So it’s all over the news: a guy filled with hate walked into a night club, subsequently killed 50 people, and the world watches in shock. We cry out for justice and ask the questions that roll right off our tongues. Questions like why does this happen? and how could someone be filled with such hate? Those questions, and many more like them, are the right questions to be asked. The conclusions we, as a society, are coming to are somehow not the right answers though.
We sit there, glued to our news feeds waiting for updates feeling surprised by these events. Over and over and over again. At this point I am no longer surprised by atrocious acts of evil. I am only surprised at others’ persistent sense of surprise. Why exactly are you surprised? The world we live in is full of hate, perpetuated by those who deal in the sale of fear only to further their cause. We live in a world where world leaders are born out of division and violence. We live in a world where the loss of human lives is marginalized as nothing more than an advancement in the plot line. Surprise for these events expired a long time ago and its past time we change the narrative.
To cry out with righteous indignation and ask the why’s and the how’s is good, so keep asking. But to demand that lawmakers reshape our society into one than demands less violence is comparative to complaining about your lawn being too long but never mowing it. And at some point we all need to mow our own lawn. What do I mean?
I mean that guns are only one piece to the problem and removing them will only delay the violence while a new tool is sought. I mean that there is a certain equation to mass killings and it goes something like this:
Mass Killing = Hate + Disregard for human life + Tool for the job
It sounds great to remove every gun in the world. For the record, world peace also sounds great. But removing one tool for committing evil does not remove evil in and of itself. If you believe that removing guns will remove violence and hate then you are being sadly misled by whatever articles you are reading. If you reference the above very scientific formula, you’ll notice that if you remove one tool, let’s say guns, then you are left with someone who is filled with hate and has a disregard for human life. The only ingredient they need to complete the formula is to find a tool. Ted Kaczynski found one. The terrorist in Paris who stabbed two married police officials found one. If I’ve ticked you off, keep reading.
Should we work to implement common sense laws to prevent guns from falling into the hands of those who would commit atrocities? Yep. Will that solve our problems? Nope.
Here’s another, less lazy way to address the problem of hate: Choose Love. You see, it’s pretty easy to vomit up a post on Facebook demanding gun law reform. Then, when you’re done with your morning coffee and are sitting in traffic you cut someone off and give them the finger. Later, when you encounter the horrendous affliction on our society called free speech and you hear something you disagree with…you throw around words like “bigot” “______phobic” and “ignorant”. And to cap a stressful day you decide to sit down and play some video games…maybe Call of Duty? Or maybe video games aren’t your cup o’ tea and so you stop off at Redbox for some Deadpool.
What’s my point? My point is that we, as a culture, have trivialized the importance of human life to the point that we no longer view other human beings as people. We have reduced people down to a mere set of chemicals, incapable of making choices or changing their future because “I was made this way”. At some point, and I’m not sure when it started, we began viewing others as pawns in our own chess game, and as nothing more than disposable plot twists. By supporting and partaking in this aspect of our culture through watching violent movies and playing violent games, we are providing our approval to their makers. We are perpetuating violence and ingraining in ourselves (and our kids) that human life is disposable if it gets in the way of your story. One needs look no further than social media to see evidence of this.
So do I think you’re lazy if you cry out to take away the guns but then fail to love those around you? Yep, I do. Why don’t you get your head out of the sand ’cause we’ve got a lot to do. Choose Love. That is all.