True Horror


It seems that, no matter what one does or why, there is always someone waiting to question it. For some acts, this is understandable, but there are many for which it doesn’t seem to be.

For instance, I read often. Not as often as I’d like, but that’s not the point. When I tell people I typically read horror or sci-fi, they act like I have two heads. This is tragic, considering how great some such stories can be. 

Or, in writing, people tend to regard you as strange when you say you write about monsters, murderers and other such mayhem. 

That’s not even grazing the topic of video games. The conservative observer seems to look upon gaming as an industry only filled with Grand Theft Auto and Dead Space, though there are far more choices, many of which are blood-free and family-friendly. 

Odds are, if you like horror, those who don’t will regard you as a bit disturbed. I guess some people find Cthulhu scary (I think he’s cool) and are genuinely scared of Necromorphs (I’m always ready to throw down). 

However, despite the fact that these are all artistic mediums with no greater agendas, dark and alternative media is almost always the first thing to take the blame for real-life disaster. No matter how many times you say “It’s fiction!”, people are still ready to cast stones. Though there is a giant glowing line that separates fact from fiction, a select few aren’t able to see it. That isn’t the fault of the artist, novelist or game designer, that’s the viewers issue.

But no amount of finger pointing is going to change the past. Needless to say, my most sincere thoughts and prayers are with the surviving family and friends of the victims of the Connecticut school shooting. No one deserves to suffer through this kind of atrocity. 

Now, I may not know much more than the press does about the shooter, but I know this:

-He applied for guns legally and was denied.

-He’d had conflicts with his school district and mother in the past.

-He had a diagnosed psychiatric illness.

 

So what this says to me is that all of the people arguing over gun control are missing the obvious point: a person- a single, solitary, and seriously fucked up individual- killed a large number of children because he was SICK, not because he had a gun. 

We’re wasting time and resources talking about ‘what gun should or shouldn’t be sold’ when the real issue is having our educational and legal systems so overburdened that we aren’t able to recognize and handle the warning signs when a person starts that downward spiral into madness.

Does Dracula keep you up at night? Do thoughts of bugs eating you from the inside out get your skin crawling? Are ghosts haunting you, forcing you to look over your shoulder every step of the way?

Let me share what scares me: the politicians who think that guns are the problem, the schools that can’t do anything until it’s too late, and the fact that this has gotten so bad that most precincts are adopting an open-fire policy as soon as the call is made. 

The fact is that evil IS. Evil isn’t the man pulling the trigger. Evil isn’t in how many people died or how. Evil is the cold, brutal fact that if someone wants to kill someone else, there really isn’t anything stopping him (or her). Whether by gun, knife or fist, death is death and evil is evil. 

That’s precisely why we have to work together on this. It’s become a necessity to report anyone who even seems to be demonstrating a violent mental illness. Preventing catastrophe isn’t about what one person can do, it’s about what everyone has to do. 

I shudder to think of what might happen if we don’t. 

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