Commonwealth Journal

Columns

July 24, 2012

The Agent of Chaos

(Continued)

It wouldn’t be until the next morning that I learned of what had happened over 1,200 miles to the west. Next to me, someone asked, “Why would they do this?” I could only reply, “There’s no good answer to that.”
And it’s the truth. The reality is, bad things just happen. Without rhyme or reason, without explanation or preventative measures. We can take all the precautions in the world to protect ourselves, but evil finds a way. It always does, and always will. This is the nature of being human, since the days of Cain and Abel.
The trick, then, is not to shield ourselves from the world, but to live and be ready to handle bad things when they happen — and should worse come to worse, be happy with the life you’ve lived to that point.
Unfortunately, we face another kind of villain in our society, one born out of both power-lust and a craven need to be comforted. We are opportunistic, jumping on incidents like the one in Colorado to create sensationalism, to push agendas, to sacrifice perspective for self-preservation.
You will hear — indeed, you’re already hearing, depending on the TV you watch or articles you read — a renewed call for gun control laws. You will hear people blaming depictions of violence in media such as the Batman films themselves for influencing the suspect’s actions. You will hear of movie theaters asking patrons not to celebrate their love of superheroes by dressing up in costume (as Holmes allegedly did during his rampage), or even installing metal detectors in movie theaters; how about a police state to go with your popcorn?
There is no doubt room for discussion and debate about things like guns, media imagery, etc., in our society, but we must be careful how and when we do it. To simply rush to pass laws or policies in response to a random act of evil is reactionary and poorly conceived. If we are to solve problems, we should do so with cool heads, not when emotions are running high. That way lies oppression.

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