When I first heard the painful story of Santa Barbara City College student Elliot Rodger, it was extremely hard to believe. Media reports detailed the rampage that resulted in six murders perpetrated by this troubled young man prior to his taking his own life.Share
News reports focused particularly on the comment of one of the victim’s fathers who expressed his anger at what he called “craven, irresponsible politicians and the NRA” (National Rifle Association), suggesting that perhaps gun control of some sort might have prevented this tragic event.
But one has to wonder if this story of one man’s loneliness and deep-seated disregard for himself and for those he believed had rejected him is more about how we live today and less about whether or not guns should be banned.
We know, for example, that Elliot had been having serious psychological problems for quite some time and that his divorced parents had asked the police to intervene. Yet, nobody knows what it was that provoked this violent response to his emotional pain.
Having said that, I believe that, as a human family, we should be reflecting inwardly on this heartbreaking event. In that regard, there is one cultural attitude that I feel represents a growing problem, not just for troubled young people, but for all of us. That is the prevailing sense of not wanting to get involved in the life of another human being, no matter what. It is as though each person is on an island and nobody else needs to be around. With cell phones, texting, Facebook, and the like, social interaction is nearly passé.
Then there’s the cultural reset on what it means to respect another human being.
America has lived for 40 years with this legally protected crime. Elliot and his peers are among the millions who comprise the second generation of Americans who, for the most part, never give abortion a single thought, unless of course an inconvenient pregnancy occurs.(Read more.)