On my last night of fall break, I went to see
Red Dragon, the latest film in the
Silence of the Lambs series. Two of my friends and I drove 15 minutes from home to Washington DC to see the movie in an upscale theatre. We thought it would be a nice change.
For those of you who have not seen it, it is one of the most terrifying movies ever made. It was rather emotionally draining and caused me to be nervous and a bit alarmed as we left the theatre.
While walking to the car, my friend stopped in front of a restaurant window and stared up at the television screen. The TV was tuned to CNN and the headline read “Sniper Shooting, Falls Church, VA”. Falls Church. My grandparents live there. I grew up there. I had been grocery shopping there earlier that day.
My friends and I walked back to the car and drove home in complete silence. The combination of the horrifying
Red Dragon and the sniper's latest murder in Falls Church were too much to bear. The CNN headline ran like a movie title in my head. The fear and confusion caused by the movie and the high anxiety of present realities merged and made us realize that our own world was a thousand times more appalling than anything Hollywood could ever create.
Throughout history, there have been evil people who have taken delight in killing innocents, causing fear in society, and “playing God”. Jack the Ripper, Charles Manson, Osama bin Laden, and now the Sniper. I can just imagine all of them beaming with glee when they have read the morning paper discussing their latest triumph. I can hear their laughter. I can see their wide grinned smiles. I can even taste their victory.
All I can say is that we continue to give them what they want.
A very wise man once said, “There is nothing to fear but fear itself.” How right he was. These sick, depraved people live and thrive on our fear. They bottle and drink it like the elixir of life. It gives them strength.
But I am done with it. I will no longer aid them in their conquests. If you live your life in a frightened state, then you are not living at all. You exist at their mercy. It's difficult to move on from trauma, pain, and fear. But everyone needs to let it go.
This sniper may kill one more person, or maybe five or a dozen more. In the DC metropolitan area, many government offices have been closed, events postponed and school days cancelled. In doing so, we are only showing our fear. We are admitting defeat. We are telling this killer that he IS God. It is only when we let go of fear that we come to realize that each person in this world controls his own life and nobody can take that away.
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