I am not a pessimist, but pure evil can never be addressed politically or socially in this lifetime and consciousness. It exists, and will continue to exist as long as mankind walks the earth. Obama can not solve anything. Romney, McCain, or Paul couldn’t if they were President, either. Certain issues can certainly be addressed through laws, but taking the mindset that thinks we can solve a huge issue that encompasses so many components through pure legislation is simply unrealistic and downright naive. For me, it is not about the debate of gun control versus 2nd amendment rights, but rather the acknowledgement that evil does exist in the world, and that it shows it blunt, ugly face in a variety of fashions, whether it be in a Jewish ghetto in Poland, Cambodia, Columbine High School, or today’s events. Can some gun control measures prevent some crimes? I think so, but I still think the conversation should be had to compare the elements of gun control: deterrence, gun availability, and so forth. When dealing with pure evil, lawmaking almost seems naive and laughable. Evil is something so much more deep, powerful, and influential than social policy.
I do not want to dive into the motives and causes of this crime, considering we don’t know a ton about the killer and the circumstances surrounding why he did what he did, but in my honest, blunt opinion, I think our society is growing weak. I think that the higher standards of living in our country, developments in technology, and more comfortable lifestyle has blinded us. People snap more easily. We are more spoiled. People get offended more easily, and find reasons to do evil things more easily on a whim. This is the underlying reason why I think that free-form, human evil is evasive in nature. It’s hard to address, and sniff out. It evolves along with society, and constantly presents us with a challenge. Don’t call it an illness. I know many crazy criminals have “mental problems” and whatnot, but we cannot just dismiss this as that. We must recognize evil, and how our societal construct affects it.
Whether you are a Christian or not, I think this excerpt from our friend C.S. Lewis (Mere Christianity) is a powerful one, especially in times of tragedy such as this:
“God created things which had free will. That means creatures which can go wrong or right. Some people think they can imagine a creature which was free but had no possibility of going wrong, but I can’t. If a thing is free to be good it’s also free to be bad. And free will is what has made evil possible. Why, then, did God give them free will? Because free will, though it makes evil possible, is also the only thing that makes possible any love or goodness or joy worth having. A world of automata -of creatures that worked like machines- would hardly be worth creating. The happiness which God designs for His higher creatures is the happiness of being freely, voluntarily united to Him and to each other in an ecstasy of love and delight compared with which the most rapturous love between a man and a woman on this earth is mere milk and water. And for that they’ve got to be free.
Of course God knew what would happen if they used their freedom the wrong way: apparently, He thought it worth the risk. (…) If God thinks this state of war in the universe a price worth paying for free will -that is, for making a real world in which creatures can do real good or harm and something of real importance can happen, instead of a toy world which only moves when He pulls the strings- then we may take it it is worth paying.”