Saturday, May 28, 2022

Statement of the Chief of the General Staff on Current Violence

Msgr. Daniel Coberly 


The terribly sad events of recent days grieve all of us greatly, none more so than parents and relatives who lost a loved one. Our prayers are with them, for them, and for the children and adults who died senselessly. We all react normally to that abnormal situation...shocked, angry, aghast, seeking to assign blame, demanding what we think are simple solutions to a complex craziness. We seek to make sense out of nonsense, to rationalize the irrational. Yet we know in our hearts that the world has always been a violent place. There have been and may always be defective acts by defective people that seem senseless to the sensible and defenseless. Oh, we are indeed powerfully angry. Yet, there is a huge difference between our anger and the so-called "angry shooter". For we do not react to this major pain and insult with violence of our own; not even those millions among us who own "guns". Ponder that difference for a moment before over-simplified political polarizations kick in. For, we cannot imagine a more powerful rage than among a parent who lost an innocent child in such a terrible way....

The world is full of angry whackadoodles who learn from childhood, from entertainment that violence is ok and there is no reality to consequence. Our nation has encouraged whiners, not winners, sports stars not hard work, differences, not similarities. There are more “guns” than people, yes. There are also laws that people ignore, numbering in tens of thousands of laws still on books exceeding the populations of some major cities - and as a result, they are difficult to monitor and enforce. Few people with gun safety education-which should be everyone-harm anyone. There are those who would suppose there are more abortions that are not murders than there are such senseless acts of shooting children. When you change the way you look at things the things you look at change. A zillion laws will not stop one crazed person with a rock, a stick, a bat, a knife, a gun, a car….no amount of legislation will regulate morality nor common sense nor peace. No one is instantly ready at all times to stop one nut. We maintain military might to stop world-class bullies, but many die and legally murder to justly do so. It is the unjust that we each define that moves us, extremely evident in this cowardly and yes-crazy act. Some mental health care people say these shooters are “just angry, not crazy, not sociopaths, psychopaths, etc. others say spend more $$ on mental health care; certainly. That won’t stop a sane angry person though, will it? And not every looney toon. Consider also that many of these “sane and angry” are killed without us being able to accurately state their true mental health condition. We can read their manifestos, that to reasonable person sound rather unreasoned, unhinged with insane results. Personal example, a worldly education, a culture of compassion, of standards, of learning from failures and how to cope with life, those are things that our parents, churches used to actually teach, not just preach. We are what we think we are. Teach how to think. Have realistic expectations. Guns don’t kill people, people kill people. Guns make it easier to kill people—but also to stop someone from doing so. It would take total dictatorship to attempt to confiscate guns, ammo or weapons; there will always be someone who has them.

Maybe it is time to return to the simple notion that it takes a village to raise a child.  Each of us has a personal responsibility -- a duty -- to children, to ourselves, and to each other, not only to protect, but to set a positive example.