I have a special connection to El Paso as I graduated high school and university there while working at the old El Paso National Bank. I’ve hiked its mountains and deserts, attended bullfights and went shopping and dining in Juarez. It was a fun and friendly town and we considered ourselves El Pasoans more so than whatever national heritage or religion we might have been. We may have been Hispanic, Jewish, Arab, ‘white’ or ‘black’, but we were classmates and friends except for the mostly innocent high school rivalries in sports.
This recent shooting sickened me; it is not the El Paso I knew. This shooter was an outsider and now the blame game starts – most ridiculously those who blame President Trump. Thankfully the Mayor of El Paso appropriately placed the blame on the shooter behind this atrocious act of cowardice. Then came news of the Ohio shootings the next day (and I also have roots in that beautiful State.)
I know that if we absolutely and totally banned all guns the killings won’t stop – just look at the Oklahoma City bombing that used fertilizer and diesel fuel to kill 168 innocent people or the deranged individuals over the years who have used knives, cars, poisons, etc. to kill. Politicians who conveniently assign blame to guns are misleading the gullible. There is a deeper problem.
Humans have always been violent creatures; just read history. Abdominal acts are not limited to any race, “religion”, gender, nation, political affiliation, economic class, etc. (I highlighted “religion” because some deranged individuals have corrupted their religion by a variant that somehow justifies killing. “Religion” must not be confused with true religious teaching.)
A solution does exist, but many people, especially “progressives” or those opposed to Having religion in our lives, won’t like it, but it’s to very simple. The fifth commandment for Jews and Christians is “Thou shalt not kill”. In Islam its “And do not kill one another, for God is indeed merciful unto you,” Koran (4:29). Buddhism forbids it as the first Precept (“I undertake the training rule to abstain from taking life”). If humans embraced and practiced just one commandment or rule, killings would cease.
It’s so simple, but so eluding.
Do we teach this moral code in schools or most homes? No. Are posting the ten commandments (or just one) in courts of law forbidden? Yes. Do we turn a blind eye to the murders committed as ‘abortions’ or ‘euthanasia’? Yes. Do we justify killing in the name of ‘war’ or ‘justice’ as is the case for capital crimes? Yes. Are Americans falling away from religions and moral teachings? Yes. Are we bomb blasted with violence in the name of “entertainment” on television, movies, video games, etc.? Yes. Do laws stop murders? No.
When we cease the campaign against killing, we have only ourselves to blame for continued killings. “Thou shalt not kill” is an absolute. Forgetting it is life ending.
We have a difficult struggle facing us as a society, far greater than any peril we have faced from economic collapse, war, disaster or disease. We need to embrace life and get the message to everyone that ANY killing of another human is wrong.
Frankly, as a realist, I doubt we’ll succeed. If we rely on government, I’m certain we won’t succeed. But maybe one mother or father will embrace this message, teach their children: forbid violence in the name of ‘entertainment’, practice tolerance toward and enlightened understanding of other races, religions, nations or politics. Maybe we can just possibly prevent another killing.
Walt Watson – California Resident