I’m back again flexing my mental muscles and trying to focus my attention on topics other than myself. Bear with me this is more an exercise in thinking about subjects other than myself than any coherent thought.
I saw on the news that there were 32 shootings and a flash mob attack in the city of Philadelphia over the weekend. Five people were killed.
Bouncers ejected one man from a bar after he refused to extinguish his cigarette. He came back to the bar with a loaded gun and shot randomly in to the bar. One man was killed.
Another man was killed by a group of teenagers as he tried to defend his teenage son. The account goes something like this; a group of teens had a fistfight. They came back for more. When the father jumped in to the fray to help his son somebody pulled out a gun and started shooting. The 30-year-old man was killed, his daughter was shot in the leg and 2 more young children have gunshot sounds to their faces.
Try as I might I just cannot wrap my head around the idea of what makes a person pull the trigger. These can be otherwise sane people, right? I mean, seriously, who gets tossed out of a bar for smoking and comes back with a gun to shoot the place up? This is not rational behavior.
How does a group of teenagers in a fistfight become a shooting? How the hell does a teenager even have a gun anyway?
And while I’m on the topic of senseless violence I may as well also mention the flash mob attack on Broad Street on Saturday night. A group of teenagers violently beat an innocent group of people on their way to the subway. This morning’s local news speculated that the reason for all the flash mob problems Philadelphia has experience is in some way tied to the 24 percent unemployment in that age group. *stares at screen in disbelief* Really? Seriously? They continued on saying that teens need to be otherwise occupied in order to stay out of trouble. I totally buy that explanation for graffiti, smoking pot and teenage sex but I just can’t or don’t want to believe that boredom is the cause of such violence.
A few years ago at Barnes and Noble I bought a CD of Philosophy lectures on ethics. During one lecture the professor brings up a list of philosophical questions, one being is man inherently good or evil. I put my faith in that we are all inherently good but it is instances such as these that make me wonder if we are in fact not inherently good.