Sunday, December 16, 2012

'The Shooter'

I think the time has finally arrived when the pursuit of mere good taste, never mind any deeper desire for things to be given their proper name, that bugbear of clear thinkers as diverse as Thucydides and Orwell, for the phrase 'the shooter' to be expunged from common English usage. 

It is too anodyne, too antiseptic a noun to describe the individual who murdered Charlotte, Daniel, Rachel, Olivia, Josephine, Ana, Dawn, Dylan, Madeleine, Catherine, Chase, Jesse, James, Grace, Anne Marie, Emilie, Jack, Noah, Caroline, Jessica, Avielle, Lauren, Mary, Victoria, Benjamin and Allison yesterday. It doesn't shock enough. It is the sort of word that only a confessional, therapeutic culture determined to avoid the consequences of personal responsibility at all costs would use to describe a person who ends twenty-six lives (even although two victims were aged over fifty and one was in their late forties the average age of the victims was still only 10.4 years) in the manner in which the individual who murdered the staff and pupils of Sandy Hook Elementary School, Newtown, Connecticut did yesterday. No matter how many euphemisms you try to find for it, murder is murder is murder; and people who commit murder are usually known as 'murderers'. To describe the murderer who carried out these murders of all murders as 'the shooter' somehow just isn't strong enough. It is disrespectful to his victims, as it suggests that they were not murdered; and it is perversely disrespectful to him, as it lends insufficent gravity to his clearly murderous intentions.

If the murderer wanted to spoil everyone's Christmas, he has failed. He must be made to fail. They must get the Christmas they were looking forward to. It is the very least that they deserve, and the very least that can be done for them now. It will not be the same, for sure; for those most directly affected, this time of year will never be the same. But even in times as dark as these for those poor families, there must be hope. Even now, there must be hope that it wasn't pointless, that it wasn't purposeless. The murderer certainly wasn't purposeless. His grim purposefulness in taking life has to be met with an equally purposeful determination to embrace life, to overcome this most unimaginably horrible adversity. He and all others like him must be shown, they must have it shoved in their faces, that hope and love and goodness and kindness always, always win. Whenever and wherever hope and love and goodness and kindness show up, the internal horrors which spring from a cultureless culture devoid of any creativity, any nobility or any kind of merit whatsoever disappear into the oblivion in which they rightly belong.

Not being an American, it's not for me to comment on the thicketed nuances of Second Amendment jurisprudence. However, two questions, principally for Federal lawmakers, spring to mind. 

The first is, 'You guys authorise drone strikes on terrorists who've killed fewer people than the Newtown murderer. When will you start properly classifying such episodes as Newtown as atrocities?'

The second is, 'When will you actually start getting sick of murderers shooting up schools? Put another way, how many dead schoolchildren can your culture, your political model and its dynamic, actually handle? Put yet another way, is dead children, not aborted foetuses but school age children, the price of freedom as you define it?'

Thank God for God at times like this; and thank Him for that most encouraging, most comforting revelation that this place we live in is not all that there is, and that those who are no longer here live peacefully and wondrously happily in another, infinitely better place. It helps one believe that although one phase of many lives has come to an end another, infinitely better one has just begun for them all; for after all, there is no need for schools in Heaven.



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