Janice Shaw Crouse

•[The media] will also bring up, as they did yesterday, Sarah Palin putting Gabrielle Giffords on her target list for defeat with a rifle scope symbol over her district. Markos Moulitsas of the Daily Kos, the largest left-wing community online, put Gabrielle Giffords, by all accounts a Blue Dog Democrat, on a target list with a bullseye. Just as Sarah Palin removed her post, Markos has removed his.

•Another Daily Kos writer, just the other day, penned a post saying Congresswoman Giffords was dead to him.

•On YouTube, [the shooter] flagged as a favorite video one of a person dressed as a terrorist burning the American flag. Only a lunatic or a leftist would do that.

•[The shooter’s] favorite work was not a Glenn Beck book, but a staple of every left-wing bookshelf, the Communist Manifesto. In the Communist Manifesto, there are numerous, frequent calls for violence against the bourgeoisies.

•Left-wing cartoonist Ted Rall’s most recent book calls for a violent response from the left against the right.

•Barack Obama himself told left-wing activists, “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun.”

Equally important, Erick Erickson pointed out that the media, by using words to describe the right that they believe incite violence, are creating a situation that endangers those holding conservative views. Erickson also noted — using the evidence presented in media reports — there is no way that the shooter identified with the political right.

So, if the young man accused of the shooting is “not of the tea party movement, not a Dittohead, not led by Sarah Palin,” or a hater of Barack Obama, what prompted his attack on innocent people? Acquaintances are coming forward to tell about situations where the young man was “disruptive” and “seemed deranged.” Gradually, truth will emerge; obviously, he is a seriously disturbed young man who planned and executed a very evil act.

My friend, Michael L. Peterson, a philosophy professor at Asbury University, is considered one of America’s foremost authorities on the problem of evil, which he identifies as the “one of the most serious philosophical challenges to the Christian faith.” He notes that many theologians and philosophers avoid or evade “this agonizing problem” in the “vast body of scholarship” on the subject. Others obfuscate the problem, in the hopes that it will go away. As is illustrated in this latest horrific shooting, the problem is not going away. Philosophers and theologians discuss the idea of the “concrete problems of evil” and the theory that there must be “practical adjustments to evil.”

I would suggest that one of the first “practical adjustments” that we must make in this modern, scary world of random mass shootings, is first to acknowledge that evil exists. Second, it is past time for the American people to once again understand — as did our pioneer forbearers — that we must take personal responsibility for recognizing threats posed by those people who are the embodiment of evil. We should neither panic, nor passively stand aside waiting for deliverance but act worthy of the sacrifices of America’s heroes, most recently the firefighters on 9/11 and the passengers of UA Flight 73, who have battled evil to enable our freedom to continue. Americans can take justifiable pride in the noble history we have of actively combating evil when it manifests itself, whether at home or abroad.

Janice Shaw Crouse

Janice Shaw Crouse is a former speechwriter for George H. W. Bush and now political commentator for the Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee.
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