The reaction to the shootings has focused on the liberal gun laws that are so beloved by so many who resist to their bones any attempt to introduce more control about gun ownership,but the problem goes much deeper. We live in a world where violence is condoned if not encouraged through films, video and computer games, through the Internet and where pornography and sexual images are easily accessible by children. Indeed, sexting (explicit sexual texting with images) is commonplace now among young teenagers. It is not surprising that sexual and physical abuse is so prevalent in many western countries.
Meanwhile and perhaps as a result of this and a judgmental and pressuring society, mental fragility in young people as well as adults is increasing but the means to help them is not. It was recognised that Adam Lanza as a young boy had social difficulties: these worsened as he grew older but the care he needed was not there. We do not know yet why he was driven to kill as he did, but he must have been profoundly disturbed and in need of protection for his sake and that of his community, and of love. The young, sad killer in Colorado also needed help but was insufficiently unnoticed until he drew the attention of the world to himself in a cinema one night.
We have created a culture where vicarious violence is accepted and non-conformists to the norm feel excluded to the point of mental collapse but without the resources to help them through it. It takes courage, these days, to be yourself comfortably.
Through the pall of sadness as children begin to be buried, light shines as at last Americans start to reflect seriously on what has brought their society to a point where multiple murder becomes regular. Their experience and their reaction teaches us all, in perfect time, about the importance of unconditional love.]]>