A gun is cocked. A window shatters. A threshold crossed. Evil rages. Innocents are destroyed, scattered, frightened. Survivors are changed forever. Evil is done and gone before justice arrives. Twenty-six lives lost, untold victims created. Building is swarmed by armed protectors arriving too late. The community is overwhelmed by empathetic people with microphones and cameras. They stick these contraptions in every tear-soaked face they find. No one's pain is too pure and personal that it can't be expanded on by talking heads asking inane questions. They are all there to find the truth, but not the least bit ashamed to transmit rumors, gossip, far-fetched analysis, innuendo, and outright lies as long as they become the primary source to feed the nation's shock and horror.
Interviewing a third grader on live television as 20 dead classmates still lay in their bloody classroom builds on sympathy and horror felt by those watching the almost catatonic 9-year-old girl. Yet they hope to sell a few extra trucks or computers at the next commercial break. A sad nation watches for hours. With a limited amount of information, and countless hours to fill, experts are brought in to make assumptions, no matter how wild. They give ridiculous analysis, and make comparisons with past evil acts.
Perhaps because of size and scope, or maybe a callous desensitization, we have come to ignore the individual daily losses of 40 or more children every day. Abuse, neglect, drunk drivers, eliminate more children each day than a shooter did in Connecticut. The pain and sorrow such acts cause is just as real to smaller circles of community and families, but this sadness lack notoriety.
All of the mass mourning and anguish for the Connecticut victims brings a renewed sense of determination to other evil, still hidden in the world.
Next comes the government officials full of sorrow, oozing empathy, calling for us all to come together to make certain such a tragedy never happens again. A crisis demands action. Problems like this can only be solved if we have more planning, more dollars, and of course, more government intervention. Rights and privileges of a sad community are slowly, and sometimes quietly, demolished in the name of safety. A grieving nation, burdened with guilt that they could have done more, allow for increased restrictions and regulations in the name of protection.
We think banning a certain type, or, perhaps, all guns will make us safer. We submit to increasing personal restrictions in the name of security. Security is a false god that our beast has created to keep us submissive. It says to be safe, we must give up portions of our freedom. It knows what's best for us. Some believe it would guarantee our safety. Reduce freedoms, remove guns, create more laws and evil will be defeated.
Evil laughs. Evil is determined to be more creative. If we remove all weapons, evil can still find access. If that access is removed, evil will use knives, vehicles, poisons, and unknown devices. It has even used fertilizer to murder over 150 innocents.
Much evil feeds on fear, fame and notoriety. We choose to never let it starve.
Mike McGinnis is a Grand Junction-based Realtor.