People are saying we need gun control, but that's not it. In fact, I think the uncertainty of knowing who might be carrying keeps more tragedies from happening. Have you noticed that the worst shootings happen in places where carrying concealed weapons is banned? Why? Because only the law abiding people aren't packing there. They disarm like they're supposed to, and the criminals know there's nobody there that will put a bullet between their eyes. Call me crazy, but I think we're coming at this backwards. Instead of disarming, I say we need to arm more. If concealed carry were allowed more places, I bet the element of uncertainty over who might shoot back would cause a decrease in these tragedies. Maybe. Maybe not. They would be more uncertain of their odds, anyway.
People say we need to bring God back in the schools. I won't deny that I'd certainly like to see religion brought back in the schools, but the fact is that there's no law against teaching children about God at home. If we call this a lack of morals, then the blame can't be on a system that's banned it for 30 years before we had this problem. Take that blame to the root of the matter: the home.
People say we need mental health reform. Here again I'll agree that's a need, but we also need to remember that the field of mental health is still relatively young. Compared to other sciences, it's barely out of it's infancy. There's a lot that can be helped, but there's also a lot we still don't know. Having known a lot of people struggling with depression, I can tell you there's a lot of trial and error in getting the medication "just right" to keep it controlled. It usually takes an adjustment period - and I know this is true of medications for other conditions too, but it seems it's a bigger struggle when dealing with mental health issues than it is with other medical conditions. Or from what I've seen it is, anyway. And often it takes months or even years to correctly diagnose things because one symptom can be a sign of five different disorders, and it takes time to pin things down.
You know what the real problem is? Free will. We all have a right to choose and unfortunately, that means that some will choose to abandon morals and ethics and to do what they feel over what's right. It's been a problem since the beginning of time. I heard someone on TV say "elementary schools should be safe!" Folks, the whole WORLD should be save. We should be living in Eden. None of us should have to live in fear of ANYTHING. And yet we do, all the time. We always have. It began even before time, when Satan fell. God gave man the greatest gift of free will, and, well, it didn't take long for that to go to heck.
Blame it on what you will. Blame it on Eve, or Adam, or the devil, or even God for giving it to us. The bottom line is that it is what it is. God loved us enough to give us free will and give us the choices to led to the world we've got.
I remember an episode of Supernatural a few seasons ago when Castiel said "free will is God's greatest gift - and just enough rope to hang yourself." I believe that's the most accurate way to put it. Free will is our greatest gift. The problem is; we don't always know what to do with it. And unfortunately, those that choose to hang usually put other necks in the noose with them. Connecticut is a perfect example of that. One man's choice to cause chaos denied twenty children the chance to grow up. It's beyond insanity. It's still, days later, incomprehensible.
Like I said yesterday, I can't justify it. I can only say to be honest with the questions, frustrations and anger. Honest anger is greater than fake faith anytime.
I will say that the free will paradox is something I've pondered a lot the last few days. It is mind boggling. We say how can this kind of evil be in the world, but yet there's still good and beauty here too. For everyone that causes chaos, there's a peacemaker. For all that's ugly, there's something beautiful. For all that hurts, there is healing. Every struggle can build strength. Every doubt can build faith. Every trial can be a step toward victory. It takes time. It takes work - more work than we think we can ever do. And it takes faith - more faith that we can muster on our own. But most of all, it takes the honesty to admit that we don't have all the answers, and the courage to decide that we will have faith and do what is right even if we don't understand why. And that's the hardest thing of all to do.
It's heavy stuff folks; there's no doubt about that. I don't think that now is the time to jump to action, though. We have a lot to process and acting in emotion usually leads to mistakes. What we need is to grieve. What we need is to heal. What we need is something good to remind us that all hope is not lost. The world is still turning. It's not over yet.
And what do you know - it's Christmas, the celebration of the arrival of the Messiah. Who knows? Perhaps the reminder of earth's greatest miracle, of time to celebrate with family and friends, is exactly what we need right now.
That's all today. Take care.