Whatever Happened to Evil?
There are bad people. There are bad things. There are bad people who do bad things.
It seems to me that something is missing from almost every discussion about any serious current topics that I hear of, or participate in these days. For some reason it just doesn’t seem to be considered as cool or appropriate or smart or something, to acknowledge the existence of evil. It’s just too elementary, or simple-minded, or dated.
I think the thing that got me thinking about this is the way that the latest of the mass murders (and I hope I’m not the only one for whom saying “the latest mass murders” like I was talking about the weather feels creepy as hell) was being reported on. By the time you read this, “the latest” might have changed, so I won’t name any specific shooting. It doesn’t change the particulars of what I’m saying.
I don’t care why a 21 year old boy/man buys an AR15 and uses it to mow down some kids at a local school; people at prayer in church; shoppers getting their weekly groceries; anyone living while black or gay or something he thinks he hates.
There is such a glut of reporting that follows a certain theme. The theme of “Why did he do it?”. There is much clutching of pearl and rending of garment to get at what, WHAT could possibly have made this individual take up a weapon and murder these people? The theorizing and speculation has no bottom; no limit. The more intensely they sift through the detritus of the killer’s life, the more likely they are to make some pseudo-relevant discovery.
AHA! He said he hated his sister when he was 12! OHO! He shot his neighbor’s parrot with a BB gun when he was 8! Zounds! Eureka!! He actually wrote in his diary that he can’t wait to be old enough to buy a gun so he can kill a bunch of people!
This, they say-THIS is evidence of the true roots and origins of the crime. If we could only find a way to control whatever THIS is, then by God we would be on the way to stopping the murders. The mental health of him; the parenting of him; the socialization of him; the role models and therapists and clergy…