Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Questions Never Asked

"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."
~ Albert Einstein

Another senseless shooting on a campus, another media glorification of the killer. I can't watch any of it. I don't want to look at or listen to the murderer. I would like to know about the victims. Why don't we publicize those names instead of the killer's name?

I have many other questions that never get asked during the media obsession with the most recent killer du jour and his weapons of choice.

Has anyone in the media ever done research into these murderers to discover commonalities in their backgrounds, their families, their childhoods? For example:

  1. How many mass shooters/killers came from broken or troubled homes?
  2. How many did not have strong parental figures in their lives?
  3. How many grew up active in a religious tradition?
  4. How many were taught the Ten Commandments or the Golden Rule as guidelines for living?
  5. How many were taught that they are not the center of the universe?
The popular formula is to skip all these bothersome inquiries and jump immediately to gun control as the solution. To me, this is like believing that having cancer is just fine because chemotherapy might cure it. Why don't we attack the root cause of the cancer instead of treating the symptom?

Speaking as someone who has never owned or even fired a gun, I must state this plainly--I do not believe that gun control will help us. My opinion is that the framework of our society is unraveling. The traditional family is disintegrating, under attack from political, cultural, and social forces on the outside and from crumbling personal value systems on the inside. You think this isn't relevant? Think again. In earlier eras, the family unit was strong. Children were expected to submit to a parent's authority, a school's authority, a church's behavioral requirements and moral code. This was not negotiable; children "respected their elders," as it was said, and for the most part followed the rules as taught to them. 

In those bygone times, as our country was being built, guns were ubiquitous in homes. Youngsters were instructed how to use them properly and with care by their respected older family members. The weapons were there for good and practical reasons--to hunt for food to feed the family, to protect the home against harm. In early America, guns and rifles hung on walls over fireplaces or were stored in kitchen cupboards. Children grew up among guns and rifles, understanding and honoring the power and purpose of a firearm. Violence was not glorified or made light of. And as far as I know my history, in those days children didn't get shot at school.

So it is only reasonable to ask the question, why now? Why is senseless, brutal gun violence becoming the norm in modern times? When I ask why, I go straight to the questions that never get asked. Because I think that's where the answer is.