Innocence and the Beast

A young boy, five year old Cannon Hinant, was recently murdered while riding his bike with his sisters at his home in Wilson, North Carolina. A neighbor, Darius Sessoms, walked up to him and shot him in the head at point blank range without warning.

Even though this happened weeks ago on August 9, I am still enraged whenever I hear about it or think about it. That a grown man, twenty-five years old, could coldly execute a boy who had only begun to live, simply makes me boil. It makes me furious that someone can have so little disrespect for human life, especially young children, that he would just “snuff out” everything that this little boy was and could have been.

My heart aches, not only for Cannon’s family and friends who are the first responders of grief, but also for the killer’s family, which must deal with the aftermath. They have to live with what has happened as well and it might very well be harder for them than for the boy’s family.

When I think about the man who committed this heinous act, the song by Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody comes to mind and I grieve for him as well.

“Mama, just killed a man, put a gun against his head, pulled my trigger, now he’s dead. Mama, life had just begun, but now I’ve gone and thrown it all away.”

Cannon Hinant’s future was pure potential, Darius Sessom’s is certain. He will be tried, found guilty of first-degree murder, and either executed or locked up in a maximum-security prison for the rest of his life. Execution would be the more merciful punishment.

This episode, however, is just one of many in a society which has gone insane. “Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad.” is the ancient saying and it should be evident that American society has plunged headlong in that direction. It seems that every day brings us one step closer to a complete breakdown of civilized society and, once started on the road to ruin, there is no turning back. There is only the hope that someday, somehow, this madness will be over and we can get back to getting along with each other peacefully.

America’s problems are not unique, however, because they crop up in other places around the world, sometimes where most people wouldn’t expect them. For instance, Alex Utopium has written about a twelve year old girl who was killed by gunfire during a shootout between rival gang members in Stockholm, Sweden. Yes, Sweden, that socialist paradise so beloved by progressives everywhere, has a problem and it is just as ugly as it is in any other country where human life is of no concern.

Why should we be surprised, though? For decades, we have systematically killed our youngest and most vulnerable citizens through the practice of abortion on demand, otherwise known as “woman’s rights”. We have applauded Hollywood (and rewarded them financially) as they pumped out more and more graphic violence, depicting the most heinous scenes possible to a warped mind. We have saluted as “our troops” have swarmed over and slaughtered untold millions of people in other countries, small, poor, and unable to adequately defend themselves–all in the name of “national interest”. That is, if you understand it correctly, money and the power it can buy.

Modern human society is bankrupt. The bills of three or four centuries of continual “Enlightenment”, of trying to build a utopian world on sinful human nature are now coming due and will be paid. The books will be balanced–in one way or another and most of us will probably not like the results.

Who is to blame? Street gangs in Stockholm? Black men in America? Yes, absolutely, but also everyone else, including you and I. All of us share some amount of the responsibility for what is happening around us as our world burns and collapses. All of us ought to consider the beam which is in our own eye (Matthew 7:5) before we start to “fix” the troubles that our brothers and sisters are dealing with.

This is why I cannot condemn Darius Sessoms. This is why my rage is not so much directed at him nor any other individual, but more toward myself, the character flaws I struggle with, and the culture I live in.

I can be better. We can be better. We must be better. Our world depends on it.

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