A man in Aurora, Colorado, goes on a shooting spree and kills a dozen Americans. In the aftermath, some in the media have suggested a wide variety of concepts that are possible explanations for this violent act. For example, one commentator wrote,
Society must be protected until the convicted comes to demonstrate those qualities that encourage nonviolence in individuals and thus society. They must find their own forgiveness for their acts, a process helped along if they feel forgiveness from others.
After the Aurora shootings, the media, law enforcement, and others should watch to see if Americans have better learned how best to react to such tragedies. All the better to prevent them.
Another author opined that America is ready for stricter gun control laws, while those who disagree argue that the answer lies within each one of us, and that we must ask the hard questions concerning how society failed men like the shooter, James Holmes.
But what does this say about our culture? Is no single person responsible for his or her actions any longer? Is it the current thought that an individual who murders is simply insane and needs to be put away?
I have read that this may be the case with Holmes, but what is the case with an abortionist who kills for a living? The law protects this particular brand of violence. Is this legal insanity?
There is a truly dark side to this cultural display of confusion that is the bedrock reason why people act in violent ways against one another and against the innocent. And that is, quite simply, that regard for the dignity of the human person has been cast aside in favor of personal convenience, individual comfort, and the self-centered sop that states, “It’s all about me.”
We complain about violent video games, but they continue to be created, marketed, and sold.
Parents wring their hands over the offensive lyrics in popular music, yet kids continue to purchase the stuff on iTunes or MP3 sites.
Too many of our children miss the experience and innocence of childhood. The sexualization of our young has led to many aberrations that may or may not result in outcomes similar to the actions of a man like James Holmes.
What is clear is that children who are brought up in a moral-free zone do not recognize the dangers of behaviors that lead to more and more destruction as times goes on. This is why children get other children pregnant; this is why pre-teens are encouraged to use birth control; this is why five-year-olds are told that being homosexual is normal; and so on and so on.
The golden rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” is a joke for, as a culture, we have declined into a morass that leads to confusion, disregard for the value of others, and violence—to one’s self, one’s children, family, and strangers.
You and I are not responsible for what Holmes did.
Yet, on the other hand, the responsibility to restore moral sanity to our country begins with our individual responsibility to respect human dignity, teach the difference between right and wrong, and live a life that exemplifies what we preach. Every one of us can act out of respect for the natural law and, perhaps, if each of us accepted this responsibility, the misguided would be influenced by the love and affirmation that flows from respect for one’s self and those we influence.
Let us pray for the victims, for their families, and for the community as we resolve to become lights in this darkness.