It’s called evil.
We never want to talk about evil in this country, do we? We rarely even say the word. We’re so shallow and distracted in our thinking. Everything has to be political or psychological, easily solved through policies or laws or pharmaceuticals. But all the drugs and legislation in the world won’t change the fact that humans are sinful and angry, and sometimes they do evil things on purpose, and not for any reason other than their own sick lust for vengeance, power, and pleasure.
That’s what I saw when the video of the WDBJ shooting appeared on my newsfeed yesterday morning. I didn’t see the result of “mental illness” or the side effects of bad policies or lax regulation or weak “gun control” or anything else. I saw envy and malice. I saw a man who calculated and planned his sin, then carried it out deliberately. I saw a choice. I saw evil.
I didn’t think, “Oh, if only [fill in the blank] law had been passed, this wouldn’t have happened!” or, “Man, if only the killer had been prescribed [fill in the blank medication] this could have been avoided!” No, I thought, “if only that man with free will and the same selfish, violent, malicious motivations that have inspired literally every act of evil ever committed in the history of mankind hadn’t chosen to act upon them, those two people would still be alive.” If only.
As you’re no doubt aware, yesterday a “disgruntled” former employee of a news station in Virginia murdered a reporter and her cameraman on live TV. Vester Flanagan, also known as Bryce Williams, who is black, updated his social media feeds throughout the attack and in the proceeding hours. He filmed and live Tweeted the murder. He used his Twitter account to promote his Facebook platform during the killing, telling his followers to go check out the other site for footage.
This was a 21st century murder, through and through. And America played along; Thousands of people actually shared the murder video, enticing their Facebook friends and Twitter followers to click and watch two people die on camera.
It’s called evil. This is where it leads.
Obviously, the racial makeup of the incident won’t be particularly useful to the sleazy race hustlers of America, even though some of them couldn’t wait more than a few seconds before embarrassing themselves by publicly assuming the killer was white. But the tool Falanagan used to carry out his deed did provide the mobs an opportunity to make political statements about gun control, literally within minutes of the shooting.
Hillary Clinton politicized the deaths while the bodies were still lying on the pavement. Hollywood actors and media members wasted no time in implicating the NRA. Naturally, the White House manned the battle stations, calling on Congress to pass “common sense gun control.” Other politicians and left wingers around the country joined in the gun control chorus, choosing to make political props of the bodies before they were bagged, let alone buried.
Of course, none of these disgusting opportunists explained how “gun control” could have prevented the massacre. Flanagan owned the handgun legally and had no criminal record. What law could have prohibited him from obtaining the weapon, aside from an across the board ban on all guns everywhere for everyone? Is that what’s being proposed? If not, why bring it up in relation to this story? We’re always told gun confiscation is a hysterical right wing myth, but what other conceivable law could possibly apply to this particular situation?
Meanwhile, Flanagan sent a lengthy manifesto to ABC News before committing suicide. He rambled that he killed Adam Ward and Alison Parker as revenge for the Charleston shooting, declared his intention to start a race war, and complained that he’d been discriminated against for being gay and black. It was the sort of whimpering, whining tale of faux-victimization that we’ve all heard a million times, often promoted by the media or the White House.
I imagine this detail — that he was a racist, black homosexual targeting straight white people — will severely shorten the amount of time this story spends in the headlines. Yet there’s no doubt that if he’d been a homophobic white man murdering gay black people on TV, this would be easily the biggest story of the year. Blatant double standards and all that. We know how it works.
So while it’s still briefly the lead story (or has it already been replaced by Donald Trump?), its worth reflecting on why this sort of thing happens. Not just the shootings, but the crass exploitation on the part of our politicians, our media, and, frankly, a good number of, as Hillary Clinton likes to say, “everyday Americans.”
It’s hard enough to deal with this seemingly constant onslaught of violence and depravity; it’s simply too much to endure, on top of it all, these damned vultures gleefully picking over the warm corpses, searching for a gotcha moment. It’s gross. It’s depressing. It’s sickening. It makes me wonder if many of us can feel anything anymore. Are we just men without chests, like CS Lewis said; vacant inside, hollow? Do we see the death, do we feel the pain, or is it all just a spectacle to us now? Is everything a circus?
Do we spend all of our time ingesting morally ambiguous garbage as entertainment and then struggle, after a while, to tell the difference between the “pretend” despair we wallow in for fun, and the real tragedy actually happening out in the three dimensional world? Or are we so aware of everything, and so pressured to have a perspective about all of it, that for efficiency’s sake we’ve had to stop actually reflecting and thinking about anything? Do we have a kind of industrial conveyor belt system of political prejudices and assumptions in our minds, processing each news item and quickly assembling and churning out a half baked, worthless opinion just so we can keep up with the next guy on Facebook?
I know. You’re going to say: “Well, Matt, isn’t that what you do for a living?” I try not to, I try to find something true and substantive to say, but I’m sure I’ve been guilty of reacting too quickly and too thoughtlessly to things sometimes.
We allow these butchers to accomplish the ultimate feat: not just killing innocent people, but luring the rest of us into participating in their evil. That isn’t to say we are all guilty of murder, but when we exploit a grotesque travesty, using it to make an entirely disingenuous point about gun control or whatever, we disregard the dignity and sacredness and decency and beauty of human life. We play the killer’s game. We look at things through his lens. We dance like puppets for him.
