For those who are anti-religion, i am about to lose you. If my faith offends you, there is not much i can do about it, but i ask that you give this blog entry a chance.
Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher,
vanity of vanities! All is vanity.
What does man gain by all the toil
at which he toils under the sun?
A generation goes, and a generation comes,
but the earth remains forever.
The sun rises, and the sun goes down,
and hastens to the place where it rises.
The wind blows to the south
and goes around to the north;
around and around goes the wind,
and on its circuits the wind returns.
All streams run to the sea,
but the sea is not full;
to the place where the streams flow,
there they flow again.
All things are full of weariness;
a man cannot utter it;
the eye is not satisfied with seeing,
nor the ear filled with hearing.
What has been is what will be,
and what has been done is what will be done,
and there is nothing new under the sun.
Is there a thing of which it is said,
“See, this is new”?
It has been already
in the ages before us.
There is no remembrance of former things,
nor will there be any remembrance
of later things yet to be
among those who come after.
(Ecclesiastes 1:2-11 ESV)
This blog post was actually started in rough draft form several weeks before the tragedy that took place in Newtown, CT on Friday. I have been concerned with a tendency to over legislate ourselves here in America. When things are not working out our legislators pass some law, hoping to curb whatever behavior that has caused the issue. There are times that something comes up that that needs some additional guidance and a new law should be passed, but i feel we over compensate. Granted, lawyers often search out the most miniscule detail and will exploit it for the gain of whoever their clients are. They rarely concern themselves with "intent" of the law, etc. This is what propagates new laws being on the books to correct previous omissions, etc. The problem is, you can not legislate moral behavior.
We have all encountered the layman lawyer. The person who always knows the answer, who always knows the 'truth'. We also know a person (probably more than one) who feels that it
is only illegal if they get caught. More restrictions on the purchase of firearms may help, but i feel where we are failing as a society is that we are not teaching our children. We have lost the right and wrong mentality, but too often it is not backed up with consequences.
I have no idea, yet, of what Adam Lanza's mind was like. I don't know if he had mental issues, or what set him off, but i do know that Connecticut has some of the most stricter laws in regards to gun ownership - and - he didn't own them. He killed his own mother and stole them from her. Now the call for more gun laws are being shouted even louder.
I am sorry, but more laws will not fix these sorts of problems. Man is the Apex predator on the planet. He is set apart, not only by opposable thumbs, but a brain that can work things out. Some better than others, but basic problem solving is wired into every human's brain, and within that problem solving it includes how to get around boundaries and obstacles... such as rules. A child does not need to be taught how to lie, or covet, or even steal. Granted, not EVERY child does ALL of these things, but they do at least some of them - and i am willing to bet that if the first child thought they could get away with it without any consequences, they would do all of them at some point. Timothy McVeigh didn't use a gun, he used diesel fuel and fertilizer. On the very same day as the gun attack in Connecticut a man wielding a knife in China attacked kids in a school there.
I am going to be honest here. I have no crystal ball here. I have ideas of what might work, and what might not. I will not proclaim to be as sure as many who shout out in the media - from both sides. One thing i do know for sure, the issue lies at the heart of the perpetrator. It is impossible to legislate morality. For decades now there has been an eroding of Judeo Christian values within the United States and the world. Now, i will be among the first to say that us white - Anglo Saxon - protestants AND Catholics have not been the most inclusive, understanding, gracious, representatives of the God we proclaim to follow (the Crusades and Inquisition immediately come to mind, as well as other more recent historical examples), but we are being told a fallacy. That man is a basically moral creature. That we have developed these moral senses of right and wrong as we became more civilized. To this i say - hogwash. Just look at any country where law and order break down. One could even take a deeper look at any social dynamic, even within a body of church goers, to see that selfishness and envy and anger are constant struggles. It's not matter of what laws are in place to keep these things from 'exploding', it comes down to a matter of teaching what is right and wrong and how to deal with such issues - BEFORE - it gets out of hand. One cannot teach that right and wrong is a matter of perspective without expecting a conflict to eventually arise.