I am an old gamer. Started playing the “pencil and paper” version of “Dungeons and Dragons” back in the early 80’s, and have been hooked ever since. What does this have to do with the events of the past few years both nationally and world-wide (including the tragedy which took place in Connecticut, and more recently, Boston)? Give me a second or two and I will try and explain.
One of the facets of the “Dungeons and Dragons” (hereafter mentioned as “D&D”) universe is how it brakes down the moral/ethical standings of each character you might happen to develop. Tow of these categories specifically come into play when we look at what is going on around us, along with what has been taking place over (at least) the post 9/11 era:
Lawful Evil Characters of this alignment see a well-ordered system as being easier to exploit, and show a combination of desirable and undesirable traits; while they usually obey their superiors and keep their word, they care nothing for the rights and freedoms of other individuals and are not averse to twisting the rules to work in their favor.
“But this comes from a fantasy game, what in the wide, wide world of sports does this have to do with the real world?”
Glad you asked that Sparky, sometimes even games may provide insights as to what drives man to do what he does. So here are a couple of examples to prove my point.
It is no secret, to those who happen to drop by here, that I am strongly opposed to Islam. It is a malignancy which masks it’s true intent under the guise of “religion”. And yes, there are most certainly good people who are followers of the “faith”. However, one would suspect they are doing so because of expediency, ignorance, or stupidity/naiveté …. what other reason could there be, assuming your nature was “good” to begin with?
Anyhow, back to the point I am trying to make. Islam is a beautiful example of what could (or should) be considered “Lawful Evil”. There are specific rules, guidelines, and regulations which all are required to follow. You may be able to “get away” with not following some of these, especially if you are in some position of power and or authority within the particular sect you adhere to, but if someone else is in a position to challenge you or has power over you, this may be called into play, and your indiscretions could cost you.
Perhaps an example a bit closer to home is in order. Okay, how about the Senate and Congress, a large chunk of the Judicial, and most (if not all) of the Executive branch. Yep, talking about the Federal Government. Oh, and let”s not forget about all the alphabet agencies and the government bureaucracy at large. Much like the first example, there are some who are honestly trying to do “good”, or are “good people”, but more and more, logic dictates they would fall under the same categories as the so called “good Muslim”…. expedient, ignorant, or stupid/naive. And yes, I am calling the government, as it stands (others would say it has been this way for quite some time, and they very well may not be wrong) , Lawful Evil.
The above are just two examples, done without breaking a sweat. There are others. Trade unions…hell, unions in general comes to mind, that meet the requirements for this brand of Evil. I am sure you could think of more.
Now let’s look at;
Chaotic Evil Characters of this alignment tend to have no respect for rules, other people’s lives, or anything but their own desires, which are typically selfish and cruel. They set a high value on personal freedom, but do not have any regard for the lives or freedom of other people.
Any serial killer, assassin, or “crazed gunman”, up to and including Adam Lanza would fall into this category. Arguably there could be a few heads of state here as well. Here you will find the misfits, loners, malcontents, The Narcissist, (yeah, that Narcissist) More importantly (though it may be something only admitted to themselves. In the darkness of the pit where their soul should have normally resided) they find some sort of perverse pleasure in seeing others brought to some level of physical or emotional pain. It is random senseless Evil. With no apparent logic or grand design behind it….Evil purely for the sake of evil.
The two alignments, may be easily used to “profile” most, if not all, of the horrific acts of violence which have gain national prominence over the course of the last 40-50 years. You can take all the players involved and they (and or their groups) will fall under one of the above alignments.
Adam Lanza: Chaotic Evil.
Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev: Lawful Evil
Jeffrey Dahmer, John Gacy, Timothy McVeigh: all Chaotic Evil
Most of the current administration, cabinet members, the majority of the directors of the various alphabet agencies, and at least half of the members of SCOTUS: Lawful Evil. (To be fair on this one, you should also include most of the members of both Houses, and a good chunk of all the above in almost all administrations going back at least 100 years.)
Which brings us to the title of tonight’s post.
It isn’t the availability of fire arms. For, time and time again, those of an evil nature and or intent, will find a way to acquire same if they feel the need to do so. Take away the firearms, knives, clubs, arrows, rocks and stones, would still be available, And failing that, there is always brute force. No, guns are not the real concern here.
It isn’t the lack of (constitutionality of any and all of them put aside for the moment) laws. We have more gun laws and “legal” restrictions placed upon us (you know, the law abiding folk) in the process of trying to procure same. There are numerous laws addressing potential abuse/violence, not only against individuals (women, gays, police, teachers, public officials) but groups as well. Everything from “orders of protection”, to the added charges of “a hate crime”, and “aggravated ______”. These will not stop those who are well and truly bent on carrying out their acts.
The same thing goes for all the “drug free, gun free, smoke free, and any other “free zone” placed into effect via proclamation (and or law). How many schools (at all levels) have been kept safe and secure purely on the basis of them being “gun free and or violence free zones”? How many (especially at the upper echelons) constantly observe the “smoke free environment” of the office (or more informally, the campus) they are on? And “drug free zones” in public schools (especially at any major metro school district)…you can not be that naive, can you?
It is not any of these things which are killing people. And none of the above, are in any great measure, preventing people from being killed.
It is the content and quality of the character of all the perpetrators which is the root cause. Character matters. Evil does exist. And the sooner people wake up and realize this, and take realistic action against same, then the first steps will have been taken to return our society and with any luck at all, our nation back into something our forefathers would not only recognize, but be proud to have given birth to.