Emotions are high right now about the Aurora shootings, with good reason. But most of what I have read in recent days is where the blame should go, not a diagnosis of why it happened and how to stop future similar events. Right now, guns and Batman movies are getting a lot of the blame. Maybe they shouldn’t be.

Yes, the Batman films are violent, but normal, sane people do not watch a violent movie and decide to go shoot a crowd of fans. Hollywood should take stock of the violence (and sex, and profanity) in their movies. But they are not responsible for what happened.

Banning guns is also not going to stop evil people from using them, nor will it halt the evil in our society. Gun are a way to express evil not what creates it. Nutjob would still have killed people, with or without guns. It is not the gun to blame for the crime, but the person who used it—the sociopath who planned this out in advance, spent months buying weapons and gear, and then calmly went out and killed men, women, and children.

Yes, I know his name. So do you. The media has been spewing it 24/7 since the shooting. And that’s part of the problem. Each article I read about the incident also references Columbine and the disturbed boys responsible. Is that going to inspire future sociopaths to similar behavior? To a sociopath, fame is fame. In their mind, you kill people and get famous. In our fame-driven society, fame is everything. With each copycat crime, your fame will grow, since everyone will talk about you in a similar context… forever. And in the meantime, you are all anyone talks about!

What would happen if we stopped calling sociopaths by name? If we ceased referencing their crimes when similar ones are committed? What if we only focused on the victims, and regulated the murders to an unspoken litany of shame? Might it deter future mass murderers if they thought all they’d get out of it would be a lethal injection and not the infamy (fame) they covet?

Nutjob is responsible for this crime. He decided to kill. He chose to be evil. He pulled a trigger and wired explosives. It’s all on him… yet in recent years we’ve had quite a few of these sociopaths, much more than ever before. That means we need to take a hard look at our society.

This sort of thing didn’t used to happen. Why not? For one thing, people did not have time to plan things like this. They had jobs, responsibilities, and were raised believing in good values and a higher power. They were not isolated from one another. Neighbors knew and spent time with each other. Our society valued faith and morality, and human life was considered sacred.

In 2012, you can buy a video game that lets you to beat a hooker to death with a pipe before proceeding to the next level. The Hunger Games, a series about children forced to kill each other, is at the top of the bestseller list, and was one of the biggest box office hauls of the year. You can abort a child because it is “inconvenient.” People have more “online” friends than real-life friends. They spend less time interacting in person, which means they are alienated. This makes it difficult to spot anti-social tendencies. The anonymity encourages cruel behavior toward one another.

Schools tell us we are evolved from goop; God does not exist; life has no real meaning; there is no reason for our existence, and we are not accountable for our actions. If there is no God, there is no Satan, which means Evil can’t exist… yet it is so evident that it does exist, and is alive and well around us. Those who refuse to accept the existence of evil seek someone to blame for it: guns, movies, parents. If you can deflect blame, you can pretend evil is just the result instead of the cause.

The real problem here is all of us, and what we allow in our society. Hollywood would not make ultra-violent movies if we did not watch them. Repulsive video games would not get made if we  cared more about their content. Life would be more respected if we stood up for it once in awhile. The harsh truth is: evil exists whether you want to believe in it or not. And until we realize that, no one is safe. ♥