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Mass Shootings: The Darkness Within

May 27th, 2022 by Michael Dyet

Hmmm, can we drill down to what lies at the heart of the issue?

I really do not want to venture into the minefield of what to do about mass shootings. These incidents play out in the media on a regular basis. Every small detail and seemingly every perspective is explored and at times exploited for days and weeks after the incident. I keep telling myself: Stay clear of it. Do not join the feeding frenzy.

But there is a risk to staying silent. It in some manner allows me to distance myself from the grim reality. My brain’s circuity can be programmed to become numbed to the horror. While that is in some measure a necessary coping mechanism, it is a very slippery slope.

It becomes impossible to tune out these issues when they happen in close succession as occurred in the last two weeks. The racially motivated massacre of 10 people at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York was shocking. The murderous rampage at Uvalde elementary school in Texas, in which 14 children and two adults were killed, was horror on top of horror.

I began to wonder how often these tragic acts happen and did a Google search. What constitutes a “massing shooting” seems to vary depending on the source. But one source put the number at over 200 such incidents in the United States this year alone. Yes, you read that figure right. This tells me that they are occurring so often that only the most horrific cases now make the national news.

Canada is not immune to these tragedies. The 2020 mass shooting in Nova Scotia resulted in 22 people killed during a 13-hour rampage. In 2017, six worshippers at a Quebec mosque were murdered. And in 1989, 14 women were gunned down at a Montreal University. This is not an exhaustive list.

But the numbers bear out that the United States is the epicenter of the storm. The relatively easy access to guns in the U.S., including assault rifles, is a factor.

The right to bear arms is enshrined in the second amendment to the U.S. Constitution. In defence of those who drafted and approved that amendment, they could not have known how the advancement of technology would lead to the kind of monstrous, hand-held killing machines that now exist.

Gun control, a ferociously contentious issue, is part of the solution. But guns are an enabler for those who perpetrate these rampages rather than the root cause. Only when we peel back enough layers of the onion to get to the root cause will we really begin to confront the issue.

One of those issues is the Dark Web where online forums exist that the mentally unhinged can access to connect to others who share their delusions. They find vindication for their deranged desires and encouragement to act on them. I do not know what it would take to shut down these virtual dens of hatred. It does need to happen.

But at the very core of the matter is a mind and a soul that has lost its way and become infected with evil. Evil is an all-encompassing darkness. Only when we shine light back into that lost soul, before the point of no return is reached, will we be able to prevent these horrible acts.

~ Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is also the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com .

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