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The murder of innocents. December 16, 2012

Posted by ourfriendben in Uncategorized.
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Your faithful bloggers here at Poor Richard’s Almanac, our friend Ben, Silence Dogood, and Richard Saunders, would like to join the chorus of horror over the Sandy Hook school shootings in Connecticut. At the time of year when we should be celebrating the birth of the Holy Child, instead we are mourning the death of innocent 6- to 8-year-olds who apparently were each shot point-blank multiple times, and the adults who attempted to protect them.

We’d first read that the murderer’s mother, a strict disciplinarian who was apparently hated by her son, worked at the school, which was the ostensible reason for the rampage. But now we’ve read that the mother didn’t work for the school, and there was no connection between the murderer and the school at all. Certainly he didn’t know, much less hate, the children and adults he destroyed.

We simply don’t understand anything about random acts of violence. Why would anyone kill perfect strangers? It’s one thing if someone breaks into your house brandishing a gun in the dead of night and you inadvertently kill rather than simply disabling them; in the terror of the moment and the darkness, anyone’s aim could be off.

We can also understand—though certainly don’t approve of!—the idea of a vendetta, revenge killing targeting a specific person or persons who did you wrong. (We think this is the idiot’s solution; there are so many better ways to move on that don’t involve violence.)

But killing people you don’t even know, people who’ve done nothing to you, 6-year-old children? Why, why would anyone do such a thing? Yet again, we urge all Americans to move away from the culture of casual violence that has seemingly engulfed us: to stop reading murder mysteries for entertainment, to stop watching crime shows on television. There is nothing entertaining about murder, and to deaden ourselves to that reality is to promote the Black Knight and Columbine and Sandy Hook massacres. Please, people: Just say no to violence as entertainment. If we don’t, we’re vicariously condoning the very acts of real-life violence we condemn.

God bless the Sandy Hook victims; our prayers are with you and your families, and with everyone at your school who survived that dreadful day. May the children who survived grow up in a safer and better world. And may the Child born on Christmas Day bless each of you, the living and the dead, now and forevermore. Amen.


1. h.ibrahim - December 17, 2012

Please read Kristoff’s opinion piece in NYT, Sunday 16th Dec, 2012. I think his point is well taken. I have watched Dutch, Swedish and even some Australian TV—and if anything it is more violent than the American crime shows but ultimately it was strict gun control that curbed mass shootings.

Thanks for forwarding it, Huma. I agree with him. But even strict gun laws didn’t keep that monster from murdering what, 35 people?, in Sweden a year or two ago. It all starts in the mind. As one of my favorite sayings points out: “Think good thoughts: Words become actions. Actions become habits. Habits become character. Character becomes destiny.” The first step is to stop using violence as entertainment and treat it with the horror and gravity it deserves.

2. William - December 18, 2012

No gun control law would have worked in April 1995. Guns, explosive, knives and so on are only tools. There is a deeper problem, and it may start with mental illness. The answer is not more rules and restrictions. I kindly leave a link to a blog that provides a better explanation of my thoughts: http://officersmith.blogspot.com/
It is time to look at the predators and not their methods. I pray we find the source of the madness.
Peace to all and pray for all of the victims.

Thanks for the link, William! I’m sure mental illness does play a part, but I think the solution is to stop the collective cultural madness that views murder and violence as entertainment. If people voted with their feet/wallets and stopped buying murder mysteries, stopped going to violent movies, stopped watching crime shows on TV, and stopped playing violent video games, people would stop making and/or writing them.

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