Evil’s ancient, and finds its way into nearly every fiber of our existence. It’s easy to become numb to mass shootings. But we must resist. When they do occur, predictably it’s politicized by the media, and their ilk slavishly rushing to offer another tawdry appeal for stricter gun control, before the dead are lain to rest. It hasn’t worked in Chicago. You may recall the El Paso shooter reportedly wanted “to kill as many Mexicans as possible.” The 24 year old Dayton shooter didn’t survive, despite wearing body armor. Pundits scratch their heads, scouring the landscape for some explanation that comports with motives palatable to a culture inclined to reject the possibility of Absolute Evil. Is it a “mental health” crisis? Their preference is pillorying “assault rifles,” gaps in background checks, and failed gun buy backs. Do they have any idea how many firearms are in Wyoming? And, we ain’t selling.
Last month at a Greenwood, Indiana mall, we witnessed what a “good guy with a gun” can do to a “bad guy with a gun.” Would-be hero, 22 year old Elisjsha Dickens, braced himself against a pole, drew his pistol and shot the gunman-8 of 10 shots found their mark-fatally dispatching the bad guy. Trained by his grandfather, he saved countless lives that day from Evil’s reach. Greenwood Police Chief Jim Ison said about Dickens, “I will say his actions were nothing short of heroic.”
Once respected NRA, repeated what most liberty minded citizens know, “The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun.” Such outcomes are rare. Usually it’s a massacre before law enforcement arrives. In Uvalde, it was far too little, too late. For the mainstream media and Progressives, it ignites another debate over gun laws, with a renewed attempt to confiscate law biding citizens firearms, and infringe upon our Constitutional Second Amendment guarantee.
Is this good versus evil? Sure looks that way. Memories are few regarding gun safety of yesteryear. In a 1930’s Sears & Roebuck catalogue, one could purchase any of ninety-six rifles or shotguns, to delivered to one’s door by the U.S. Postal Service. That practice continued until the late 1970’s. How many mass shootings do you recall during that forty year span? What changed so dramatically in our society? Is it inexplicable? Opinions are abundant. There’s a paucity of solutions.
Our Second Amendment’s convenient prey for Democrats and Progressives, swarming like buzzards on a three legged dog. Should one dismiss the insatiable appetite for vicariously acting out violent video games? What about the unbridled access to the “dark side” of the internet and social media? Pornography at anyone’s finger tips, where teens swap nude photos like baseball cards. What of the loss of True North on our moral compass? Why the knee-jerk response to infringe on our Second Amendment? Or raising the age of purchasing a rifle to twenty-one? The average age of mass shooters is 33 years, according to the Rockefeller Institute of Government.
One ER doctor labeled mass shootings a “Public health crisis,” calling on Congress to act. The same Congress who wouldn’t lift a finger to outlaw killing newborns at birth. If it is a “public health crisis” how do we fix it? 20th century British independent writer, Malcolm Muggeridge, in 1932, with his wife, spent six months in Moscow, at the time a Mecca for every liberal mind. He lived under the hideousness of communism, rightly described liberalism, in any form, as a death-wish. He understood that, any version of liberal Progressives, would also seek only to advance their lunatic creed of “pleasure for we, misery for thee” at any cost. For them, standing against moral evil lapses into convenient apathy, with vociferous public outrage, intended to dupe the masses.
Historically, at the conclusion of WWI, there was a naive movement, that the world powers must do whatever it takes to remove the causes for war and conflict from the earth. Idealist and humanist mislabeled WWI, “The War to end all wars.” One of the fathers of science fiction, British writer, historian, and social gadfly, H.G. Wells was considered a prophet by his humanist contemporaries, though he was known primarily for his novels, “The War of the Worlds,” “The Invisible Man,” and “The Time Machine.” He predicted some of the technological advances of the 20th century, and wrote about the “evils of war” advocating a naive pacifist approach. When war descended upon Europe, he concluded that the German buildup, since the nation’s unification, was driven by a corrupt industrial and political system, that needed to “be eradicated.” He was a force to conclude that the unbounded optimism of Western man, reached exhaustion, facing his extinction, in his own manufactured, misguided nobility.
In 1914, Wells penned a series of essays advocating the disarmament of the German Empire as the only solution to stave off further war in Europe. He wrote, “This is now a war for peace.” He lobbied the league of nations that would usher in a one-world government. President Woodrow Wilson helped put form to the League of Nations immediately after WWI. The U.S. didn’t officially join due to a congressional isolationists opposition. Previously, few imagined that the entire globe could be engulfed in war and conflict. Leaders were optimistic that, in the insanity of the “apparent evil” humanity would “come to its senses” and purge the utter brutality of war and recognize the futility of such future conflicts.
