I headed to my condo and turned on the TV … and still have trouble believing what I saw --- what had happened.
By now all of us – even those who are glued to soap operas and entertainment news shows 24/7 – know the story, so there’s no need to go over the hideous details again. There is, though, plenty to address on the issue.
Here’s the headline of the Newton story in this morning’s Naples Daily News:
Investigators, Newtown, world still struggle with 'Why?' gunman shot 26 people
Why? There is no “why.” Clearly these were the actions of a mentally and morally depraved and deranged 20-year-old male. People this profoundly mentally ill don’t deal in “whys.” They act compulsively and without reason. They have always been with us, and always will be. One thing is for sure … you do not structure society or the rules that society lives by with your focus on the madman. None of us (I hope) would want to live in a society governed by rules that completely negate the possibility of harm ever befalling us, our families, or our friends at the hands of a deranged monster. If you’re looking for that degree of security, your perfect place would be a maximum security prison cell.
Still --- since the cable channels have seen fit to provide us with pretty much three days hours of wall-to-wall coverage of the Newton shootings, with endless repetitions of the “why” question, maybe I could give you a few rabbit trails to scamper down.
1. Let’s look into our celebrity culture, particularly as it’s designed for and aimed at children. I don’t spend a lot of time watching this type of TV … but it seems that a preponderance of these shows center around young people who become famous .. usually by being in a rock band, a singing star, a cool guitar player, a dancer or an actor. It’s all about becoming famous. Get just a bit older and you have American Idol. It seems that every child’s goal in life should be to have everyone know your name … to be a celebrity. It’s not enough to have a nice Collie named Lassie or a horse named Flicka to hang aroiund with. You must have fame, and without fame you are a failure. The question, then, is just how far you will go to make sure that everyone knows your name. Whatever your path to fame, you are NOT going to seek that fame by murdering 26 people and then killing yourself unless you are severely mentally ill.