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.


A Well-Behaved Mormon Woman said...

This morning when I awoke and learned of this tragedy, the news was reporting that the shooter's family lives in the San Diego area -- in my state. A live feed showed reporter's vehicles parked all along the street of shooter's parent's home, in hopes of finding any morsel about him that they could then sensationalize. They could care less what this family must be going through. That is when my heart just sank, as I contemplated the devastation that his parents must be experiencing, as the weight of what their son has done is washing over them like a tidal wave...

My prayers go out to all the victims of this horrendous action -- of one. Words are simply not enough to convey our feelings in these times...

The Atomic Mom said...

It is a sad day and a very sad event -- however, I've heard from a friend in the area, who posted on his facebook today, several instances from people in his ward that felt very prompted NOT to go. They followed those promptings and were safe. I find comfort in the story of Alma and Amulek from The Book of Mormon where their family and friends have been thrown into the firey furnace. Amulek wants to stop this from happening, but Alma says that the spirit constrained him not to do that, and that the Lord recieved those people into himself that day. I know that, this is what has happened and that all of our prayers will be with these people today.

Brian Duffin said...

A sad day indeed. Pray for peace.

Bryce Haymond said...

It broke my heart too. Our Father weeps today. This is man's carnal nature, and utter depravity at its worst.

"And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken." (Luke 21:25-26)

What can we do about it?

"And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh." (Luke 21:27-28)

Mormon Women: Who We Are said...

I like how you invite us to not go into panic mode and pretend that we have control over these kinds of things (in reality, most of what we think we control is really an illusion, if not even a distraction, as you note here).

My heart broke, too, to think of those who have lost their children...and all who have been affected.

I love the scripture Bryce shared. Rather than seek in crazy ways to 'control' our world, we can remember Who is really in control, and Look Up. I pray that those who have lost loved ones can find peace from the Founder of Peace.

Mormon Women: Who We Are said...

I also really appreciated this post by a survivor of the horrible tragedy.

Anonymous said...

this truely is a tragedy