Most know the League of Nations suffered and failed, like the feckless money-pit, United Nations, to prevent further conflict in the 20th century and beyond. After the 1919, Versailles Paris Peace Conference, it was apparent slogans and vacuous words were wholly insufficient. Nevertheless, that didn’t halt the proclivity “to meet in Paris” after WWII, in 1947, and in 1973, Paris Peace Accords, ending our involvement in Viet Nam. The 2015, Paris Agreement on Climate Change, from which President Trump wisely bolted. What’s in the drinking water in Paris? In Well’s world, universally befuddled commentators concluded what ultimately was needed was a “change in the way people think.”
Wells belatedly came to see that ending any conflict would require a “change in human nature.” With their misguided “faith in man’s goodness” shaken, scholars and world leaders, refused to swallow the bitter root that Man, at his core, unredeemed, is morally bankrupt. Desperate to find an alternative, rejecting an orthodox Biblical view of Man, many advocated that education would ultimately eradicate the causes of conflict. That failing narrative’s the default response in most academic, political and public circles today, leaving them duped, empty handed, and soulless.
Evil has found a home in rogue libraries today, with half-naked perverts dancing around children, as adults sit idly, and call it good. We’ve heard chilling accounts of parents caging and starving their offspring for years. What’s that? Poor parenting skills? Discipline gone awry? Or Evil? C.S. Lewis declared, “Free will, though it makes evil possible for any love or goodness of joy worth having.” We’ve erred in condemning only evil monsters like Amin, Hitler and Stalin. There are many faces of Evil. Some will surprise us. Eighth grade boy was charged with intentional murder and rape, in that order, of a 10 year old girl, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
It’s easy for one to diminish, or ignore, the existence of Evil, until one’s the victim of a depraved act. William Golding’s 1954, “Lord of the Flies,” once required reading for high schools, exploded the myth of youthful innocence. Hawthorne’s 1850, “The Scarlet Letter,” impressed upon a nation, which was predisposed to forget the idea of original sin, and its pervasive reach. His burning passion was morality. With good natured contempt, he said that sin, though it burns, it also awakens some. Hawthorne’s “Celestial Railroad,” imitates “The Pilgrim’s Progress.” Still a compelling short read for the hungry heart. He comprehended that sin will always corrupt any society, and to omit it from our vernacular, only advances a farcical delusion. Therefore, relinquishing any ground for moral authority.
Evil doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It exists much the way a wound exists on one’s body, or rust on a vehicle. Neither can exist on its own. There must be an agent. We’re that agent. When God created Adam good, but he was as free agent. Eyes wide open, Adam chose disobedience. Goodness always existed as an extension of God’s Holy character. Not Evil. It entered with Lucifer’s rebellion and invaded our physical universe. That’s our ball and chain to this day. The fig leaf of man’s pretension to rectitude and nobility are stripped away. Evil testifies otherwise.
Camus was wrong; evil’s root isn’t ignorance-it’s sin. His French Enlightenment predecessors, Condorcet and Rousseau believed man had a general impulse to benevolence, which John Adams knew to be impossible, writing, “Human appetites, passions, prejudices, and self-love will never be conquered by benevolence and knowledge alone.” Sin honors no geographic or economic boundaries, ethnicity or creed-only the certainty of despoiling mankind when provocation arises.
In the face of Absolute Evil, we’re offered illusory feel-good maneuvers to find less offensive terms. What’s next? Kim Jong Un having a “change of heart?” Will he launch a “Love They Neighbor Foundation” in Pyongyang, instead of missiles? When Absolute Evil rears its ugly head we must reject another socially acceptable term. To his credit, El Paso’s Mayor called the shooter “pure evil.” Humanistic romanticism dismisses the one element that enables such chaotic carnage. Man’s propensity to Evil.
Therefore, another FBI profile, which conveniently surfaces after the shooting, a panel of domestic counter terrorism experts, more federal dollars, congressional panel, or candle-light vigil, won’t halt the onslaught of Evil. The ancients warned, “Woe to them that call evil good, and good evil.” Those proud in their own vain imaginations are doomed to perpetuate Evil. There’s only One inoculation against Evil, in a culture that will embrace nearly anything, but rejects Him. What do you think?
Mike Pyatt’s a Natrona County citizen. His email’s firstname.lastname@example.org