The unspeakable acts committed in Newtown, Connecticut are just that; cold-blooded murders perpetrated by a very disturbed man. Yet, in the same breath, it’s extremely disturbing that so many have tried to politicize the deaths of these children solely for the exploits of a political agenda. I could try to blame an inanimate object, completely disregard the culpability of the offender, but that would be both myopic and irresponsible. If someone truly wants to harm others, the weapon of choice - guns, poison, a Ryder truck filled with explosives - is merely a means of malevolence, a tool of one's bidding.
The truth is, “we as a society” - not firearms - bear much of the blame. For decades our values and morals have systematically eroded under the banner of “modernity” and “tolerance”. Violence is rampant in every facet of our lives – television, movies, video games, sports, everyday lifestyle – and yet Hollywood, the pinnacle of political hypocrisy, points the finger at gun loving, uncultured rednecks. Sure, some may be, yet by the same token, countless children, some as young as elementary school, have seen every kind of porn on the internet – even “sexting” and sending nude pictures to friends – before that fabled first date or first kiss. If that’s not disturbing, I don’t know what is. Then again, countless adults, those whom kids rely on for guidance and strength, are now busted watching it at work. And yes, that includes our so-called elected leaders who lack the competence and due diligence to even balance the national checkbook. So much for strength in numbers, or should I say, moral authority?
Speaking of the American family, it has now officially become a victim of relativism and the epitome of dysfunction; an epitaph chiseled by broken homes, absent or abusive parenting, and alcohol-induced mentoring. Unfortunately, whenever critics try to point out these glaring deficits – especially in the realm of sex, drugs and violence – they’re labeled antiquated prudes, religious extremists. The fact God, faith, is incessantly being eroded by radical, fringe elements within this country is case-in-point. Progressives dismissed God from our educational institutions, his moral doctrine, yet we fill our prisons with Bibles. Likewise, and equally bewildering, some will fight tooth and nail to protect abortion – which in its most glorified state is still the death of a human being – yet they turn a blind eye to the cultural divide that is engulfing our youth, if not our very souls, in the process. Regardless of whether you’re a Christian, a Jew, or an Atheist, morality/ethics doesn’t change according to place or era; no matter how hard political hacks try to use entertainment and/or pop culture polls to condition the masses and sway your opinions. Sadly, the heartbreak in Newtown is but a microcosm of our own failure: in what we teach, value, and what we protect. If one value is breached, what is to keep the next one from suffering the same fate? Is it nothing more than an election-day referendum? Then again, as long as we get our favorite TV show, that new cell phone, those bedazzled shoes, free internet porn, and our favorite food delivered to our recliner, do we even care anymore?
That antiquated common thread of decency, common sense, is quickly unraveling as we incessantly squabble over political talking points in a desperate an insatiable attempt to shove our respective agendas down each other’s throat. We can argue gun control until we’re blue in the face, yet that will not change the real problem: America. Drugs are supposedly illegal, yet they are prevalent in our schools, our neighborhoods. Therefore, these senseless acts will not subside until we as a nation look in the mirror and realize we all have a cross to bear. I, for one, am disgusted by what I see. What parent ever dreams of their child becoming a heroin addict, a prostitute, the executioner of childhood innocence? If “change” does not begin at home, in our everyday lives, it is nothing more than a trending twitter hashtag, a blank check for disaster. Our beloved nation is becoming morally bankrupt, and frankly I don’t think we can bear the cost much longer. May God be with the victims and their families, and may he give us the strength to do what is right: to become accountable!