Friday, October 2, 2015

The "Why" Questions

In the wake of the tragic shooting in Oregon yesterday, a lot of people from President Obama on down are demanding that we just DO SOMETHING. Well, yes, but what? To simply demand that something be done, that laws be passed, is little more than emotional cathexis. Talking about "doing something" substitutes for actually doing something constructive. The problem is that when these people, from the president on down, are asked what, exactly, should be done, they have no answer.

In the excerpt below, Mark Halperin insists that we need to be "more passionate" about finding solutions, but he admits that he himself has none to offer. As Charles C.W. Cooke says in the video, none of them do.

The problem is not guns, it's a spiritual sickness that pervades our society. Too many young men have been inculcated from their youth with the message that everything is meaningless and pointless, that their lives are empty and futile, that they're just animals like any other, that violence in movies, video games, and music is cathartic and makes them a man, and then we're shocked when men actually act consistently with what they've been absorbing from the culture all their lives.

Perhaps it's not a coincidence that in these horrific events the shooter sometimes singles out Christians as victims. It happened at Columbine, in Charleston, and in Oregon. Why? Why is there such hatred for Christians? Where does it come from? Could it be that Christianity, being an utter repudiation and denial of the nihilism these young men have embraced, engenders, in a perverse sort of way, a resentment that stokes their frustration to the level of rage?

Having committed themselves to moral anomie and metaphysical absurdity perhaps these see Christianity as an indictment of their choice and of themselves, an indictment they can't bear. In their existential despair they are gripped by a powerful urge to destroy everything and everyone that, like a mirror held up to their face, shows them an alternative, the only viable alternative, but one the very thought of which sends them into an irrational fury. I don't know, but I wish the media wouldn't just ignore the apparent pattern.

In any case, passing laws won't heal this sickness. We have laws against murder but we still have murders. Nor will trying to get rid of guns succeed. This would only work if these deranged young men were also disarmed, but they wouldn't be. We can't even stop millions of people from sneaking across our border, how would we stop the smuggling of millions of guns into the country for sale on black markets everywhere?

If we are to solve this problem we need to ask why so many kids are so filled with hatred and violence, why they hold human life in such contempt, and then we need to address those causes. I doubt, though, that modern secular America is going to ask those "why" questions. The answers they may find might not fit their view of how things should be.