I think part of the problem is that we don’t know what else to do. These days, when some broken, barbaric predator goes out and inflicts his wrath and hatred on unsuspecting victims, we don’t know how to handle it, so we just spout rhetoric and leave it at that. Nothing improves. Nothing ever gets better. But if we could come back to a basic understanding — or at least recognition — of good and evil, then we could begin to understand why bad things happen, and how we might mitigate them in the future.
The answer to the “why,” of course, is evil. Most directly, the evil of the individual man who made a choice to perpetrate this terrible crime. He was not programmed to do what he did — he chose it. I’m sure in the coming days, along with hearing incessantly about the mythical “gun control,” we’ll also be told about his various supposed psychological illnesses. These will both be smokescreens.
Yes, certainly the man had mental problems — if you listen to the Centers for Disease Control, almost half of the country does or will — but most people don’t go out shooting reporters in the head. What’s the difference, then, between the nonviolent and violent “mentally disordered” person? Answer: choice. One chooses to do evil, the other doesn’t.
Predictably, however, when you make the revolutionary suggestion that evil exists, you’ll hear a lot of responses like this:
We look at the darkest, most disturbing actions carried out by the most hateful people, and rather than face the terrifying reality that, in fact, rational people choose to do evil, we retreat back into the comfortable fantasy that only crazy people do bad things.
When we lived in Long beach, surrounded by so many homosexuals, we saw a little-reported on thing that affects older homosexuals in great numbers.
As they get older and lose their looks these once hustlers turn into con artists and other types of criminals whose crimes show a lack of conscience.
This killer didn’t become a victim because he was black and/or homosexual.
He was hired because of those victim statuses.
He only got fired because he wore an Obama pin on an election day after being warned not to.
But read his manifesto/suicide letter and see how he careened from one victimhood status to another in his own mind.
He lacked the language for taking control of own thinking in a positive way.
Ultimately, this is the crime of political Correctness.
It robs weak people of the ability to even create a mental path to getting off the Liberal plantations of victomhoods.
Godlessness or a lack thereof has nothing to do with it. People with more religion than is good for them are the reason the Middle East is perpetually at war, and will likely remain so. They all think God wants them to conquer or kill the ungodly, which by definition is the other guy.
The problem there, and to a lesser degree in America, is a diminished capacity for empathy. It’s a spiritual affliction, not a religious problem. All of the religion in the world won’t help a person who lacks a capacity to understand that others are much like themselves. Evil is a result, not the cause.
And liberals thought, “Damn, if only he had killed some children, too… THEN we could have really parlayed this into some gun control restrictions!!”
While true, it sort of depends on what religion we are talking about, doesn’t it? While there are Christians in, say, Iraq, they are not organizing themselves to wipe out NON-Christians, are they? Israeli Jews are not campaigning to wipe out all NON-Jews, are they? Again, while your statement is factual, we can easily pinpoint precisely WHICH religion is committing atrocities in the name of God and which ones maintain a “live and let live” posture.
The problem, other than Islamic jihadists, is respect. The problem, for the most part, is the left, for they HAVE no respect for anyone but those who agree with them. For the most part, the negative effects of this lack of respect plays out in conversations like these, but sometimes, it makes people dead.
We have seen in the past decade, this disrespect for non-conforming ideas by the left explode. Disagreeing with Obama is racism. Disagreeing with infanticide is “war on women”. Preparing one’s self in an increasing violent and lawless society is murderous. There are no degrees or levels; either liberal or worthless.
In some cases, this turns violent. Some who have little or no respect for the values of anyone else develop that into a lack of respect for the LIVES of anyone else; anyone that disagrees is better off dead… to them, anyway.
Vester Flanagan saw racism, aimed mostly at him, everywhere. He saw personal insults, aimed at him, everywhere (he thought the term “field reporter” was racist). No one else’s opinion mattered and, eventually, no one else’s lives mattered, either. It was the same with the Aurora shooter, Gifford’s assailant, the VA Tech killer, the Sandy Hook slayer, the mad LA cop and others; it is no coincidence that they were all liberals. As they live their life of total disregard for anyone else’s ideas, views, values, rights or desires, they lose their regard for their lives and, sometimes just to make a point, they kill. Kill an innocent person, just to “make a statement”. Or, to end their own miserable existence.
Liberalism is not liberal any more… it IS evil, in the way it is employed nowadays. The current version of liberalism fails so miserably that all other opinions HAVE to be quelled, silenced, stamped out… eliminated. It isn’t that far a leap to Flanagan deciding that because of one racist idiot killing black church members, he has a DUTY to kill some white people.
Sharpton routinely encourages violence against whites for fabricated and imagined racist atrocities against blacks. White lives don’t matter; cop lives don’t matter.
This is going to get worse before it gets better because the left, facing further erosion of their power and influence due to the failure of the Obama administration, the exposure of Hillary’s incompetence, lying and corruption and the weak field of Democrat replacements put forth will enrage the more volatile liberals and provoke violent action. All the more reason, from their viewpoint, to impose more 2nd Amendment restrictions upon the law-abiding.