In Aurora, Colorado, at the midnight showing of the latest Batman movie, a sociopath in bulletproof gear snuck in through an emergency side door, chucked a tear gas grenade into the middle seats, and then opened fire with a semi-automatic rifle into a theater packed with people of all ages. Police later arrested him, found out where he lived, and discovered that his apartment was booby-trapped with multiple explosive devices.
Our prayers go out to the victims and their families.
Within hours of this horror, liberals predictably tried to tie the killer to the Tea Party (Brian Ross, ABC) and called for stricter gun controls (Piers Morgan, CNN, among countless others). The fact that Colorado has the third strictest gun control laws in the country is little commented upon.
To show how narrowly ideological these reactions were, here are other politicizations that could have taken place:
- Federally mandated death penalty for all murder cases.
- Mandatory monitoring of all unmanned access points to public facilities via door contacts or CCTV cameras.
- Mandatory screening for all people between 20-23 for mental illness.
- Mandatory screening for all people soliciting casual sex via the internet for mental illness (the suspect is believed to have done this on adultfriendfinder.com)
- Mandatory detention of all people deemed to be mentally ill.
- SWAT team member standing by in all enclosed spaces housing fifty or more people.
- Mandatory bulletproof vests in every commercially zoned facility (just as life vests are mandated on airplanes and boats).
- Federally mandated emergency assault rifles and handguns at the end of each movie aisle.
- Ban all movies that would be rated R.
- Ban reporting on the names of murderers (USA Today’s front page headline today asks Why? and promises an insight into the killer’s mind, which is exactly what he wants).
This list can become as long as it can become ridiculous. Yet no regulation and punishment in the world would have stopped this sociopath from killing. Just as the Unabomber, Jack the Ripper, and the 9/11 terrorists proved, psychopaths who want to kill will find a way. They will do it with bombs, knives, box cutters, and even airplanes. Guns aren’t to blame. Wolves find sheep.
You cannot put an irrational act in a rational paradigm.
Talk of a “culture of death” does not explain this. Thousands of violent and sadistic movies and TV shows exist, and they are watched by millions. Yet almost none of these people go on killing sprees. Charles Manson, Jeffrey Dahmer, and the Unabomber didn’t kill because of violent media and depraved culture. They killed because they themselves were violent and depraved.
Evil is the only explanation, and evil people are not suppressed by oppressing the Good people. The talking heads and politicians turn over social rocks in an effort to find a root cause, something they can identify and then call to eradicate. However, evil can never be destroyed, only fought back against.
The lesson to take away is this: Tight-knit communities with strong social bonds with a common spiritual heritage can most quickly heal the wounds of evil. We’ve seen this already in Aurora, CO, where a prayer vigil was held the same day of the massacre, just as we’ve seen it in countless communities across the nation after similar tragedies.
This tragedy is a reminder that evil exists in the world around us, and that we must be the good to counteract it.