Reading about the mass killing of kindergartners at Sandy Hook was heartbreaking for me, as I am sure it was for you.
On a different level, I was also saddened while reading comments on Facebook and at the bottom of news stories, calling for changes to keep such massacres from happening.
The tone of many of such comments was that they couldn't understand why people couldn't see that the clear cause of these incidents is _______________ (fill in the blank). Unfortunately, many who
believe there is a clear-cut answer to
this problem have very different views of what the main problem is.
Additionally, once you do focus on that one problem, then you find that there are people who disagree very strongly about how to address that one problem. For example, let's take the availability of assault rifles and handguns. For
some, common sense dictates that everyone carry a gun, to
either prevent a shooting in a public place, or to stop it quickly
once it starts. But to others, the answer is to keep people from being able to
legally own such guns at all.
But what's most striking is that, to both groups, these are the common-sense
solutions, and they cannot see why anyone would see it different.
The reality is that no tragedy can possibly be so simple. These horrific events always--always--are
the result of multiple factors. In the aftermath of this shooting, the ones I heard mentioned most often:
Mental illness and our nation's failure to take care of those who suffer from it
A broken world
unseen enemy (Ephesians 6:12)
A culture which perpetuates and glorifies violence through
movies and video games
Drugs and/or alcohol
A lack of prayer/bible instructions in schools
Sexual permissiveness (which leads to many kids being raised in
...and several more things which don't come to mind
When I engaged in this discussion yesterday, I argued, and still maintain today, that those who choose to focus on just one
item in this long list, and expecting that addressing that one item will have a significant impact,
are engaging in wishful thinking.
I'm sorry if such an argument is a
problem for anyone. Most of us will look at that list of
factors, and one thing sticks out as being the cause
of the problem. Thing is, for each of us, it's a different one.
And that, in itself, says a lot.