My Life is Over
I just finished watching the initial court appearance of the young man accused of killing 12 and injuring dozens more at the recent "Batman" premier. I'm sure this tragedy will be the subject of news reports for the next several days. Like most similar tragedies, it raises several questions.
As is usually the case in such tragedies, the subject of gun control comes up. If the ban on assault rifles had not been allowed to expire, could he have acquired the weapons to carry out this atrocity? He was armed with a Glock, an AK-15 and a shotgun. Even without the assault rifle, he still could hve inflicted severe damage with the Glock and the shotgun. And since when have civilians been allowed to purchase tear gas grenades?
On the other hand, what if some of the audience had been armed? It's easy to plan a massacre if you know nobody is going to be shooting back. He was heavily armored so he was obviously expecting retaliation. Would the increased likelihood of armed retaliation have made a difference?
But perhaps the most fundamental question is what would lead a 24-year old man to say to the police, "One way or another, my life is over"? If I had made that decision at that age, I never would have been able to serve as a minister. I would not have met the woman I have loved and shared my life with for the past 24 years. I would not have written songs or developed my web site. There are so many experiences I have had in the last 42 years that I would not trade for anything. The young man accused of these crimes will never get to have these experiences.
Neither will those who are convinced by religious professionals that the best way to serve God is to kill themselves in order to kill others. The implication here is that God made a mistake in creating certain people and wants you to rectify His error. This means that God is capable of making mistakes and can not see ahead to the results of His actions. The God I worship is neither incompetent or blind. So what makes a person willing to sacrifice himself for such a blind, incompetent deity? And what makes people who are supposed to be the servants and representatives of God portray Him in this way?
So many questions.