The violent deaths of 28 sentient beings in Newtown, Connecticut —20 of them children between 6 and 7 years old— has unleashed the usual barrage of lamentation about ‘senseless’ tragedies. We are so inured to violence that we make false distinctions among acts of deliberate killing of sentient beings, as if any such acts could make sense.
While we may feel shock at the deaths of these children and their teachers, our society revels in all forms of violence, whether as an instrument of national policy, defense of civic and personal ‘liberty’, entertainment, or the slaughter of animals for food and fashion.
All killing is gruesome, whether of human children, adults, or animals. All violence is senseless, whether actual or virtual. Violence cannot be glorified when it seems to further our selfish interests, and deplored when it offends our selective sensibilities.
Willfully depriving sentient beings of life is evidence of a profound lack of sense. We lack the maturity to recognize that all negative acts have negative consequences, and we fail control our base impulses and emotions.
om amideva hrih