What is response to a mass killing?

Our natural response to an evil act and unjust loss of life as recently occurred in Florida is: “How can this be? What can be done to prevent this from happening again?”

As a parent with many concerns for our children, why do we have to add mass casualty acts of violence to other worries? Even worse, what was once considered off limits by even heinous law breakers, people are now attacked as they worship at church or little ones as they learn at school.

A knee-jerk reaction is to limit access to the means/instruments of such violence. But what do we do in a world where evil people have used fertilizer as an explosive (Oklahoma bombing), or airplanes as missiles (9/11) or vehicles to mow down pedestrians (London, New York and France), or pressure cookers as IEDs (Boston bombing) or large trucks as mass casualty weapons (France and Germany).

Even one man with a knife and a darkened conscience can cause a blood bath.

The evil is not in the means/instrument used to carry out the violent act. The evil is deep within the human heart.

It is a problem more profound than a simple ban on weapons. Until we realize that violence is increasing in our world because evil is increasing in our world we will seek remedies that miss the cure for evil, which is a spiritual/metaphysical problem.

We often spend most hours of our days working to get for ourselves all our fill of worldly goods, or maybe just to survive to the next billing cycle. Truthfully, even if we get all of the things we want from this world, we can still be starving for what we need.

Things like peace of mind, meaning, self-worth and love are not going to come magically in the mail or from a big box store. May I add to this list security and safety?

No, there is not a single easy answer like more gun control. But in positing the question of “Why?” we should realize the answer is not simply restraining access to physical weapons.

The problem resides in the non-physical realm of our human souls ever conforming to a world that will never fulfill and meet our needs for faith.

Matthew Stachmus