this post regarding murder sprees in the US caught my eye:
“After the VA Tech massacre last April, a few commentators were so bold as to wonder aloud why so few of the young men present at that holocaust dared to confront the killer. Most choose to flee. Self-interest ruled. Only an aging Israeli professor resisted.
“In a private conversation with some friends, someone made a trenchant point. Our paralysis is, as it were, preemptive. We are so baffled by evil that we just don’t think about it; thus, we are invariably stunned into inaction when it appears. But actions in a crisis require mental preparation; a fortiori if the actions must be coordinated to be effective. A single shooter, even armed with an assault rifle, can be quickly overpowered if men band together against him. This is a fact. It is a fact affirmed dramatically by the courageous collective action of the Flight 93 passengers in September 11.
“In short, who among us will argue that wickedness must be resisted, and that our young men must be trained up in a tradition which honors those who will resist? Not so long ago, as James Bowman has documented, this tradition remained in force. The classical Western in film was its exemplar. In recent years the tradition has nearly vanished. What are we to make of this astonishing fact?
“What, to speak more uncomfortably, are we to make of the fact of our passivity in the face of evil? What will be the verdict of history, once some objective distance is achieved, on a society that has cultivated an actual tradition of this depravity, and emasculated the tradition of resistance to it?
“My first instinct here is to consider this part of the wages of removing the fear of God from the hearts of men. The fear of God issues in a sense of duty. The only Righteous Judge is a more fearsome prospect for the God-fearing man than all the schemes of men. The God-fearing man has a hard time thinking of anything more terrifying than standing before His Throne of Judgment, hard on the heels of massacring 10 or 12 innocents and then taking my own life; or of standing before that same Throne, having fled the field of danger when decisive action may have saved the weak.”