In a new post at the Stanford Review, writer Geoffrey Tabor opines on the horror of the mass murder in Newtown, Connecticut. As talking heads across the country discuss new gun controls, Mr. Tabor points out that you can’t legislate evil out of existence.
The Tragedy in Connecticut: A Blunt Realization
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.