Well, this week our show is going to be a little different. Of course it has to be in light of the horrific shootings that happened in Aurora, Colorado.
A senseless, cowardly act of indiscriminate violence was the news that we awoke to on Friday morning. Now a theater is usually a place where we go to escape reality; but for the people packed in a movie theater in Aurora, they confronted the harsh and savage reality of a person who meticulously planned to inflict as much carnage as possible on totally innocent and unsuspecting strangers. This shooting is impossible to understand except that we live in a world where there is evil. I work in both talk radio and cable TV news, and I realize that an event like this results in going nonstop with the story, whether there is anything new to report or not. Repetition and speculation drive the coverage because when there is nothing new to tell, the options are to repeat what we know or bring on people who speculate what happened or why it happened. Truth is, we simply don't know why any person would reach deep enough into the forces of darkness to decide to kill innocent people simply watching a movie. We just don't know. But because it's so very out of the ordinary, we turn on a hot spotlight and then we bring it to you around the clock.
Here's what I do know - I know that I won't mention the shooter's name on radio or on television because I have no interest in helping him become a celebrity. I know that he is a coward, he's mentally deranged, and his actions were monstrous. I know I'd rather talk about the victims and the lives they lived and the families they left grieving than to give attention to a person who doesn't deserve attention and who should be simply called "the murderer."
I know that having a dozen people murdered in a movie theater gets our attention because - thank God - it doesn't happen every day, but one million innocent and healthy unborn babies die in their mother's wombs each year by elective abortions and we pay scant attention to that. I know we've lost over 6,500 troops in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and we hardly notice the still mounting numbers. I know there are almost twice as many suicides each year in the US as there are murders, but while we immediately cry for laws to address mass murder, when is the last time you heard someone say that we need to deal with the mental illnesses that are resulting in suicides, especially and most tragically among our military veterans.
I'm not attempting to disparage the attention being given to the Aurora theater shooting. We should all pray for the victims, their families and friends, and offer our help for the physical and emotional recovery of the survivors. But the victim of a murder in a convenience store robbery or a wife who dies at the hands of a serial abuser is also a precious life. Ultimately, we don't have a crime problem or a gun problem or even a violence problem. What we have is a sin problem. And since we've ordered God out of our schools, communities, the military, and public conversations, we really shouldn't act so surprised when all hell breaks loose.