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Anorak | The Sandy Hook massacre: The Mishnah and the reasons for evil

The Sandy Hook massacre: The Mishnah and the reasons for evil

by | 17th, December 2012

PA 15399644 The Sandy Hook massacre: The Mishnah and the reasons for evil

THE Sandy Hook massacre: Ben Domenech writes at The Transom:

It is a natural tendency on the part of most human beings, when confronted with great evil, to want to do something about it. We want to stop the horror of death and violence and disease. It speaks to what is good within us that we desire this—it speaks to a recognition on our part, innate and abiding, that there is something terribly broken in this world—a great mistake which has been made along the way, a gear missed in the works, a gaping hole where something should be. The feeling is all the stronger when we face the destruction of innocent life—the life of a child. The Mishnah tells us that the act of murder destroys a whole world—the world as it would’ve been with that person in it. When the worlds wiped out are so young, the shock of it all echoes and rebounds throughout the lives of others for generations. And the only part that can be played by those left behind is one of charity.

This is a frustrating limitation, and so those who are more naturally given to see problems of law or culture as the reason for evil look at the horror of Newtown as something that can be prevented, if only we do this or that thing, pass this or that law. Something must be done, they say. But their somethings all have this in common: none of their proposals, on guns or mental health or any other factor, would have prevented this awful crime. In the real world, there is no law that can make the murderously insane sane, or remove all weapons from their grasp. The tweaks that have been attempted in the past in our nation and others have proven insufficient time and again. And no step which disarms the law-abiding will help…

The guns used by the madman were purchased legally by his mother and kept safely in her home – as with most guns used in criminal acts, they were stolen. His own attempt to purchase a weapon ran into the legally required waiting period. There are just only so many steps you can take to prevent evil of this nature and still have a free society. After all, what really happens when you pass gun bans is that effectively, they work as permanent authorizations for police to stop and frisk urban minorities. Consider the case of Chicago, where Rahm Emanuel is talking about more restrictions in the wake of Newtown. What does he have in mind? There were 192 shootings in Chicago last month. On Friday alone there were 10 people shot in his city. Whatever Emanuel’s new law is, it would not prevent these crimes. In Mexico, there is one legal gun store to serve the entire nation. It is, according to the Washington Post, “not very busy.” In America, there are roughly 300 million privately owned firearms – and while some may dream of putting these firearms in a pile and melting them down, most Americans understand that the result of giving the government a monopoly on force would be awful for the very innocents such policies are intended to protect…

In the end, the options for what the law can do or society can do are largely limited. They will not prevent this sort of evil from happening again. This is infuriating, of course. All we can do, on an individual level, is prepare ourselves to do whatever it takes if we are put in the position of those who stand between the marauder and the innocent…

To say nothing of God…



Posted: 17th, December 2012 | In: News Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink