As millions of other Americans this weekend, I held my daughter closer, stared at her longer, and appreciated her more than I did before (which was ALOT), in the wake of the horrendous tragedy in Connecticut. I also began to ask, "WHY?" Of course, as we all know, in matters such as this or any other extreme acts of violence, there will never be a definitive answer, or even one comes close to being one of fulfillment. The fact is, Satan is evil. God created us as complicated individuals, with brains that we will never fully understand. Satan knows this and uses it to his advantage every single day.
I've had a couple conversations about what happened with a couple of different people. I've heard people of Facebook, websites, and news channels who have different takes on this particular situation. I've heard people mention things like "gun control," "mental health," and "mass killing." I've questioned the media's role in playing into these people's fantasies of killing people and hoping for fame. I've questioned the reasons we give for our ability to obtain weapons we have no business owning, such as semi-automatic machine guns, despite our "right" to bare arms. I've questioned how a society, who is more than willing to put resources into welfare programs for able-bodied citizens, lacks the resources or ability to give help to those who truly need it and who truly cannot help themselves.
The fact is, though, none of those things, even if all fixed, will ever prevent someone with these types of violent scenes in his head from killing people.
I would love to blame mental illness as a cause, but it's been proven that while killers of this nature might suffer from extreme revenge fantasies or obsessive disorders, they are not necessarily considered mentally ill. I would love to blame guns for this type of high-victim shooting spree, but if you look at places like China, people of extreme mental illness will walk into a school using any weapon they can find and murder just as many, if not more, children than were killed on Friday. I would also love to blame recent factors such as video games or violence in our media for the increase in killings of this type. But evidence shows that mass killings such as these are not new by any means. In fact, the only difference between these killings and others is the weapon of choice, not the victim count.
Unfortunately, the only definitive evidence I seem to be able to use to explain these horrific events is that there is no explanation.
Does that mean that as a society, we shouldn't stop for a moment and consider some of these factors? That we shouldn't change gun control laws and alter them to fit in with our modern world? I hardly doubt that our Founding Fathers intended to give their citizens the right to carry the guns that we see today. Does this mean that we shouldn't change our perspective on how to deal with the mentally ill in this country? Does this mean that we shouldn't equip our citizens with the knowledge of how to understand and deal with red flags we might see, that would save lives? Of course not.
I've also heard "Where Was God?" Mike Huckabee gave a very compelling answer. However, I might also add that while we might have been asking God to leave our lives as a society for decades now, the murder of another person for no other reason than passion, jealousy and revenge goes back a little further than that. In fact, it goes all the way back to Cain and Abel, whom I might mention were some of the first humans to live on earth. It just goes to show that all humans are flawed creatures. We are all making choices, each and every day, about how we handle the injustices and unfairness in our own lives. We are all struggling to make it through, struggling to make sense of the unclear things that happen each and every day, trying to see the good in situations and not to focus on the bad. It's not always easy and sometimes it's not always possible.
For me, all I know, all that I say with certainty, is that I love my daughter and my family. Each day I receive with them is an incredible gift, given to me by my Lord and Savior. My God is in control of all things. I will not stop living my life or live in extreme fear for what others may do, even though it's incredibly tempting. I won't ever forget these victims or their families and what they must be going through, nor will I stop praying for the people struggling in this world, who are right now contemplating the same fate, to make a different choice. I will hug and kiss my family as much as I can. I will spend time with my family as much as I can. I will enjoy my family as much as I can. And I will do it because there are so many who can't, but who would give anything to able to do so again.