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Stop the Killing

Another mass murder, this time at a movie theater.
    Other locations from the past include a college campus, a military base, a high school, a shopping mall, a political gathering, lottery center, post office, and many more. It appears nowhere is safe anymore.
    No doubt the gun regulation debate will have people shouting at one another again, for no other result that to further the divide between pros and cons. We really don't need that, but the contest is automatic and predicatble — which goes to show how worthless this so-called debate really is.
    What might better serve us is discovering why people who are troubled express their frustrations by killing innocent people, and often themselves. Where do they learn this, other than a society that teaches nothing different?
    The entertainment industry is filled with images of violence that seem to glorify killing. Most of us recognize that as fiction, but the message is still part of the milieu we live in. Images leave their impressions. For people who feel angry and powerless, and see no hope for themselves, senseless violence makes a notable statement, punishing a perceived tranquility that they feel themselves denied.
    Beyond movies and television programs, we are also subject to the coarse way that people now communicate in the public realm, especially commentators on talk shows, who get paid for viciously rousing public anger without the least remorse, rather than speaking the truth and finding solutions. Commercial interests encourage them to even lie with impunity. This is just another consequence of the preponderance of greed.
    What indicts us all is that we plainly know better. Common sense tells us that treating people with respect, courtesy and truth contributes to a productive social harmony where everyone benefits. Senseless, perpetual conflict saps us of our strength while feeding upon its own vitriol. It clouds our thoughts and controls our values and our actions. We become slaves to irrational propaganda.
    Unfortunately, we've lived with his invasion of manufactured discontent for so long that we scarcely notice its inroads, permutations and devastating pervasiveness. Most of us become numb to it.
    But not everyone. A sizable minority believe the lies. The resulting anger, which others instilled in them, define much of who they are and what they believe.
    We need to see this for what it is in order to make sure we are not products of such influence. The quest is a cleansing process, through which we are prodded to think for ourselves.
    Twelve were killed in this last, senseless shooting spree. 58 people were wounded. There is no answer to that. No good to be taken that would balance the suffering and loss and insult to our way of life. The best we can do is learn to see the subtle messages in our culture that convince people that violence is the right response to inner pain. As advocates of Chivalry-Now, we must learn that if we ever hope to save our broken culture from the waiting abyss.


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