Only One Answer for Newtown Questions: Evil Exists

By Jason Menard

I’ve always followed one key rule when I write a column — don’t just make a comment without offering a solution. But there are no answers to the tragedy that befell Newtown, Connecticut yesterday. Well, there is one — it’s just one we don’t want to face and try to obscure with justification, motivation, and explanations.

The headline on CNN.com asked, “Why? Why?” The sad truth is that there are no good answers to that question.

No matter what the eventual motivation turns out to be, it won’t matter. There’s no explaining away these actions. It doesn’t matter if this tragedy was prompted by mental illness or delusional justifications. The only real answer is that there is evil in this world.

You don’t have to be religious to believe that Hell exists. Yesterday alone in Newtown and in China, where a man injured over 20 children with a kitchen knife as they entered their school, we saw the worst that humanity has to offer.

Incidents like this leave us feeling powerless. As humans — and additionally for those of us who are parents — we try to empathise with what these people are going through, but we simply can’t. We can send our sympathies, we can show our support, but we are limited in the depth of our compassion. As much as we try, we can’t understand what they’re going through.

And, hopefully, we never will.

We hug our children a little tighter. We talk to them about the dangers and how to respond. We have “those talks.” We sit with our children and answer any questions they have. We answer all the questions except for the biggest one of all: Why?

We can’t. Evil exists.

We do our best to ensure that the loss of these innocent lives means something. Already we’ve seen that the Newtown murders have become a rallying cry for those looking for something more than President Obama’s political-speak of “meaningful action.” There are those who are using these senseless killings to promote better gun control.

And while it would be wonderful if something positive came out of this tragedy, the truth is that no amount of gun control would have prevented this. I believe that no guns should exist, but I’m not so naive as to think that evil of this nature wouldn’t have found a way to manifest itself.

So what do we do? For many of us, we continue on with our lives. We appreciate the time we have with our children, our family, and our friends. We will watch the news and pore over each and every fact that comes out. We will anxiously await the rationale or the explanation behind these killings. We will assign blame, we will look for answers, and we will try to explain away how a tragedy of this nature could happen.

We will lament the loss of life in Newtown, but we will compartmentalize it. We need to find answers for one simple reason.

Because we don’t want to face the simple truth: Evil exists. And there is no answer for that.

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