To the Editor: There is no simple Newtown explanation
Written by Jim Litwin   
Wednesday, 16 January 2013 10:05
Since the horrific shooting of 20 children at Newtown, people have been offering answers to explain why. There is no shortage of reasons put forth: mental illness, not enough guns, too many guns, assault weapons, video games, our violent culture, etc. All the usual suspects have been put on the table in hopes of finding a simple answer. That's not going to happen. Social life is complex and hundreds of human and social factors come into play to determine behavior.
The National Rifle Association (NRA), of course, is always willing to lead the discussion to assure that the answer to our gun problem is more guns. They are not able to digest the obvious: guns (especially semi-automatics) enable deranged people to carry off mass killings more quickly and efficiently.
Other groups also offer simple explanations. Prominent among them are the ministers and talk show hosts who drive the religious right wing.
These self-appointed persuaders claim to best understand what happened at Newtown - the killing of those innocents is God's judgment on the rest of us. Ex-governor Huckabee believes that the killings are the result of tossing prayer out of schools; the Reverend Dobson argues that God is upset at atheists; Pastor Sam Morris believes that Newtown happened because we are teaching evolution and "how to be a homo" in our schools.  
These "religious" folks are not ashamed to exploit the massacre at Newtown to advance their agenda. They are reprehensible.
The Deity they proclaim is a vengeful and brutal God. When He is not pleased, He punishes us by shooting our children. That should teach us a lesson! However, the biblical Jesus was loving and forgiving.
He would be angry at the massacre at Newtown. He would also be angry at the NRA and the preachers who exploit Newtown for their own advantage, selling more guns and converting the vulnerable to their cause, respectively.
We will never fully understand why Newtown happened. But, we need to reject those who offer self-serving answers for the fools they are, for their opportunism. Perhaps then we can move on to meaningful and substantive reforms to reduce the number and magnitude of the killings in our country.
Jim Litwin
Bowling Green

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