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Unnatural Born Killers: Slaughter of American innocence

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In Oliver Stone's frightful classic, Natural Born Killers (1994), we watch in horror the story of two merciless murderers, Mickey Knox and Mallory Wilson Knox, themselves victims of abusive childhoods, becoming media celebrities as they go on a rampage, slaughtering people in an orgy of senseless, vicious, and remorseless violence. Numerous mass murders in the United States, including Heath High School shooting (1997) and Columbine High School massacre (1999), have been called "copycat" repeats of the story of this film. The family of a victim of one such mass murder incident even took Oliver Stone to court, claiming that his film prompted a violent crime spree.

Soon after the most recent mass murder in yet another high school, this time in Florida in February 2018, we learned a Christian radio host, Bryan Fischer, had publicly declared that "God allows school shootings like the one that claimed 17 lives at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, because there is not enough prayer in public schools." Mr Fischer believes: "I suggest we have mass school shootings because we don't have enough God on our campuses."

Both a vindictive God who slaughters innocent children because they did not pray in their high schools, and a horrifically violent movie like Natural Bork Killers, are symptoms of a much more systemic social malaise that needs recognition. What is the root cause of a theology that imagines a brutish mass murderer as a Divinity presiding over our earthly existence? What sort of sick society comes up with a movie like "Natural Born Killers"?

Let us look closer at the most recent example of one young gunman going on a rampage at a high school in Florida on Valentine's Day, slaughtering mostly teenage students.

It turns out the mass murderer in Florida high school was not a "natural born killer" but, in fact, a methodically trained killer - trained by the US army, through their Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) marksmanship program in high schools, funded in part by grants from the National Rifle Association Foundation (NRA).

PBS reports: "Nikolas Cruz, 19, was wearing a maroon shirt with the logo from the Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps program at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School when he was arrested Wednesday shortly after the shooting. Former JROTC cadets told The Associated Press that Cruz was a member of the small varsity marksmanship team that trained together after class and traveled to other area schools to compete."

In other words, Nikolas Cruz was being trained to go kill people in Iraq, Afghanistan, or anywhere else in Asia, Africa, or Latin America. But the young man was just too impatient and began slaughtering people in........

© Al Jazeera