Voltaire wrote “A little evil is often necessary for obtaining a greater good”. Have we reached a stage in life where we have become apathetic, desensitized, and in the face of what seems unabated evil and what often are a result, death and destruction, do we just shrug our shoulders and move on? Some have said so, but I would argue otherwise. The American people, for the most part, are generous, concerned and compassionate citizens, and will extend a helping hand and confront adversity with strength and determination. But when will the greater good, as the French philosopher spoke of, finally make its appearance and confront the ravages of darkness and evil.
When we leave our homes each morning travelling wherever, to business, the supermarket or school, the thought of our not ever again returning to our families and loved ones doesn’t often enter our minds. Most of us are ready to face any challenge and confront the vicissitudes of life with courage and strength, anticipating a good productive day and hopefully a bright future.
The thought that somewhere out there is a sick deranged killer whose inner most demons, the evil within, have been released to ply their dastardly deeds. This tortured and demented soul that sees only hopelessness and despair, and who lives in a world filled with darkness and pain, is unknown to us. This destroyer of lives is somewhere out there ready and waiting.
Once again it didn’t take long for the face of evil to rear its ugly head. This time, but sadly not the first time, it’s in a place that used to be thought a sanctuary, an institution of education where young people gather to learn and gain in knowledge and understanding, and to one day take hold of the reins of power and lead this nation forward. When these innocent young people left home that day their futures lay before them, things I would hope looked bright; they were travelling to a place where they would be among friends and dedicated adults who would teach and guide them in the ways of the world.
What do the following numbers, 3, 14, 15, 17, 18, and 39 have in common. Well let’s see. On February 14 at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High school in Parkland, Florida another mass shooting occurred. There were 17 victims comprised of 14 students and 3 members of the faculty. The killer was an 18 year old, former student with his weapon of choice an AR-15. According to reports, local law enforcement visited the killer’s home on 39 occasions, based on information from concerned citizens.
As usual the knives came out, fingers pointed and accusations flowed like a raging river. Stricter gun control was the first issue raised by I believe those with an agenda, and in the background mention made of mental health, federal background checks and age restriction. But what is most reprehensible is the politicizing of this tragic deadly massacre, as most of the usual suspects were intent on doing. The mainstream liberal media and democrats using the death of the innocent as another opportunity to cast blame at the president and republicans, accusing them of being in the pocket of the National Rifle Association (NRA), was the order of the day.
This mass shooting, however, had another aspect to it that has caused the nation to question the efficiency and diligence of government agency that we’ve come to rely on for our safety and security. It seems this 18 year old killer, Nikolas Cruz, was known by the FBI and as well as local law enforcement, as previously stated, their having received multiple warnings.
President Trump met with students and family members of the victims on Thursday, February 21, at the White House. He listened to their concerns, complaints and ideas, sat silent and allowed each speaker to have their say. There were many tears and some spoke with anger, other with heartfelt sadness and frustration.
The students who survived the killers bullets have taken up the mantle of activism and have been speaking out and holding demonstrations calling for gun control measures and warning politicians that they will jeopardize their reelections if they do not support stricter gun control.
Let us hope the students from the Stoneman Douglas High School, who are speaking out, know the difference between honest and unbiased reporting from fake news. Let them be wary of the media and political class, who because of their youth and perhaps gullibility, would seek to take advantage of them and their activism.
Photos of the students and faculty that were killed have appeared in multiple news sources. I have looked at their faces, the bright happy smiles of youth and the more matured visages of the three heroic faculty members. I think we can be certain they all had hopes and dreams and that following the school day they’d return to the warmth and comfort of home. May they rest in peace.