Since the shootings in Colorado, I got in some gun control arguments online. Also mental health arguments online (everyone close to me either feels the same way I do or knows better than to argue with me about it). Then I had a Dark Knight Marathon this weekend, where I watched the first two DVDs Friday, and then the new movie in the theater on Saturday. As of Saturday evening I felt like crap, I’d been watching bullets fly for 6+ hours that weekend, and practically had my ears blown out by the sound at the theater, of explosions and machine guns. I love Batman and have since I was a kid. But I was only jarred, anxious and panicky. I had no good feelings in me.
I lost a good friend and an adored pal in the Capitol Hill Massacre which took place at my brother’s home, and my favorite place to escape to. This has been a very personal issue to me ever since. Back when that happened I really felt we were turning the tide of good vs. evil with our reaction. Pure evil tried to consume my friends, pure destruction and waste. Love, community, and refusing to point fingers, would take us all to a higher level. Laughing, hugging, crying, talking, making art and dancing, would keep us from getting swallowed up in the wake of such destruction. And so it did, and continues to do.
What strikes me as all these attacks having in common is that something about our nature but especially left unchecked in American society (amongst others) makes people think violence is the only way to get heard, the only answer. They are either cages of extreme rage or some kind of extreme sociopathy, or both. I know people who fall into that category, and I knew a lot more of them when I was younger and less cautious. Honestly, I want to avoid people who I feel could shoot me if I say the wrong thing, not help them. Gun control, pursuit of mental health being a gold star instead of a stigma, all of us being more compassionate and less violence, alpha-male, and battle-glory loving, all these things would help keep us from having so many mass murders, I think. But the underlying truth I keep coming around to is sobering; that these shootings, mass murders, etc, are a reality in our society, they’re getting worse, and the answer may be complicated or downright nonexistent. I don’t think its going to turn around with just ONE change.