Back in the early 1980’s and well into the 1990’s it wasn’t uncommon for the media to broadcast details of a deadly shooting. More often than not, that shooting happened either because a rival gang was seeking retaliation on another gang, or a postal worker lost it and decided to take out half the United States postal delivery force. Either way, gun violence was common back then. (By the way, if you didn’t know this, the term “going postal” is in our vocabulary today because of all the mass killings by US postal workers.)
In recent days a gun was used to kill people in Oregon.
However, before we focus solely on this current tragedy, let us not forget that guns were also used in Colorado, Nevada, Utah, Washington, Maryland, Missouri, Alabama, Mississippi, Texas, Arkansas, North Dakota, South Dakota, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin, Arizona, New Mexico, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Massachusetts, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Louisiana, Tennessee, Kentucky, California, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Vermont, New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Alaska, Hawaii, Oklahoma, Indiana, Illinois, New Hampshire and Minnesota.
Yup. Every state in the union has had gun violence in recent days.
And guess what?
The United States isn’t alone.
At some point in the recent past guns were used to kill people in Germany, England, Sweden, Denmark, Spain, Mexico, Canada, Russia, Ukraine, Israel, South Africa, Syria, Egypt, Iraq, Nigeria and many other countries around the world.
But it’s not just guns being used to kill people.
Suicide murderers are using bombs strapped to their bodies to kill people as well. Some people have used machetes, others have used hatchets, crowbars, baseball bats, knives and poisons.
The point here is that the gun or weapon used to commit the heinous tragedy wasn’t the problem…the bomb strapped to some wacko’s chest, the knife, the baseball bat, hatchet or other weapon that was used to commit mass murder had a PERSON wielding it, and that Person is the problem, not the weapon they held.
More often than not, after they commit the horrible deed, we typically find out that ten out of ten murderers had a mental breakdown. This most recent killer in Oregon, wasn’t any different.
He was depressed because he wasn’t married, didn’t have a girlfriend, didn’t have a job and didn’t believe that he had any life left to live. I’m sure he felt worthless. Isolated. Afraid. Alone. Scared, and Depressed.
All of which begins in the mind.
All of it.
I’ll even bet that most of his problems began many years ago after he was rejected by someone he THOUGHT he loved. That person might have even told him they loved him back…but then they left. No reasons…they just left. And quite possibly, it happened more than once in his life.
That rejection can play with your mind and cause a person to spiral downward into a quagmire of despair and misery. It’s a weed that gets planted into a person’s heart and mind and if left to grow, can and will destroy a person from the inside out.
People are fragile beings. So, being fragile, a person has two choices after being insulted, put down or rejected. They can either stand up and face the problem like an adult, or they can run away and isolate themselves like a little child. The one who decides to run and hide in their cave will eventually decide to turn to the only thing they believe is safe. The only thing that they think they can trust…
Maybe it begins with the television or movies. Maybe it’s sleep. Maybe it’s food.
More than likely, it’s the internet.
Then video games…
Then back to the internet for “social networking” … maybe a dating site where they believe in the lie that using their site will help them find a spouse…someone to love them…yet…they only encounter more rejection.
They spiral further downward, the weed of rejection has started to grow and spread among their thoughts.
They gravitate to porn sites…but eventually, when the computer is off, they have to face reality…
The weeds are the lies and negative thoughts that have taken over their mind. It’s phrases like: “No one will ever want you…” “You’re a horrible person…” “You’re not good enough…” “You’re not successful enough…” “You’re never going to be loved by anyone…” “No job…you live in your mother’s basement… women loathe you. You’re pathetic…worthless!!”
All of these are lies. All negative instruments to turn someone away from the truth. The truth that they matter. That they are important. That they are loved.
All of it is mental.
It’s not surprising that more and more people who have to deal with mental anguish turn to drugs and alcohol for relief, but that’s not a cure and it doesn’t bring relief. It’s just a temporary salve that feels good for a short time. Eventually, the effects wear off and the pain, misery, negativity and heartache all come back.
Not knowing how to cope with the negative thoughts and emotions, they get angry. First, at themselves…but then the anger turns towards God and they begin to blame others.
Their anger ends up being directed at those who have only tried to help. They begin to call evil good and good evil. They no longer trust anyone or anything and their mind is lost in negativity, and this is when their heart begins to harden.
Their love grows cold.
After years of dealing with the mental agony and letting the weeds continue to take over the fields of their mind, they reach a precarious moment where death is the only way out.
They beg for it…but it doesn’t come. They want to attempt suicide…but something inside them won’t let them proceed. They cry out for God..any god…but there’s only silence.
They feel even more alone…rejected. Worthless. They begin telling themselves that not even God loves them. They become more desperate and in that desperation they become more angry…more violent…more vicious. Suicidal. Homicidal.
Oh sure, they could continue fighting for their mind by seeking professional help…but they don’t have any trust…they don’t even want to leave their home and face possible ridicule by family or others.
The downward spiral continues. The weeds have overgrown in their mind to the point where trying to pull them or rid their mind of them is pointless. They have reached exhaustion. There is no hope. They have given in to the hate, the lies, the evil thoughts and that’s when they decide to do something awful. Something heinous. Something wicked.
The choice to act out in aggression because of their twisted mental delusions, heartbroken anger and emotional frustrations is the breaking point, but it all began with one negative thought. A seed sown on fertile ground, it grew because it was fertilized and watered with more negativity and a lack of thankfulness and joy.
Please don’t get me wrong…I’m not making excuses for what this man or any of the other mass murderers have done in this world. I’m just trying to paint a picture for you to help you understand what these people are going through.
The truth is…the gun he used didn’t load and then shoot itself. The explosive a suicide murderer used didn’t set itself to detonate. The knife that guy used in China didn’t swing or thrust itself.
Behind every weapon is a person who needs help…who’s been living a lie of negative thoughts…who doesn’t know who to turn to or how they will ever escape the mental prison they are trapped in. They want out, but they don’t know what to do, who to trust or where to turn for help.
Is it pathetic? Sure…but who are we to judge? We don’t know what that person’s been going through for the past ten, twenty or even fifty years. We don’t realize how far they have fallen mentally. How truly angry they are…how desperate the situation has become.
We don’t know, and we won’t know, until something awful happens and we read about it in the papers or see it unfold on television.
This begs the question…How do we get these people help? Honestly, I don’t know. But even more importantly, we have to ask … How do we read the warning signs? What are the warning signs? What do they look like? Are they even recognizable? Is every person that isolates themselves a potential threat? Is every person who speaks negatively going to eventually act out aggressively? What about people who are constantly using the internet? Are they a threat as well?
The truth is that without being able to read minds, it’s impossible to answer those questions honestly; but what we need to do is keep a level head, not panic or make knee-jerk decisions in spite of the actions or behaviors of those who cause tragedy or sadden, anger and frighten us.
We need to remain calm and pray for those who are mourning the loss of loved ones. We must remain strong for them and comfort those who are grieving in this situation, but most of all…We must reach out to someone we think might need a friend or someone to talk with. We don’t know what they might be going through in life, but maybe they just need someone to tell them that they matter.
In the end, remember to hug your family and friends. Tell them they matter to you…tell them you love them, and when/if negative thoughts enter your mind, seize them immediately and replace them with thoughts and words of thankfulness and kindness. Because everything begins in the mind, and what you allow to enter your mind can and will have an effect on your life and the lives of others.
God bless you all, my pathetic followers.