Last Wednesday, President Obama announced the creation of a new gun violence “task force” that would immediately suggest policy changes concerning gun control in America after careful review of current laws and recent events. This new effort by the White House is to be lead by Vice President Joe Biden and comes soon after the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting, of which President Obama noted as a “wake-up call for all of us” in America. While this doesn’t necessarily come as a surprise to most Americans (particularly gun owners who have long been suspicious of where Obama stands concerning the NRA), many liberals are considering this a victory after a massive debate on run rights sparked heated conversations that even spread into the Twittersphere within hours of the Newtown shooting. There is even a discussion of mental health issues as people question how someone could do such a horrible thing at an elementary school.

Through these heated debates and often petty insults being thrown from both conservatives and liberals, it seems as though Americans are trying to lay blame in seeking justice for the innocent children and women whose lives were so horrifically and suddenly ended. Obviously both sides agree this tragedy shouldn’t have happened, however, both sides have failed to come up with a viable solution and failing to see what is truly at the heart of this matter. Many liberals believe it is a matter of needing stricter gun control laws with the idea that if fewer, “less responsible” people have guns the majority will be safer or more easily protected by law enforcement while many conservatives say that by removing guns the society at large will not have the ability to protect themselves and that this is a mental health issue in that parents or responsible adults shouldn’t keep guns and weaponry accessible to those who may not be mentally stable. I disagree on both counts.

Let me be clear: the heart of this matter is not a discussion of gun control, gun rights, or mental health issues. It’s a matter of morality and a lack of responsibility from parents and older generations to teach right from wrong through the years. We live in a society where abortion (the killing of our un-born offspring) is acceptable and praised, the thought of men being the stronger gender meant to instinctively protect women and children is mocked, and where the thought of God (or any sense of moral guidelines) is not only ridiculed but progressively being legislated out of society so as not to offend anyone. In such circumstances we, as Americans, do not deserve to expect anything but disastrous outcomes considering we have consistently rebuked the very morals our founding fathers relied upon when crafting our form of government and a healthy society to ensure this free land would thrive.

What has taken the place of personal responsibility and restraint is a society where anything that “feels good to you” should be considered acceptable. There’s a lack of personal motivation to do what is right, no matter the costs to one’s self or others, that is highly praised by media and pop-culture. Personally, I attribute this to a lack of morals set in place by a higher being…God. Mike Huckabee explained it best when, soon after the Newtown shootings ocurred, he was asked “Where was God in all of this?”

Attributing catastrophe to inanimate objects or lack of mental stability without emphasizing the need for a moral standard is lazy, dismissive, and exactly what we shouldn’t be doing. There is one more element the media and many writers in the blogosphere have been avoiding throughout this whole debate: the existence of evil. Adam Lanza was clearly determined to murder all those in that classroom and that school. In many cases it doesn’t matter what type of weapon (whether it be guns, knives, bare hands, etc.), anyone bent on murder will carry out their deed unless someone is able to stop them. It is not the object of what is used to kill, it is the heart and mind frame of the person that makes the murderer. Stop laying the blame on those who aren’t in the least bit responsible for this atrocity. We need to be focusing on changing society into a more accountable and personally responsible people, which starts with the foundation of the home. It’s better to instill moral principles in children when they’re young than leave it up to legislatures since morality cannot be regulated.

Elissa Roberson | College of the Desert | @ElissaRoberson