Another horrible mass murder has taken place and the nation mourns. It is yet one more incident in a string of such crimes that has come to characterize our sad times.
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While the Charleston shootings have undoubted racial overtones, the event does not represent a massive culture of racial hatred as is sometimes insinuated. Indeed, all Americans, black and white, grieve and repudiate this senseless act of violence. All feel the pain of the victims and their families. All look for causes to explain the unexplainable.
Some journalists strive to supply narratives in terms of social structures to explain why these murderers do what they do. Perhaps, it is better to look deeper into the individual narratives as a means to help explain what leads these people to commit the worst atrocities.
The profiles of our mass murderers, including the present one, are strikingly similar. These are frustrated young men, introverted and lacking social skills. They are often medicated, abuse substances and come from broken homes. These self-absorbed individuals plan spectacular events to gain the recognition and attention they crave. Most profess no specific ideology or religion, but hold beliefs that reflect addled minds and broken lives.
Members of this lost band of young men roam our streets and hide in the shadows of cyberspace. Inside they cry out for help, but outside they are invisible since they live silent lives of rebellion and resentment. Alone in their fantasies, they are convinced they can be whatever they imagine themselves to be and do whatever they imagine possible to do. These spoiled children of unreality were given everything, save the loving restraint of a parental “No” that they so desperately needed.
There is little society can do against this lost band since its members cannot be apprehended. Until they appear on the front page of newspapers, these young men usually have committed no major crimes. Police are helpless to defuse these ticking time bombs ever ready to explode and claim more victims.
There are those who claim the only way to stop mass murderers is to disarm all citizens including those who would defend themselves against such threats. However, such “solutions” do not address the cause: the deranged monsters among us.
Would it not be better to stop the monsters from appearing?
However, to move in this direction would be to admit that the liberal experiment of moral relativism has failed. People would have to acknowledge that there is a moral code in which right and wrong exist and all must act accordingly. It would require the repudiation of the extreme individualism of our times where a person can make himself a monster at the center of a deranged universe of his own creation.
There was a time when such deranged monsters stayed within their own skewed universes. But now, the barriers have been overturned. They have escaped and entered into the real lives of others, causing their deaths. In their cowardice, they seek out those most vulnerable, found in defenseless schools and churches, to carry out their evil designs.
Such individuals have turned away from the notion of a true God and a moral law and turned themselves into dark gods of disorder. Until there is a movement toward recognizing the need for a return to moral order, the nation will continue to be vulnerable to the monsters among us.