Politicians all over the country are trying to make hay out of the tragedy in Colorado. How cynical can we all be to use this great human tragedy for personal aggrandizement? A Congressman from Texas used this tragedy to make remarks on what he believes is an attach on Christian values. Others are using this to pressure the government to make more rules on guns. That same Congressman suggested that the solution would have been for someone in the theater to have had a gun to shoot the shooter. What? Can you imagine a dark theater with guns blazing all over. The death toll would have been so much greater. Perhaps that should have happened to show the stupidity of the idea. We have so much to learn from this experience, but gun laws are not the primary lesson to be gleaned from it. We don't realize how precious human life is. We send young men all over the world to kill and be killed. We have movies and TV shows that glorify the killing of bad guys. We make it a big deal when someone is executed. People cheered at the thought that someone without means should die because he didn't have insurance. People jeered a gay soldier. We have millions without jobs and Congress passes bills on abortion. We inherited a culture of violence from our ancestors who populated this country by wiping out indigenous peoples. Do you remember reading about Squanto, who helped save the Pilgrims? He stayed with the English, because his entire tribe had been wiped out because of European diseases. We had ancestors who deliberately gave Native Americans blankets infected with small pox. Small wonder that we think violence is a solution to problems. It is not a solution. It is a symptom of greater issues having to do with our value system. Whose life is valuable? Is George Zimmerman's life more valuable than Trayvon Martin's? We live in a culture that values some lives over others. We used the attack on 9/11 to justify the slaughter of a hundred thousand Iraqis and untold numbers of Afghanis. This is not to say that the attack on 9/11 was justified. It was not. 3000 lives were lost. These lives were precious, just as precious as the lives of the Iraqis and Afghanis. Vengeance is no answer. Violence begets violence.
We must rethink our value system; our reasons for believing that actions are justified. There is a law of unintended consequences. That law tells us that we should look deeper before we act. Do you know all of the consequences of your action? If not, then you should be wary of action.
We can take this tragic situation in Colorado to reexamine our prejudices, our values, our beliefs in the value of human life.