Saturday, December 15, 2012

Evil Prevails

In the wake of the Connecticut school shooting that occurred yesterday, December 14, 2012, we Americans were dumbstruck and horrified to find out that a gunman entered a school and killed 28 people, including 20 kindergarten age school children.  My thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families, especially of those innocent, beautiful children who were killed senselessly at the hands of evil.  No words of condolences could comfort those parents who lost their little children yesterday.  Needless to say, America mourns the loss of these little angels who did not live to experience the blessings of life that many adults take for granted every day.

When I awoke today, I regarded my children is softer tones as I came out to the living room to see them sitting on the couch, contently playing a simple game with each other, as toddlers do.  To me, the sight of seeing the look on my daughter's face, as I drew the curtains back to show her the freshly fallen snow outside, was the most beautiful thing I have seen.  When my son caught his finger in the kitchen drawer and came to me, screaming for help and comfort, my frustration immediately melted away as I saw the tears rolling down his cheeks, and my want to help and comfort him overcame my initial reaction of "what now?"

The mere idea of my children being hurt by the hands of someone else saddens me to no end, and makes me feel sick to my stomach just to think about it.  However, as this tragedy has not reached my doorstep, or my son's school, I still am unable to fathom the depth of pain that the parents of those 20 children must be feeling right now.  To the parents of children lost in this senseless tragedy, I can only imagine but a shadow of the sort of remorse they must be feeling right now, the rage and anger toward the coward that took the easy way out after murdering too many innocent lives, and the confusion that follows something like this as they ask "why?"

I have read and listened to countless points of view regarding the tragic events that took place on December 14, 2012, and in my effort to understand how a man can mercilessly destroy so many lives, I am left with the understanding that evil prevailed yesterday.  There is no other explanation that can rationalize the events that led up to this tragedy - this massacre.

Many people have said this is a gun control issue.  That has been debunked time and time again.  Take away guns from law abiding citizens, and the guns go underground.  For an example of how effective gun control is, look no further than our neighbors in Mexico, who live and die under total gun control.  Take another look at the United States and the drug war, in which illicit drugs like heroine and cocaine have been completely outlawed, and then look at the success we have seen for all our efforts in that respect.

Others have said this is not a gun control issue, but a mental stability issue.  Again, you cannot reasonably argue this because so many people in this world go misdiagnosed.  Too many people are given psychotropic drugs to counteract non-psychotropic issues.  Others in need receive no benefit of the marvels of modern medicine.  Now granted, there are truly insane people.  However, what most people haven't come to terms with is the fact that there are also genuinely evil people in this world.  These are people who may not show any symptoms of mental illness or limited mental capacity, but are just plain evil.  There are many good people in this world.  It only makes sense that there are many evil people.  There are people who do very bad things without remorse or fear of imprisonment.  There are people out there capable of inflicting harm on human beings without a sense of guilt.  You may think people like this are insane, but they are more normalized than you think.

This attack in Connecticut was a calculated, cold, attack.  Was it born out of rebellion, or hatred, or fear, or some other issue that could have triggered it?  Possibly.  Was it born of mental illness?  Possibly.  But the difference between an evil person and a good person is that a good person doesn't act on evil impulses or fleeting thoughts and fantasy.  Every person has just a little evil in them.  It's the carnal nature of our being.  The difference that sets a good person apart from an evil person is that the good people will always resist and fight those carnal impulses, and be mindful of those things which are moral and right.  Evil people blur the lines.  The difference between an honorable human being and an evil human being is that honorable people will always strive to do what is right and justified; evil people will not.  Evil people will romance the thoughts and impulses to do evil.  Eventually, it manifests itself.

Think of all the people in jail who have committed heinous crimes of murder, rape, kidnapping, drug crimes, etc.  They cannot all be insane.  There is evil in this world, and those who succumb to the romance of wrongdoing will do evil things toward their fellow man.  Doing evil, like doing good, is a drug in and of itself. The more you do, the more you desire to do.  When you volunteer and help those in need, it tickles the pleasure center of your brain and among your desire to help others just to help, you desire to do it again because it makes you feel good about yourself.  The same goes true for committing acts of evil intent.  Doing more evil, like taking more drugs, leads to an addiction that cannot be satisfied as easily the next time.

You can see this on the path many criminals take in their "career" leading up to imprisonment.  Most start out small, and as their rap sheet grows, so too does the intensity of the crimes they commit.  There is no way around the argument.  All people are born with a carnal nature, a propensity to do evil things.  Those of us who control it, and seek out to do good, will normally overcome it.  In some cases, good people might fall into a bit of weakness, caused by a whole host of issues in their life, and may "snap."  This is why you can't simply diagnose the act away.  But then there are people who are just, for lack of a better description, broken.  These people are the Charles Mansons, the Ted Kaczynskis, the Jackals, Timothy McVeighs of the world.  Do they suffer from some sort of mental illness?  Probably.  It is likely, however, that these mental illnesses were manifested after years of succumbing to the carnal nature of our species, and giving in to evil thoughts, ideas, and intentions.

