Friday, December the 14th will live on in infamy as the day that one man gunned down 26 innocent schoolchildren and faculty members of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. There are no words that could ever properly express our nation’s mourning of this tragedy.
First was the shooting of moviegoers in Colorado. A string of violent crimes later, and we have the Newtown tragedy. Why are these happening now, and why one after the other? Is there a pattern, and when/where will the next shooting spree hit? These are questions that no one is properly equipped to handle, because this is the real world, and not a fictional security utopia found in films like Minority Report.
Should we demand more protection from the government, and what kind of security could they provide us with anyways? The human condition is unpredictable, though its violent nature remains consistent. It has always been easier to hate someone than to love them.
What problems this murderer thought could be solved by committing his atrocity may never be explained, nor will the motivation behind other sick-minded criminals who kill innocents before taking their own life. What was going on in their mind? Could we have prevented it? And if so, how?
Humans are evil because we have been programmed from birth to be so. It’s simply a fact of life. As we grow up, certain experiences mold us into the people we are today. For some, their childhood was less than Disney-perfect. Especially those in broken and abusive homes. Their hate often increases as the years go by, and rather than find help or choose a safe medium through which to vent their anger, they take it out on the closest innocent to them.
If a person thinks about something long enough, the idea transforms from a mere suggestion and becomes a mission. It begins to fester and grow inside, until the thinking and plotting stage turns into a do-or-die vendetta, with often fatal results. Sometimes a person’s mental health deterioration is caught before any damage can be done. As we’ve seen recently, such is not always the case.
Will gun control solve our problems? At nearly the same time as the Newtown shooting was taking place, a criminal in China stabbed 22 schoolchildren. It’s a nearly uncanny coincidence, but the fact remains that regardless of how many different ways we try to regulate and prevent crime, those who seek to do harm will find a way. They always have.
One could call it victim disarmament rather than gun control. If you try to create a number of how many mass-murders were licensed gun owners, you could all but count the list on one hand. Just look at the country of Mexico, where they have some of the strictest gun control laws in the world. The violence there is uncontainable, because criminals find ways around the law. It’s inevitable, and unpreventable.
So how can we even begin to address the problem? It starts with education. Teaching parents how to raise their children, and teaching their children how to love one another. That’s what this world is lacking in more than anything. It may sound like the rantings of a tree-hugging hippy, but it’s an absolute fact. The only time we come together is when unthinkable tragedies occur. In a few days when this blows over, we’ll return to life as normal.
We are capable of the most horrendous acts of evil, and the most beautiful acts of kindness. We are one giant contradiction, which is part of the reason we’ve survived this long. Luckily, our good side often wins out against the devil’s advocate in us. However, every now and then, the devil wins.
It will benefit no one to disarm our nation in the hopes of preventing another Newtown. Nor can we sit idly by and hope that the next shooting doesn’t occur in our town. We have to know that our children can safely attend school, receive a good education, and grow up in a world where mass genocide isn’t a weekly occurrence. Education, love, and a little bit of understanding could solve most of our problems right now.
Strive to be a person worthy of your children looking up to. Teach them the importance of caring for one another, because in the game of life, we’re all in this together. Nobody beats death, though it always comes for us sooner than we expect. I want my children to have long and prosperous lives, as I do for everyone’s child. Can you imagine a world where we all live beyond the age of 70? I wish I could. However, if we can come together during crisis’ like this and remain united, perhaps that ideal reality will one day replace the current one.
Be the change you wish to see in the world. – Ghandi