More Mass Murder

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:

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.

Murder, mass or not, is a bad thing to do and nobody should do it.

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:

About Brian H. Gill

I was born in 1951. I'm a husband, father and grandfather. One of the kids graduated from college in December, 2008, and is helping her husband run businesses and raise my granddaughter; another is a cartoonist and artist; #3 daughter is a writer; my son is developing a digital game with #3 and #1 daughters. I'm also a writer and artist.
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4 Responses to More Mass Murder

  1. Speaking of stuff like this, I wonder if it’s weird to feel uncomfortable towards the typical sorts of public outrage and sentimentality I tend to meet regarding things like this, which I mostly find online simply because of my inclination towards the Net than local news releases (though I think local news has a similar feel as well lately). Like, #PrayForTheWorld and all that schtick. Typical bold and outspoken activism, let alone hashtag activism, doesn’t really click with me much now as well (Funnily, my younger self really wanted to be like them…up until I realized how stressful and humiliating it can be to witness and even cause such very varying yet still usually violent aggression from both sides), even though I can understand that we’re fighting against real problems. I look up to the martyrs of the Church more than my country’s political martyrs, even though I do have belief in Ninoy Aquino and his saying about how the Filipino is worth dying for. Perhaps some people are meant to be bold and outspoken, though, while some people are meant to be quiet and subtle. Still, what do you think?

  2. What do I think? Bold and outspoken is one thing. Irrational and ranting is another. Repeating stock slogans, even if marginally related to some current tragedy, isn’t much better.

    I’m probably not “bold.” But I try to keep my views clear. For example from today: I think murder is a bad idea and nobody should do it. Simplistic? Yes. I’ve discussed this quite a bit recently, and provided links for anyone with nothing better to do. Like sort socks or watch paint dry.

    Sure, ranting – – – I’m sure that’s not what you mean by bold, but I’ve known too many who seem to mistake emotional intensity with virtue – – – may make some feel very relevant – or whatever the term is now.

    But I am not convinced it’ll do much besides possibly boost someone’s ratings, sell more newspapers, or help keep the bumper sticker industry running.

    None of those are bad things, by themselves. But I’m not convinced that they’re worth the damage done by cranking the angst level up.

    I try to remember that reasoned discussion often means considering other positions. And that sometimes I’m not seeing how things really are.

    I have seen traditional ‘foreigners go home’ efforts received loud and angry support in some circles following the 9/11 attack. But I did not and do not see most as being particularly reasonable or helpful. “Bold” it may seem. But not useful.

    The ‘immigration issue’ is complicated, and still in play. A bold statement that makes sense might help. Key phrase: “that makes sense.”

    If I was going to sum up what I think is a good idea in one word, it’d probably be “think.”

  3. Anni Harry says:

    I certainly don’t think we are “better off” than those in the past. However, I do think it is easier in this day and age to commit more mass murder.

    That said, there is no easy solution to any of the reasons behind mass murder. And, while I agree America is not perfect, I truly believe it is the best place for me to live! I also maintain a pretty fervent prayer that those intending to do harm to others will have a conversion of heart… that’s my pretty standard prayer.

    • I very strongly suspect it’s easier to do just about everything these days. Except maybe stay truly unaware of what’s happening over the next hill.

      Easy solutions to anything involving people seems unlikely at best. We’re still working on ‘foolproof’ law codes, after several millennia of effort. I think America is doing about as good a job as anyone else today.

      Better, judging from how many folks want to come here. When folks start trying to break *out* of America I’ll be concerned. And that’s another topic.

      “A conversion of heart.” Amen! That reminded me of Alessandro Serenelli, St. Maria Goretti’s killer. He’s about as good an example as any recently, of what can happen when folks have time to think. ( )

Thanks for taking time to comment!