First published at Huffington Post on December 17, 2012.
It was a matter of hours on Friday before mainstream media outlets used their coverage of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut to steer the issue into a debate on gun control. This phenomenon isn’t new. It was only a few short weeks ago that football commentator Bob Costas used airtime during a game to make a statement about the need to increase legislation on firearms in America. We’ve seen the same debates take place after the shootings in Aurora, Colorado, Virginia Tech, and every time, pundits miss the point.
Simply put, there is no antidote for evil.
My intent is not to sound overtly poetic, but it’s a fundamental truth of the universe that evil exists. Virtually all mainstream religions have a version of the Devil-ranging from internal conflicts to a personified antagonist-but it doesn’t take theology to realize that evil takes form in many ways.
There is no other explanation for the events in Newtown, Connecticut last week. Guns were the tool, not the cause. Even to blame “mental illness” — as many have in the past three days — would be too simplistic.
By its inherent definition, a criminal is one with disregard for laws, or one for whom the consequences of breaking a law outweigh the gain that individual plans to achieve from breaking a law. That means that no matter how many gun laws or “Gun-Free Zone” signs America has, criminals will still attain firearms, and they will still use them to commit heinous acts.
The reality of gun control is that it only disarms law-abiding citizens — the very people who could use a firearm to protect themselves, their families, or, dare I say it, their students.There are countless examples of people using guns to thwart the efforts of criminals — particularly in robberies and home invasions. But these stories are not nearly as widely reported as stories of shootings are.
A sane man does not look at a gun and become a murder. But a murderer looks at a gun and sees a weapon, just as he would were he to see a knife, an automobile or a lead pipe.
If individuals want to engage in a discussion about accessibility to firearms and regulations for firearm owners, that’s reasonable. But why does every one of those discussions need to take place in the days following a shooting? Such tragedies force people to beg for answers. For events like the shooting at Sandy Hook, where nothing can ever come close to answering the question of “Why?” people will look for absolutely anything they can cling to. That is what we are programmed to do.
The notion that simply changing the laws will take away the pain and suffering of this tragedy or even prevent future ones from occurring is simply not true. And it’s a dangerous myth being purported by the mainstream media.
There are laws that exist that imprison individuals motivated by evil, but it is impossible to rid the world of that motivator itself. The true source of it is a philosophical question that, to me, is not nearly as important as recognizing its presence. The fact is, evil cannot be fixed, and even if it could, the government is not the body to do that.