This last Thursday in Oregon at a Community College, there was another mass shooting in which 10 people were killed, and authorities are tiring to find out why it happened, why the shooter did what he did? It is not totally clear what the shooter’s motive was but then it never really is. Yet we still try to rationalize these kinds of tragedies.
Whenever an event like the one in Oregon or the Charlestown South Carolina shooting happens it reminds us that there is evil in the world, if we are honest with ourselves and not blind to this truth. The despicable act of not only killing nine people in a house of worship but doing so after sitting among them, or for that matter killing any group of people that are just living out their lives or going to get an education can be nothing but evil.
And these are not the only events in our time to remind us of evil and its existence. There is the Islamic State or ISIS and their brutal tactics and actions. There are other shooting/mass killings that have happened over the last few years, from the Gabby Giffords shooting to the Connecticut school shooting. All of these have one thing in common, killing for the sense of killing or because the killers could.
Each time an event like one of these happens everyone immediately tries to understand why it happened and the motivations behind the shooter/s. Their medical history is gone over along with any social media accounts and other writings or clues left behind. All of this is good for it may very well help in preventing future such acts, but none of it means anything if we as a society will not acknowledge the obvious. That regardless of the motivations and mental health of the shooter/s, in the end it is evil that is responsible.
When a society cannot or will not acknowledge the existence of evil, the more that society will be plagued by evil actions and events. Only by acknowledging its existence can we do something to prevent/lessen such acts as mass killings/shootings and other such evil acts. That something, in the end, is love, love for one another: for family, friends, and community and God. Only this Love is able to extinguish evil. Everything else is just addressing the issue of evil and mediating its effects but not ridding the world of it. The less love there is the more evil there will be in the world, and the more we don’t recognize that evil and that it exists the more prevalent it will be and the more it will control our lives.