Death happens. I’ll die, sooner or later. That’s the way it is. I’ve lasted more that six decades so far. Some folks I’ve known haven’t lasted this long. Some will almost certainly outlive me. But like I said, death happens.
But its inevitability doesn’t make murder okay. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2261)
You’ve probably seen the news. Some high school kids in Kentucky didn’t go home this week. They were killed at their school:
- “At Least 2 Dead, 12 Injured After Shooting At Kentucky High School”
Matt Markgraf, NPR transcript (January 23, 2018)
I’ve seen quite a few mass murders in the news this year. That’s not good. Neither, I think, are reactions I’ve seen. I don’t like seeing the usual ‘it’s the other party’s fault’ from politicos, or assorted other blame games.
That’s one reason I won’t blame public education, or say that we must ban high schools now, or demand the immediate deportation of teachers. Another reason is that I think those ideas make no more sense than other — sadly real — responses.
But it’s not something new. Hammurabi’s law code included penalties for murder. And theft. (September 25, 2016)
I don’t think either can be blamed on technology, and certainly don’t think we should return to Hammurabi’s ‘steal and die’ policy. (November 15, 2017)
We probably wouldn’t hear about so many nasty crimes if it weren’t for Gutenberg’s printing press and online news.
But I don’t think we were better off when folks heard little if any news of far-off lands. And “far-off lands” meant anything more than a day’s walk from the village.
I think that America isn’t perfect, and that thinking about reasonable changes is a good idea. A key idea there is “thinking.” Feeling bad about what happened is natural. But we’ve got brains. Using them seems prudent.
I’ve talked about this before. A lot: