Hope, Not More Laws, Is the Antidote to the Colorado Shootings

The appropriate reaction to the Colorado theater shooting is not more laws.

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Shamecca Davis hugs her son Isaiah Bow, who was an eye witness to the shooting, outside Gateway High School in Denver where witnesses were brought for questioning.

The Aurora, Colo. movie massacre is still an open wound.

Nevertheless, some people are behaving like vultures, hovering over the carnage and using it as an excuse to push for a particular policy outcome while most people are still asking "Why?" and trying to figure out how such a thing could happen.

The answer should be evident. "Evil," as Kirk Douglas said in one long ago film, "is." No effort by man to eliminate it from the culture can possibly succeed. We can establish rules and regulations and laws that  most people will obey but there will always be those who, out of insanity or selfishness or their own misguided sense of righteousness, will commit acts of almost unspeakable horror that leave the rest of us gasping for air and searching for answers.

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While it may seem nihilistic to say so, it is an observation that most people should find liberating. Too much time, too much energy is spent by mankind on efforts to perfect itself, efforts that are doomed to failure from the start because such a thing, left to man's own devices, is impossible to achieve.

There are, however, such things as the "better angels of our nature," as Lincoln called them, which are in evidence even in such places as the current tragedy. There are stories of those who used themselves as shields to protect friends and family as well as people who put their own safety at risk to help complete strangers. "Greater love hath no man than this," scripture tells us, "that a man lay down his life for his friends."

[Check out photos from the aftermath of the Colorado theater shooting.]

The antidote to what happened in Aurora is not more laws; it's hope, hope that we can all resolve to treat each other decently, to love one's neighbor as we love ourselves. The history of the nation is replete with examples of this in practice, individually and corporately. It is in this hope that we can find peace and we can find the answers for which so many of us are currently looking.

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