Sadly, the United States of America has to go through the tragic gut wrenching news of another mass shooting. This time, at an elementary school in Uvalde Texas. It happened yesterday. My heart and prayers go out to the parents who dropped their children off at school, only to hear about this tragic event. No one should have to hear the news that their child has died at school.
How many times does this have to happen before change occurs? Why is this happening so often? Why are so many of these shooters young boys? What can we do? There are many questions people have. I have the same questions as well. I don’t pretend to know all of the answers. What I do know is that I have seen these kinds of stories time and time again, and yet have not really said too much. I would like to share some of my thoughts.
How many times does this have to happen before change occurs?
I don’t know if the amount of mass shootings we have in America are taking place in other countries. Maybe they are and I haven’t heard about them. I can remember when I visited Israel in 2018. We took a train somewhere and there were soldiers on the trains with guns for everyone to see. When we visited a particular restaurant, there were soldiers outside with guns for everyone to see. Some people may not like seeing soldiers with guns, but I don’t think these kinds of mass shootings are happening there.
I have often thought about why all schools don’t have armed security guards. Would these kinds of events occur if potential shooters knew that there would be armed security guards? I think the numbers would go down. I often think about this with respect to movie theaters. There have been shootings at movie theaters, and yet their continues to be little to any real security measures.
I listened to a clip from The NBA Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr. It was raw and emotional. He had some great things to say. Check it out below.
I also listened to State Senator Chris Murphy speak about the shooting yesterday. You can find his thoughts here.
Why is this happening so often?
My mind goes to a Bible passage in the gospel of Luke 13:1-3.
There were some present at that very time who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And he answered them, Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.
Sadly, many suffer because of the wicked choices of others. There were Galileans who suffered at the hands of Pilate. We continue to see others suffer due to wicked choices of other people.
I think we can say this is happening so much because young people who are in desperate need of help are able to acquire guns at much too young of an age. Which leads to another question.
Why are so many of these shooters young boys?
The shooting that took place 10-days ago at the grocery store in New York. That was by an 18-year old. And now yesterday, another 18-year old took even more lives. He killed his grandmother before entering into the elementary school. Many of these shooters are young people. It doesn’t mean that all of them are. There have been shootings in New York (more innocent lives taken). These have been done by older men. How are they able to get these guns legally? Should 18 year olds be able to get guns? My answer to that is NO! I know many will disagree and that’s okay.
Social media comes into play as well. My son saw me writing this and asked, “Why would social media play a role in this?”
- We know how harmful social media is to young people. There are plenty of studies that demonstrate this.
- There are already plenty of crazy people on social media. Young people who have access to these people and their false doctrine can easily be caught up and deceived.
We know how the shooter at the grocery store in New York was live streaming what he was doing. Why was he doing this? To show others his heinous act. For attention. My recommendation is to have an age restriction when it comes to social media. You shouldn’t be able to have a social media account until you are 21. We talk about age restrictions when it comes to drinking alcohol. I don’t believe anyone should consume alcohol! Yet social media is causing as much harm to young people as alcohol does. Study after study shows how social media brings on depression and so much more. There needs to be some serious consideration about young people have access to a social media account.
I also think about what’s happening in the homes. Where are the parents? Some are in these homes, but not really connected to their children. Yes, everyone has free will. Yet if these boys are still under the oversight of their parents, where was the interaction? Parents have to be in the picture. Sadly, too many homes have people living under one roof, but it’s not really a family.
What can we do?
There’s always something we can do.
- As a Christian, I turn to my heavenly Father. I can pray and so can you. We must pray without ceasing.
- Hearts need to change. This is where the gospel of Jesus is needed. There are so many people in the world in need of Jesus.
- We must be even more involved with our children. As a father, I need to be aware of challenges my son may be having. There must be a dialogue with our children about what they are experiencing and what their friends may be experiencing.
- As a country we must not right and left this issue. This happens all the time when a shooting occurs. The souls of those in pain and anguish over the loss of loved ones are often forgotten. No real meaningful change happens long term. Moments of silence take place. But then in a few days we’re back to our regular schedule of busyness. Politicians will say the same thing to get elected or reelected, but nothing substantial is ever done. Our leaders must do a better job. We must do better at protecting our children. Guns are not going anywhere. However, young people shouldn’t be able to get them easily.
Let us pray for the families who lost loved ones. Let us pray for our families. Let us pray for our neighborhoods. Let up pray for the wicked.