Mass Violence: Moving Past The Anger
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – From a bar shooting in Tuscaloosa to a mass killing in Colorado – acts of mass violence lead many to see red, their violence reflected in the flickering screens of perpetual media submersion.
But the anger comes from even darker times.
Clinical Psychologist Dr. Roger Rinn explains, “When we were living in caves and living in much more primitive conditions, if you weren’t aggressive when you were attacked, as a male in particular – you probably ended up getting killed.”
Now the aggression moves from the caves of old to our new digital dwellings.
Many take to social media to express their anger; many do so with fantasies of violence of their own, focused on how much pain they’d like to inflict on those they perceive to be faces of evil.
Those who make it their duty to explore people’s hearts and souls, agree with those who reach into the depths of the human mind.
In these cases, anger makes sense.
Pastor John Dees says, “All of us in our human flesh, we want to rail out. We want to do that, but again, that’s why we have laws – that’s why we have the police.”
Dr. Rinn agrees, “If you allowed murderers and maimings to occur and not have some type of revulsion for it, you’d be a pretty odd cookie.”
But converting that anger and revulsion into a desire for vengeance, a desire to inflict pain, creates unhealthy complications.
Dees says, “The Bible itself even says, Romans Chapter 12 says ‘Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord.’ And that’s not an easy thing all the time for us to remember.”
Studying tomes of knowledge and countless people leads Dr. Rinn to suggest we greet our anger with our kinder instincts.
He suggests conquering violent thought with kind action. Treat righteous anger as a reminder.
“That should be a cue to pray for the victims, pray for their families, make a comment like, ‘Bless their hearts. I hope they heal quickly.’ Things like that make a big difference,” says Dr. Rinn.
So face the darkness from where we came, with full heart, with sound mind, and with an eye toward making the world hurt less.