2017-10-05 / Views

Desensitization’s role, from rifles to boxcutters

our opinion

Are there more crazy people out there today than during past generations?

Like most Americans, we’re trying to make sense of the senseless mass shooting in Las Vegas. With little known so far about 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, we’re left to simply assume he was a crazed lunatic.

Who else would single-handedly gun down 59 innocent people and wound hundreds more?

We’re only being somewhat facetious. While the left is calling for gun control before the victims can be buried, it seems to us that the means to cause deathly, random havoc with rifles hasen’t changed much since automatic weapons were banned in Al Capone’s heyday.

So what has changed?

A case in point locally was the man who walked Friday from Greilickville to Suttons Bay, where he entered the high school armed with a box cutter. Here, give credit to teachers who tamped down a situation that could have easily gone out of control. They managed to move the man into the gym, which had been emptied, while Sheriff’s deputies made the short drive.

Meanwhile, the school went on “lockdown” with students safe behind barred doors.

It was no drill.

“The principal (Shawn Walbecq) and teachers did an outstanding job,” Sheriff Mike Borkovich would later say.

The suspect has suffered from mental illness in the past, and was under the custody of his parents.

It was what he told authorities that alarmed us. He wanted to cause enough havoc — which would presumably include cutting people — to be shot to death. Had the man been armed with something beyond a box cutter, there’s no telling what he might have done.

We’re left wondering if a toxic mix of modern-day living is causing such incidents. Have we watched enough gory movies and played so many violent screen games to have lost a sense of humanity?

Has our digital lifestyle removed the need to care for others? Are we so turned into ourselves that we can’t see the pain and discomfort we cause to others?

Was Las Vegas some type of turning point?

As you’ve read, we have more questions than answers.

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