Today my heart, as is the case for many people worldwide, is heavy.
The tragedy in Connecticut shows how short life really is. In the fleeting hours since this horrible incident, the social media forums have exploded.
Many of these posts are sad condolences to the victims of the crime. However, a few are filled with uneducated rants about gun control and the type of person who would commit this act.
It is time to set the record straight.
As a preface, I am not an expert in this area. I will never be and never claim to be. I am merely a university student who has learned a few lessons from my time in school.
This is a difficult topic to write about for a couple of reasons. First, the wounds of this act are still fresh, and secondly, the emotions of myself and the few potential readers of this are still high.
However, just as a fresh wound needs an ointment to help it heal, society also needs a salve.
Rather than joining the mass hysteria of people who are calling for vengeance, let’s examine the facts from a logical standpoint.
The man who committed this act will most likely be called a psychopath. Many people will condemn the man to an excruciatingly painful afterlife because of his choices.
I plead to anybody who reads this, please do not become one of these blind followers. Most humans, as do I, believe in free will.
However, science has proven that the simplest of changes in the human body can have dire consequences.
Some may have heard the story of Phineas Gage, the man who had drastic mood changes after a construction accident caused brain damage.
Many people, however, do not realize that the lack of stimulation in a child’s brain during developing years can severely disable children and their learning capacity.
People also do not realize that Parkinson’s disease and schizophrenia are both caused by the same chemical in the brain; one caused by the lack of dopamine and one caused by an excess of dopamine.
It is thus possible and proven that chemical imbalances and lack of brain development affect the decision-making portions of the brain.
Therefore, free will is directly affected. The human body is much like paint. To get the desired color paint, there must be a precise mix of other colors.
If one element of the human body is off, then the human can have a flawed mental capacity leading to self-control and anger issues.
If these issues exist, we can see atrocious tragedies like the one committed Dec. 14. It is not the gun that pulled the trigger. It is not the bullet that made the decision to kill.
The gun was the instrument of the perpetrator of this repulsive act. For those of you who are calling for gun bans and stronger gun control, please rethink this.
There is a statement that has been highly published. It simply says. “If guns kill people, then spoons make people fat.”
This, however satirical as it is, is not flawed reasoning. Many people think that outlawing guns will prevent crimes from happening.
My response is simple.
Since when has a criminal ever followed the law? Narcotics are illegal, yet they still endlessly impact our society. Famed writer Louis L’Amour wrote, “When guns are outlawed, only the outlaws will have guns.”
These are profound words, even coming from a fiction novelist. So who is to blame for these horrible acts, both present and past?
I would be willing to bet that the neurological system of the perpetrator was less than perfect. Odds are he was developmentally challenged. It simply took the right environmental factor to set off this perfect storm.
Rather than jumping on the vengeance bandwagon or the anti-gun bandwagon, stop to get educated before making your decisions.
I have already stated that I am no expert in this realm. However, I have personally seen the research and publications.
I do not know if many people will read this, but if it can affect just one person, my purpose for writing this is achieved.
Just days ago, the Web was abuzz about the uniqueness of Dec. 14. This tragedy shows us that every day is a unique and special gift.
These children were gifts to the world who were taken from it too soon. One of these children may have been a president and one a great military leader.
One of these children may have even found the cure for cancer or criminality. One child could have impacted thousands.
As the sun is setting on this tragic day, our hearts and prayers go out to those affected by this tragedy.
Remember how precious life is.
By Matthew Caya
Senior, majoring in criminology