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Prayer Vigil for 18 year old youth
Today we had three prayer vigils for homicide victims this week. During these prayer vigils I kept thinking about my posting last night about the rising number of military suicides. The street killings are also on the rise and seem so senseless. Sometimes it is an argument over a something silly that leads one person to pull out a gun and shoot the other. The easy availability of guns and the taking away of conscience from firing weapons seem to have come together in the military suicides and the senseless homicides on our streets. Is there a connection that the most militarized school system in the country, Chicago, is also home of the greatest number of homicides?
Increased exposure to killing, be it on TV, movies, music, Internet, video games, military training or war, seems to numb persons and thus killing instinctively or reflexively more common. Actually there is a lot of research and study by many parties, including the military and government, to back up this view that constant exposure to killing leads to killing, others or self. Yet this link is seldom talked about and when it becomes public it is dismissed.
Any talk of restricting the purchase of hand guns or training soldiers to think first before shooting their weapon is opposed by the great majority of society. The loudest reaction we get to any protest is when we protest gun stores that make the purchase of handguns easy. We can protest nuclear war, the military schools at Marquette University or protest the war but people walk by and ignore us. However, when we are in front of a local store we receive a strong reaction of support or hate.
A friend wrote a comment on my posting on July 14th called Storming the Bastille. In the posting he says: “For whatever reason we NO LONGER TALK ABOUT THE IMMORALITY OF WAR. Why is that????” I would add that all moral issues are neglected. In the eighties I sensed in young person that the new morality was becoming “do you own thing.” There does not seem to be a sense of moral values and a struggle for the truth.
One of our victims today was an 18 year old man found dead in front of a store that buys gold for cash. The picture of the store in the background, the post decorated with teddy bears and stuff representing the young man’s life in the foreground and the people praying for the victim says a lot of where we are at. Human life as reflected in senseless homicides and the training of reflexive killing, killing without conscience by the military are connected by morality and conscience. We are becoming a Nation of Guns.