they need to add it into the things to avoid at dinner parties. In our country we have the freedom to bear arms. We can own weapons within reason. Back before our government could sustain its own army it had a militia in which citizen soldiers had to supply their own gun. Nowadays we are blessed to have a full range of armed service to protect our country. But they cannot possibly patrol our streets keeping us all safe nor would we want a police state. People that own guns are just as violent as people that don’t;the main difference is if you come at someone with a knife and the person carries a gun, well it’s not going to end well for you. Used properly to attain food or protect self and property guns are an asset to a society. The recent mall shooter rethought his plans when he encountered a legally armed shopper. An armed guard makes a bank robber think twice.
As for media? Well I’m on the fence as to where that falls in the whole debate. Halo a very popular first person shooter has sold over 50 Million copies there is nowhere near 50 million mass murderers in known history. A lot of these first person shooters portray wars fictional and realistic. Many people born after 1980 or so have never truly experienced war as our parents and grandparents have. For the most part we have gone through our lives without fearing the enemy taking our lives as we go about life or living within the confines of food and fuel rationing. This has made many people think war is a game because to many it is. Even while we are at war the majority do not feel it except in the gas tanks. As long as man have lived children have played war games with rocks, bow and arrow and toy guns, As the saying goes boys will be boys. This is biology training us for reality same as little girls playing house. And yes there will always be the little girls that play war and the little boys that play house :). So do I think these promote violence? Well not really, in those games we shoot adult “enemies” this in no ways translates into shooting innocent people toy soldiers were just an earlier much less gory version of the same game.
The sad reality of humanity is we are humans. We will always have the Ted Bundys, Hitlers, Jack the Rippers and the Timothy McVeighs. This scourge will always exist as long as the rest of use do good and evil are intrinsic of human beings. If you want to go religious remember that tree in the garden of Eden? Yup we ate from it and became banished from Eden. We will always have people that kill with guns, planes and fertilizer bombs. As we progress into the future we build newer and deadlier weapons and I don’t mean guns and bombs there are things more terrible that God made and we mess with that people will use to kill.
The most important things to remember? We all have limited time on this earth so love while you can as much as you can. Teach the next generations the lessons that the last learned so they are less likely to repeat the mistakes. And remember there are 7 BILLION people on our beautiful planet don’t let the ones with the rotten hearts and minds destroy your faith in humanity. Go forward in life and be kind, be what you want to see in other people. The parts DO NOT represent the whole.