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Judy Wagoner: Cultural rot helps incite the mentally ill

Americans are desperately searching for explanations to illuminate the reasons behind the horrific shooting of the schoolchildren and teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

How did this happen? Who is to blame? How do we make sense of this awful tragedy?

And yet, other than a few isolated details, there is really nothing uncharacteristic about this school shooting except for the young age of the children.

The shooter's profile is predictable.

He was a young man just entering adulthood. He was intelligent, a loner, and a video game freak. He suffered from Aspergers Syndrome, and he had a personality disorder.

He was the classic avenger of his own mental illness. Obviously suffering from delusions, he acted upon his psychotic fantasies.

The details of the shooter's mindset are inconsequential, as we have seen this scenario played over and over again.

We will look, but we know what we are going to find.

We can  spend weeks hating this young man,  who in his deranged mind, invited evil into his conscious state.

We can blame the guns, because those on the left never waste a good crisis to promote their agenda.

We can blame the parents, because they did not have their son institutionalized.

We can blame the mental health professionals for ignoring the signs of a mass murderer.

It is most comfortable for all of us to search for the "culprit."

We want retribution for this atrocity, and the killer denied us this satisfaction by taking his own life.

So we continue the search for "anyone" or "somebody" to hang the blame on.

We want to grieve, because somehow it makes us feel better about our own role in the conditions that created such a monster capable of such behavior.

Of course, most people will react with repugnance at the very suggestion that they have contributed to a social structure that has inspired the "sicko" aggressions in mentally ill individuals.

It is not a pleasant thought to think that each of us has accepted the cultural conditions that have given life to the murderous instincts of unstable persons. But we have and we did.

We have stood by while the porn industry has captivated our young children. We have discussed around the water coolers the terrible, violent video games that are mesmerizing our young people.

We have ourselves partaken in the explicit movies that celebrate violence and bloodlust. We have read "Fifty Shades of Grey" while our daughters watched anxiously, waiting for the opportunity to read this book of bondage and identify with Mommy.

We have seen this coming, but we turned our heads, because when the chips are down, we have found this cultural decay to be fun.

That's right . . . fun. Instant porn at the touch of a button on the computer is heaven on earth for many, many men. Adults now enjoy violent video games right along with their children.

The phenomenal popularity of "Fifty Shades of Grey" tells the story all in itself of women who are now willing to throw away any sense of sexual morality.

Perhaps, the most telling sign of our acceptance of cultural rot is the readiness and willingness with which women have accepted the destruction of innocent life through abortion.

Mentally ill individuals have always lived among us. Guns have always been available.

But in previous generations, these mentally ill individuals were not provoked consistently with stimuli from an insidious culture.

The shooter of the school children in Connecticut had the blood on his hands.

The rest of us contributed to the conditions.

This appalling mass murder is not mystifying. We don't need to speculate.

Why did this massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary occur?

It's simple . . . Because of us.

Wagoner is a freelance writer and a teacher at Hayes Middle School.


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