Are We Creating a Culture of Moral Misfits?

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Steve Newman's picture

Yes, we are. 

dmyers's picture

My understanding is that, thanks to the Fall, we have always had a culture of moral misfits.  We forget or are ignorant of real history when we think that it's worse now than it's ever been.  We end up with counter-factual statements like:  "Gun ownership wasn’t a problem 30 years ago."  Really?  I seem to recall a mass shooting by a sniper in Austin, TX more than 30 years ago, among many other examples.

This belief is similar to the belief in global warming:  focus only on our current perceptions of how things are different from what they "used to be"; ignore inconvenient data (such as that the incidence of mass shootings has been lower this millennium than in the '90's); and ignore completely any long-term history that reveals many times in the past when it's been just as bad or worse.

We don't even know yet what Adam Lanza's motive or thought process was -- what combination of influences set him off -- but we're attributing it to everything from the teaching of evolution to the absence of prayer in schools.  That approach doesn't seem to me to be any more intellectually honest or helpful than the immediate drumbeat from the anti-gun crowd for more gun control.

Can we just grieve for and with the families, try to find out what the immediate causes were of this crime, and then think about what could be done differently to perhaps prevent a similar crime in the future, instead of immediately (and without any real information) using the incident as fodder for our hobby horses?