In the aftermath of the mass murdering at Virginia Tech, there are several things that will undoubtedly occupy and even haunt the minds of individuals for some time to come. For some this will be the debate concerning gun rights that almost assuredly will soon come to full force. Though I believe that this topic about whether the government can abridge a citizen’s right to carry will and should be discussed, I do not believe that this will be the most significant thing.
There will be those that begin to review the process identifying mental illness and the steps taken to prevent individuals identified with problems from hurting themselves and society. Again, I believe this could be good and positive, yet I do not believe this will be the greatest thing.
In the end, I believe it will come down to a simple phrase that nearly everyone can recite, even if they are unable to identify from whom it originated, “the only thing we have to fear. . .is fear itself” (http://www.hpol.org/fdr/inaug/). Though President Franklin D. Roosevelt inscribed that phrase in the hearts and minds of a nation during his inaugural address, few can recite what he went on to say. “The only thing we have to fear. . .is fear itself. . . nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance” (http://www.hpol.org/fdr/inaug/). There he identify the nature of fear. In this time of pain and suffering we must not allow the fear of evil to consume and dictate to us the courses we will take in life. Certainly people will be a little more aware of their surroundings than before, yet we must not allow the fear of evil individuals prevent us from going about our lives. There will be individuals who will go about campus life in constant fear of another murderous killer or completely dropout altogether out of terror that they could be next. Sadly when individuals allow fear to control their lives, they become another victim of Monday’s murderer. Though they still breath, they have ceased to live.
Fear’s only power lies in what we give it. Fear can not paralyzes an individual unless he or she submits to it. Fear is F.alse E.vidence A.ppearing R.eal. Fear is like the salesman coming to propose a proposition. His sale is completely dependent on our willingness to accept, and so is it with fear.
We live in a free society and as long as men have freedom, surely there will be individuals who use their freedom to trample the freedoms of others. Living in a free society is similar to driving a car on the freeway. Most will abide by the laws and most will go to and fro without problem. Despite this, there will be those who in total careless or with intention, endanger the other drives. Every driver knows this risk exist, yet to stay at home in fear of the rare minority of bad drives would be just as destructive, if not more, to the life of the driver. The driver also understand besides shutting down the roads, there is few things that can be done to protect the other drivers beyond what is already done by the police and laws. The driver daily chooses to live life over fear and be grateful for the freedom the highway provides rather coward from those who might abuse it.
Let us never cower to the fear of madmen or the terror of evil. Paul in 2 Timothy 1:7 tells us, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and of a sound mind” (NKJV). Fear is not from God and we were not designed to operate our lives under it. “We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Romans 8:37, NIV). Fear is a means by evil to paralyze good. The problem for evil is, good can always overcome evil…as long as it chooses to do so.