The Mouths of Madness, Part One

“Whether he knew of this deficiency himself I can’t say. I think the knowledge came to him at last–only at the very last. But the wilderness found him out early, and had taken vengeance for the fantastic invasion. I think it had whispered to him things about himself which he did not know, things of which he had no conception till he took counsel with this great solitude–and the whisper had proved irresistibly fascinating. It echoed loudly within him because he was hollow at the core.”

– Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness

Amidst the cacophony of maddening media-mouths, the talking heads and the public alike search for some sort of rational explanation to the irrationality that took place five days ago in Aurora, Colorado. I am – like so many of us – riveted by the reports coming out of the Rocky Mountain state. Did James Holmes, hair dyed red, really tell police that he was the Joker when they apprehended him? What happened between his time in San Diego to his time spent in Colorado? And – most importantly –

Why?

Answers will come, and some will satisfy – however, most will not. After seeing and reading many reports, I am compelled to share a couple of thoughts on the more ridiculous spin that has taken place, and then, on a more personal level – share a little lesson in faith I have experienced.

I know – who am I to think I have anything new to add to the noise. Like everything else I have written and published here, I guess you will just have to humor me.

***

GUN CONTROL LAWS

OK – so here it is…I am a crazy liberal when it comes to social issues, and a pretty staunch believer in the Bill of Rights, which tends to make me more of a Republican on issues that contend with the framers original intent. These days – I think that Dems and Republicans are one-in-the-same and we should blow up the system. But – that’s a post for another time. For now, I believe more and more in the right to bear arms. Assault weapons? Maybe not-but the basic right is not one we should change in my humble opinion.

That said – the call for tighter gun control laws would not have done much to deter Mr. Holmes. If he could not get access to any guns, he would have created several mobile incendiary devices…devices similar to what was found in his apartment…and used that in the theater instead.

Not to sound like a trite NRA poster … it’s not the guns that kill people, it’s people that kill people. If you don’t agree – then I ask you to explain to me what killed Manuel Diaz in Anaheim, CA this weekend. Was it a gun that killed him as he ran away, or the person holding the gun? Should it matter that it was police officer that shot and killed Mr. Diaz? Would tighter gun control laws have made a difference in this case? How about better training? Would better training of the Anaheim Police force have helped with their dealings with neighborhood protestors later that day? Would training and gun control laws have helped the protestors, as they – the fathers, mothers, and children of the neighborhood – demanded answers?

What the…?

Guns don’t kill people ladies and gentleman … people kill people, badge or no badge. Whether it is someone who has a couple fries short of a happy meal, or an officer of the law using extremely poor judgement – people kill people.

Sorry – it is indeed that simple.

***

IS HOLLYWOOD TO BLAME FOR THE DARK KNIGHT MOVIE MASSACRE?

Are you kidding me??!! I wanted to scream when I heard the announcer on Entertainment Tonight ask that question – and then have celebrities answer it as if the question wasn’t the most asinine query ever made! Have we really – as a society come no further than 1993?

What – why 1993? You might not remember, or were not old enough to know – but in 1993 local cineplexes were playing two different films – The Program and Beavis and Butthead – that lead to injuries and fatalities because fans of the films tried to duplicate what they saw on the big-screen. The Program got the biggest PR hit, as high-schoolers in Pennsylvania tried to imitate a key scene which showed football players lying down in the middle of a busy highway and not get mauled. Reality was not so kind as one young man was killed, and several more were seriously hurt. Experts and parents alike were quick to blame Hollywood then too. In a New York Times article, one so-called expert was quoted:

“The amount of violence on television and in movies has become a major public health problem, said Dr. Robert D. Gould, a Manhattan psychiatrist who is president of the National Coalition on Television Violence. ‘It’s so unfortunate that movies and television programs have role models doing dangerous things that children will imitate,’ he said. ‘If a football player is made a hero for doing something dangerous, then kids will vie with each other for who can be most like the movie hero. Only in this case, the bravest may be the deadest.’ “

Fast-forward almost twenty years later, and everyone from movie critics to constitutional attorney’s are espousing the violence of television and movies as a large part of the problem.

To that, I emphatically declare a resounding and singular response: bullshit.

At what point, in this day and age, will we stand-up and demand of one another some personal accountability? At what point will we all be graceful enough to admit that there is evil in this world, and that the answer lies deep inside that twisted soul? At what point will we collectively agree that this Age of Entitlement has gone entirely too far?

***

It was an act of evil, and insanity, and that of one twisted soul … Sometimes, for many of us, that answer is just not enough. When acts of unspeakable terror occur, questions of faith are sure to follow.  Come back Thursday, and I’ll tell you a little about my own crisis of faith.

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