22 July 2012


One of the most poignant stories to come out of the Aurora, Colorado movie massacre was how three young men rushed to cover and protect their girlfriends from the gunfire. They shielded them with their bodies, sacrificing their lives in the process. Sadly all three died, but all three women survived. It is striking how each man had the same reaction, instinctively acting to protect their female companion. We live in an age when gender roles are supposedly blurred and their is endless pressure from "progressives" to eliminate them completely. Nevertheless there are things in human nature that cannot be changed so easily. It is not simply a chivalric response, but a natural protective impulse of self-sacrifice. Such stories occur over and over, such as in the case of a pair of young people found frozen on a mountain, the male shielding the female with his body, as well as throughout history. While a strong sense of duty may be socially inculcated, there is more at work in instinctive actions to protect women and children.

It is true that the role of women has changed radically over the past one hundred years. This has only been possible through the veneer of civilization and law. However, most women still appreciate and will seek out men who act like men. Yes, there are in fact characteristics that are particularly male as well as female. Neither is better than the other. They are simply different, and no amount of blurred sex roles can change this. This is clearly most evident in the absence of civilization, or when civil society breaks down and natural tendencies become more obvious, notwithstanding all the nonsense on tv and in the movies depicting women acting like men. The three heroes were not from an older, presumably more traditional generation, but were young men in their twenties with everything to live for, and raised with contemporary assumptions. They grew up without anyone like John Wayne on the scene, yet each one "did a John Wayne," as they used to say during the Vietnam war era.

There is another false premise of the left apparent in this incident. It is best summed up, continuing with movie metaphors, in a scene from the film The Good Son, when one boy warns a liberal psychologist of the awful deeds of another boy and she responds "I don't believe in evil." But the reality is that there is evil in the world. That is obvious in the meticulous, extensive preparation of the murderer in this incident. While lawyers will no doubt come up with some "insanity" defense, on the assumption that such a heinous crime could only be attributable to mental derangement, the pre-meditation and methodical, rational planning belie that explanation. Nor can lax "gun laws" be blamed, as prior to this incident this individual could have passed any kind of background screening. He was an honor student with a clean background. The reality is that some people do terrible things. Fortunately the most extreme are few in number, but there are evil people willing and capable of committing horrendous acts.  While it is possible to come up with psychological motivations for almost anything, there is no way that evil deeds are blameless.

Sometimes a whole regime can be permeated with evil,such as those we have struggled with in the past, often through war,  as well as a place like Syria today, where the government has slaughtered over 17,000 of its own citizens. The belief that proper conditioning is somehow going to eliminate evil in the world is a dangerous fantasy, for whether one is a believer or not, there will always be evil in the world. But against this backdrop we can take comfort in the ubiquity of good in life, most apparent in the actions of our heroes.

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