I'm not saying that mental illness should be cast aside, but let's face it, "we all have a little autism in us."  That was what an autism specialist told me once.  His point was that everyone has issues that may hinder our ability to function in certain situations or under circumstances that are out of our normal range of behavior.  It is my opinion that normalized people pretty much have evil under control - for the most part.  But let's be honest, if you're not doing good, then you are doing evil.  When you gossip about people, do things behind their backs, subvert others to get your way, and do acts that do not help, but hinder - or hurt - your fellow man, you are committing acts of evil yourself.  If it is not good, it must be bad.  There is no gray area when it comes to good an evil.

Some of us will commit little acts of evil unknowingly, but the effects can still harm others.  The difference between an evil person and a good person, in this respect, is that the good person will be penitent, and understand that if they did wrong to another, then there needs to be an apologetic reaction.  Evil people couldn't care less.  "Screw em!"  That's how evil prevails in your everyday life.  Being mindful of how your actions can hurt others and doing what you can to do right by your fellow man is what sets you apart from an evil one.  Realizing how you have hurt others and taking steps to make it right makes you, for the most part, a good person.

In the case of this tragedy in Connecticut, evil prevailed in a big and heinous way.  Without going into specifics (we still don't have all the facts in this case), I can say that a young man gave into evil and committed an atrocity that will assure him the highest pantheon in hell, next to all the great murderers in our history.

My only condolences to the parents of these innocent children, lost to evil and hate, and to the heroic staff and teachers who died to protect these beautiful and precious lives, is that they are with God and the angels now, and will never know this brand of pain and suffering ever again.

We must strive to fight evil wherever, and whenever it decides to meet us.  Evil does not sleep.  Evil does not  abide by regulations and laws of good-natured people.  Evil will do everything it can to subvert honor and will strike us where it hurts us the most.  We cannot politely say to those who would commit evil that we do not wish them to harm us.  We must stand ever vigilant and ready to fight force on force.  We must be prepared and able to meet evil and level the playing field with these sub humans.  The time to stand against evil is now, and it has never been so important.

Even now, there are people calling for tighter gun control, and I say this is not the solution.  Arm yourself, train yourself, and be mindful of the evil that exists in this world.  Many of these people that would strip you of your gun rights truly have good intentions at heart.  But in their naive sense of ideology, they have forgotten that the path to hell is paved with good intentions.  When you take away a person's right to self defense, you have already made them a victim.  The empowerment of firearms ownership is the only thing that will keep evil at bay, so long as good men and women stay vigilant and strong.  We must all fear evil men.  But we must also be mindful, and even more fearful of the indifference of good men.

-James

2 comments:

  1. Great post. I am a psychology grad student, and I've worked with offenders for about 15 years. I have no doubt that the shooter was mentally ill, but an act this malicious defies any appropriate label. "Evil" is the only word that seems to adequately define this act. As humans, our greatest asset is free will, and some people pervert that gift. A gun is a merely a tool, and there are too many people out there that would pervert that tool to accomplish their twisted acts - the acts that they choose to commit. Unfortunately, there are not enough law enforcements assets (even if law enforcement agencies had all the money and resources that they could ever need. I do think that we need to re-evaluate what guns we think we really need, but banning guns totally would simply leave law-abiding and well-adjusted people at the mercy of twisted, even evil, people like the Sandy Hook shooter. We need the means to defend ourselves from feral or unstable humans - and unfortunately that means we need the gun. It's just a tool in the end, and removing it from the hands of "good" men will only give "evil" men greater opportunity to do harm to a wider range of victims.

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  2. Evil is a human concept and I doubt that it exists outside human consciousness and definition. Regardless, the acts it produces are still the same. I think that the basic fact of the world is that it is a place where life lives on death. We kill (or have someone else do it for us) to eat. Before we got 'civilized' we were both the eaters and the meals. That is the way this world works, and there is nothing evil in that. Humans, having the gift and curse of self-knowledge have managed to pervert that fact into what we call evil. Regardless of our belief in evil or not, the effects are what rational and basically morally ethical people experience as evil, and as such have to be opposed and dealt with as best we can.

    It is a poor carpenter who blames his tools, someone said long ago. To blame the guns, knives, bombs, bombers, submarines, bows, swords, poisons, .... is to miss the point. I think we have to strive to make the world a better and safer place for ourselves and our children, but we also have the responsibility to protect them from the danger of the world while we are doing that. Obviously, removing the means of protection is a big step backward in that direction.

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