Friday, July 20, 2012

Evil, Redux

My heart goes out today to the victims of the horrible shooting over in Aurora this morning. By "victims" I am including the families of all those involved.

The news is reporting that most of the people in the theater were between the ages of 14 and 49 (depending on the report) with the vast majority being teenagers. I have two teenagers myself and cannot fathom what it would be like to have sent them off to see a movie, a late-night showing, only to learn that they would not be coming home again.

I have been near tears today with that very thought.

There are families today who are without their children, without their parents. Families who wait at the hospital, anxious, for their infants, toddlers, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, even mothers and fathers. They are all victims.

Strike that: WE are all victims of this act of terror.

"What?" I hear you say. "How dare you presume to take away from their grief!" To the contrary, I want to make sure we remain focused on their grief.

Because of this event, calls for gun control and gun laws are going to increase.

Blame will assigned and fingers will be pointed, all with screeds and strident rhetoric.

Assumptions will be made about the alleged shooter: his lifestyle, his hobbies, his religion, and his politics.

Guilt will be assumed before he ever gets a day in court.

Calls will go out for stricter guidelines on violence in movies. Calls will be made to install metal detectors in every theater. Calls will go out to restrict the wearing of costumes to fantasy and sci-fi movies. Calls will be made to throw away more of our personal freedoms.

In short, there will be hysteria and a lack of reasoned response.

We will all suffer for this, and for this reason I label us all "victims" of the tragedy.

And because of the hysteria, the outrage, the rhetoric, and the hate, I am afraid that the real victims--those from the theaters, and their families--I am afraid that the suffering, pain, and grief that these individuals, these human beings are going through will be whitewashed and/or forgotten.

Instead, let us be adults about this. Do not give in to the impulses of the Natural Man.

Keep the real victims in your thoughts today and in the coming days and weeks as the backstory unfolds. Keep them in your prayers. Pray for comfort and for peace for these, our brothers and sisters. Pray that their burdens will be lightened.

Pray also for the alleged shooter.

And take a little time to pray for all of us, that we can make it through the Chaos that is, unfortunately, likely to follow. That we can make it through unscathed. Heck, pray that the Chaos will not come.

But whatever you do, pray.

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