So I bought some wild flower seed from Home Depot last year. I just wanted some flowers for my front yard. I kept looking out my basement window to see weeds. It was depressing. When I passed the bag of Wild Flower Seeds, I thought…this would be much better. I went home, pulled the weeds up, and raked the area a little to loosen the soil and planted the seed. Then, I put some water on it. Day after day when I passed the area, I anxiously waited for the sprouting of little flower plants. I knew just where I had put the seed. I watched the little brown specks just sit there. Meanwhile, around the edges appeared the same old plants that I had pulled out. Weeds had returned.
Now the bag said that it contained flower seeds. There was a picture of what the resulting flowers would look like. All indications were that this was good seed…but then again…how do I really know? The truth is that I don’t. This could be very bad seed. This could be the kind of seed that wouldn’t grow in any condition. I truly don’t know.
I am a practicing Christian. I offer up a Bible reference because it speaks to me and maybe some others. In the Parable of the Sower, we are given an absolute that “the Sower had good seed”. He set out into the world and scattered his seed everywhere. He didn’t discriminate. He spread his “good seed” everywhere. In this scenario we get the description of the failures of the seed. Some fell on dry ground where it withered for lack of water. Some fell in among the weeds and were choked out. Some fell along rocks and along the footpath where they were trampled. Then again…some fell on good soil.
Recently a person posted a question about school shootings and other mass shootings for that matter. I commented and one of the contributing factors to the current crisis was something that he was involved in and “never shot up a school”. Many more chimed in and soon we had a “free for all” of opinions with some people resorting to insults but mostly people offered up evidence of themselves not being a shooter and engaging in these activities that were indicated by me. People have a tendency to protect what they hold dear and for some it is violent video games and guns. It is very true that the combination of the two aren’t a predictor of mass killings. It is also true that 40 years ago, they didn’t exist. (You should have seen what was considered a state of the art graphics card in the original PC). As a matter of fact, we had pong…and it was just as addictive.
Today we have a vastly different set of circumstances. We don’t have the FCC restricting what we can watch. We clamor for the right to see and do anything that we want in the name of personal liberty. We can read, write and publish anything that we want. It can be for the building up of the person and society or it could tear it down. There are no barriers. Anyone can access anything and cultivate any thought and create just the right soil for seed to grow…good or bad. It takes just the right combination of things to grow a plant or create a monster. Remember, sometimes the packaging makes it very difficult to determine what type of seed you have.
Now, there is very little that we can do about free speech and free exchange of ideas. While this is also very scary sometimes, if we eliminate it entirely we truly let the bad guys win. The video games which I still fail to appreciate in any form are here to stay as long as there is a market for them. It is true that by percentage the vast majority of players don’t do harm to anyone by playing them…even hard core players. This is a component of the “soil” that can help the bad seed grow. So if these two issues aren’t going to change then we as a country have to be ready to throw some rocks into the fertile soil that creates the monster.
On December 14, 2012, Adam Lanza walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School and killed 20 people mostly school children under the age of 10. He used an automatic weapon. The very same day in China a knife wielding man attacked 22 school children the same age as Sandy Hook and one adult and no one died. In both cases…bad seed. The difference was access to the automatic weapon.
The monster exists in a fallen world. As a Christian, I believe this to be true. I don’t believe that it means that we are to throw up our hands and say “oh well”. The task ahead is a daunting one but we need to pursue it now more than ever because the soil is ready and the seed is out there. Let’s look at the very first phrase in the 2nd amendment that states “a well regulated militia, being necessary to a free state,” and start by regulating…real regulating.
The question is can we do this and keep those gun enthusiasts who like to shoot happy and free to shoot? I believe we can. People who love shooting should be able to shoot…targets (which sadly are always shaped like people). Having a weapon of war, one that should be restricted to the battlefield is not having a “well regulated militia” if that weapon is among a civilian population and kept in the home because of the access given to family members who possess neither the maturity or the responsibility needed to manage them, we will continue to have these “bad seed” incidents and countless more people will die needlessly.
Respectfully submitted. Feel free to comment here.