Dr. Bill Atwood

Evil is the root of gun violence in America. Let’s find a way to root it out

It wasn’t Donald Trump’s fault. It wasn’t the NRA. It wasn’t the weapon that caused the tragedies in Gilroy, El Paso and Dayton. It was evil. There is evil in the world and we have witnessed it on a grand scale in the past two weeks. It hits us hard because it involves many people at one time but it also involves activities that every one of us enjoys. We all have attended festivals including the Gilroy Garlic Festival. We shop at Walmart. We go to night spots for an evening out. It is the realization that at any time we, or a friend, co-worker or family member could be killed by a senseless act of evil.

We have allowed evil into our societal norms. We permit the youngsters in our lives to play video games that involve gore, death, bloodthirsty acts and we shrug it off as OK. The movies we watch show the “good guys” killing many of the “bad guys” in staggering numbers. This serves to desensitize folks about the killing of our fellow citizens.

We have become a secular society. The ACLU wants to keep God out of classrooms with any displays of the Ten Commandments. Perhaps if those scoundrels had seen a daily reminder of “Thou shall not kill” it may have given them some food for thought.

I happened to go to school with the killer from Las Vegas. Steve Paddock was in classes I was in and once in awhile we ate lunch together with other friends. Nothing in his actions would have led me ever to think he would shoot folks as he did. Evil came into his life.

The suspect in El Paso went on a rampage as did the evil man in Dayton. The great law enforcement folks will determine a motive if at all possible. The El Paso suspect will face a jury.

Politicians are crying out for swift and sure justice. It will be a year or two before this comes to trial as every conceivable motion will be filed to delay and delay and delay. Then the public will cry out that he is a victim of something and that there were mitigating circumstances to contemplate before carrying out a just sentence. I’m 67. I bet he will outlive me if I live another 25 years.

Already we are hearing the shameless politicians and the pundits blaming white nationalism, racism and other causes. They have zero expertise in the subject and no more facts than the rest of us but they are calling for tougher gun laws, banning of guns, more restrictions on the 2nd Amendment and we still haven’t heard the causes of the evil acts.

Before you call for the banning of guns, please remember some facts: Of the nearly 40,000 gun deaths in 2017 (the most recent data available from the Centers for Disease Control), nearly 24,000 were suicides. Of the remaining 15,000 or so, experts agree that more than 9,000 are gang-related deaths. The remaining gun-related deaths include such things as hunting accidents, home-invasion incidents and homicide between people who know one another causing one to kill the victim. It isn’t the Wild West.

Don’t seek to upend the 2nd Amendment. It is as much a right as any of the other nine listed in the Bill of Rights.

We need to seek ways to rid our nation of evil. There are places of worship in our community that can share with you how to protect yourself from the evils that surround you. Visit with them and pray with them and let’s work to push evil aside.

Pray for Gilroy, El Paso and Dayton; they’re hurting.

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