Where There Are Sheep, Wolves Will Always Thrive

Another mass homicide, and another round of the usual media drivel.  It was a "senseless tragedy."  "Shocking."  The suspect was "quiet" and a "loner."  He "must've just snapped."  More pictures from the suspect's high school yearbook, more predictable cries for gun control.

Yawn.  Frankly, I'm sick of it.  Guess what, people!  Evil exists.  That's E-V-I-L, and people freely choose to commit it.  They always have, and they always will.

I know that's a bizarre concept in post-Christian America, where we're taught that nothing is really evil or immoral (except a lack of "diversity," maybe) and that everyone is really good.  Evil is simply an idea concocted by Hollywood script-writers for our entertainment, and if a gunman walks into a movie theater throwing gas grenades, it must all be part of the act.

I once read an account of a mass shooting in Australia back in 1996, and an eyewitness stated that as the gunman began killing people, bystanders began laughing.  They thought it was some kind of stunt.  It wasn't.  They simply weren't conditioned to process the fact that they were witnessing actual murders with their own eyes.

The fact is that postmodern society has created an "artificial reality."  Americans, and residents of other Western nations, live in air-conditioned buildings, eat processed foods, drive instead of walk, wait for the government check to come in the mail, and glut themselves into morbid obesity.  They hire out a handful of volunteers to fight wars for them, and they hire out illegal aliens to mind their children and do their gardening.  They walk around zombie-like, faces glued to iPhones; they fly around at 35,000 feet at 600 mph above the clouds where it's forty below zero -- and they get bored and bitch about the airplane food.

Evil thrives on vulnerability, and we're vulnerable because we're so detached from actual reality.  After the 9/11 attacks turned the World Trade Center into an ash heap, a common reaction was "Duuude, it was just like a movie!"  September 11 was the second attack on the WTC in eight years, and thousands of people a hundred stories up -- literally swaying in the breeze -- and millions of their fellow Americans still didn't "get it."  I distinctly recall walking down a back-country road on a small-game hunt about a week after 9/11, rifle in hand, cognizant of the unusual quiet as all aircraft remained grounded, thinking, "Why don't you bastards try something now?"  Of course, they wouldn't have -- evil avoids a confrontation.  It hides from countervailing strength.  It waits for the moment when you least expect it to seize its opportunity.  And by failing to stand guard against it or acknowledge its presence, you, the victim, enable it.

Our forefathers hacked this nation out of a wilderness inhabited by Stone-Age tribesmen.  They were in touch with reality.  They fought wars, hunted their own meat, built their own homes, cleared their own forests, saddle-broke their own horses, birthed their own children, and buried their own dead.  If they made a mistake, it could easily cost them their lives.  "Reality" -- good, evil, pain, work, reward, suffering, joy -- was in their face 24-7.  It wasn't artificially manufactured for them.  They sure as hell weren't watching some Batman fantasy in a movie theater at midnight after a day eating Whoppers in the food court at the mall.

The great danger of the "Batman" shooting is that the still-deluded folks among us will believe that more government power and more gun control will solve the problem.  New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg didn't even wait for the bodies in Aurora, Colorado to cool before he began his usual braying for gun control.  Well, if guns are the problem, perhaps Mayor Bloomberg could lead by example and disband the armed NYPD security detail that protects him 24-7.  Perhaps someone should remind him what armed NYPD men did to Amadou Diallo and Abner Louima.  Or remind him about the Happy Land Social Club fire, in which 87 people were killed not by a gun, but by $5 worth of gasoline, or the Oklahoma City Bombing, in which 168 people were killed by diesel fuel and fertilizer, or the 3,000 people killed on 9/11 by box-cutters and airplanes.

The numerous journalists who think that we need to enact "sensible gun laws" like "other countries" should be reminded that mass shootings have occurred in Germany, Norway, Australia, Canada, and Great Britain, even after gun control laws far stricter than those in the U.S. were enacted.

Anyone who thinks that only the government should have guns, or that government officials wouldn't possibly commit acts of evil with guns, ought to familiarize himself with the following: Katyn Forest, Holodomor, NKVD, Khmer Rouge, Cultural Revolution, Tianenmen Square, Dujail, Babi Yar, Nanking, Waco, and Srebrenica.

The lesson of the "Batman" shooting is this: where there is a large sheep herd, the wolves will always thrive.

Do we want to be sheep, or not?

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