Thoughts on Tragedy

Last Friday was obviously a pretty horrific day for the people of Aurora Colorado.  My thoughts and prayers have gone out to the families of those involved since I first heard about what happened on Facebook.  Not having a TV in our common areas means we don’t have TV on until long after the wee ones go to bed at night, so being glued to CNN like I was during the Columbine shootings wasn’t really an option.

There really isn’t much that hasn’t already been said, but like most people, I can’t get it out of my mind.  There are some things that have really stayed with me the past few days that I just need to get my thoughts out about.

First off, immediately after the story broke, people on Facebook and Twitter, in comment sections of articles online saying things like: “This is why people need more Jesus in their lives.  “This is why the Bible should be taught in school.” (etc.)

Now, I was raised Christian and am still Christian, we are raising our children as Christians.  But, I think there is something inherently wrong when the first thought is that only a non-Christian could preform such an at.  It just simply isn’t true.  There are have been plenty of conservative Christians out there that have committed these kinds of crimes.

It also strikes me that their logic would imply that the only reason someone would hesitate to carry out an act like this is because they read it in the Bible.  I’m fairly certain I know murder is wrong whether or not the Bible tells me so.  What if the Bible *didn’t* explicitly state “thou shalt not kill”?  Would Christians the world over think it was a completely valid option?  Is it only wrong because it’s in the Bible or is it wrong because it’s wrong?  Do we really need a book to tell us it’s wrong?

I doubt it.  I think we’ve evolved enough as a society to know it’s not OK, whether we read it in a book, hear it on Sunday morning or are taught it in school.  I’m guessing what people like the shooter in Aurora really need is better access to mental healthcare.  Less isolation.  People in their life to be able to read subtle cues that something isn’t quite right.

The other thing that struck me was that I wasn’t phased by this.  At all.  Yes, it is absolutely heartbreaking are terrifying to think about what it was like.  But, when I heard about it, it felt like the same old story we’ve heard every few months since Columbine.  Actually, the thing that got to me the most was the fact that there were children at the theater- because it was so late, the movie was not meant for children, and if I’m watching a movie the last thing I want to hear is a baby crying, also: it’s way too loud for an infants new ears!

That up there?  It stuns me that I have become so jaded by these shootings that I look past the 12 people who were murdered in cold blood, the 70+ people shot because it’s happened so many times and go into judgy mom mode.  I even wondered to myself if something like this could ever happen in Minnesota.

Completely forgetting that we had the Red Lake massacre in 2005.

There have been 21 mass shootings in the US since the Columbine shootings in 1999 with a combined death toll of 220*

I don’t have any specific opinions on gun control but I do believe there is an obvious disconnect when the ability to own a handgun for self protection or a rifle for hunting turns into the ability to buy a 100- round drum for a semi-automatic rifle.  Why exactly do we need semi-automatic (or automatic) weapons?  Who needs the ability to shoot off 50 rounds in less than a minute?

But of course, guns aren’t the issue- the people who buy them are the issue, and people just “need more Jesus”.

I’m not so sure religion is the answer here.

*As of this post there were 12 fatalities from the Aurora shooting.

  • kck

    i agree with you Erin the problem is people having problems with society and instead of seeking help they think they have been wronged and decide to make it right. What is truely sad is we all need to become better connected to others and not look away I am sure there were “red flags” but sometimes we don’t want to get involved. Maybe that is the message to take from this not to have more Jesus in our life but live our life like a Christian and be more caring and concerned with others I think that is what Jesus intended…..

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