How far down the rabbit hole does a society have to go to produce an individual that harbors such intense violence? And how bad does the violence and madness have to be before the society wakes up and smells the coffee?
The tragedy that has unfolded in Aurora, Colo., that joins with Columbine and Virginia Tech is just another example of how far down we have sunk.
I don’t for one minute believe that stiffer gun control laws would have made a difference. Not to this madman, anyway. James Eagan Holmes was hell-bent on annihilation, and whether the guns were legal or not wasn’t going to stop him from annihilating those people. He was going to destroy lives one way or another, with or without guns, legal or illegal. Just look at his booby-trapped apartment for proof.
So what, then? Why would he, an apparently intelligent — albeit, introverted — individual studying neuroscience want to do this? How twisted was his reasoning to perpetrate such a heinous crime? I don’t know.
The only thing I do know is that we, as a society, have failed. We have failed ourselves and certainly our children. A quick look in our papers shows just how much we have lost: our decency, honor, and all sense of right and wrong, along with our humanity and respect for one another.
And, sadly, I don’t see anyone coming up with any answers any time soon. There will only be more finger-pointing and blame, and the expectation that the government should handle it. Politicians have already climbed aboard the “ban the gun wagon,” and the bodies aren’t even buried; journalists ponder with psychiatrists and religious figures, filling the airwaves with personal interviews of the survivors just to compete in the market and keep their ratings in the pink; in the end we’ll blame it on violent movies or TV, or video games; we’ll discover that he was abused, attacked, or afflicted with (you fill in the blanks); and then after the ink has dried and it becomes old news we’ll continue on our merry way, listening to our iPods, checking our e-mail, and expecting the government and our politicians to make it all better. In short, right back to the same old, same old.
Well, here’s a news flash: it’s not up to government to come up with a solution, it’s up to us. We have got to find our way back to that place where respect, decency, and sanity prevailed. Where our streets were safe and where we lived a quality existence, not just an existence of quantity.
The government doesn’t need to make any more mandates to protect us; we need to take control of our lives and start being the Americans we once were. Where we took pride in a job well done, where we respected each other, where there was neighborhood and true community and maybe — just maybe — the madness and violence will end.
Not for Nuthin,’™ but we really need to get back to the garden before there is no garden left.
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Reach reporter Joanna DelBuono at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (718) 260-2523.