This is probably in vain, but I will disclaim anyways: THIS IS NOT A POLITICAL POST! This is simply a response to what just occurred in my “backyard” last week.
Now that we got that out of the way…
Many are aware of the recent tragedy that occurred at Independence High School in Glendale, AZ this past Friday. As we headed into a weekend dedicated to love, our hearts were stricken with grief once again as we learned of another expression of hate. Two fifteen year old girls, a murder-suicide, unconscionable.
“How do we stop this?!”, we all scream.
We live in a secular (Latin for “this worldly”) society, which means faith is appropriately expressed in the shadows of everyday life. But every time we are brutally confronted with evil, we find our privatized faith has left our feet firmly planted in mid-air.
People who normally live hostile to faith publicly suddenly solicit prayers and enter halls of religious expression. Our chameleon culture does all that it can to deny the fact of evil, even the face of evil, but the feeling cannot be shaken.
It is undeniable…something is wrong when the lives of children are cut short, especially at the hands of other children.
“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.” (Mt. 5:21-22)
Frankly, these are some of the most unpopular words of Jesus. The audacity of Jesus to suggest that murder does not require blood to be spilled is beyond offensive to an inclusive, post-modern society.
But wait…maybe I can join in on the ruckus.
With the rise of technology also comes the increase of accessible information. As we spin in this perpetual information wheel, it seems we constantly hear about tragedies like the one from last Friday. And as we hear of these tragedies, a common “solution” suggested is gun control.
Did I mention that this post is in NO way political or pro second amendment? Okay, good. I thought so.
I simply want to suggest that in order to stop tragedies like kids killing kids, focusing on inanimate implements will not take us very far.
You may wonder how I can be so sure? My reasoning is very simple:
- Although our culture may deny the fact and face, our feelings innately tell us that murdering others in cold blood is evil. Evil and wrongdoing, although often belittled, redefined, or ignored in our world, absolutely exist. If you believe this position is misinformed, please do everyone a favor and attend the funerals of these victims so that you can kindly educate their families that what happened to their loved one was not evil or wrong.
- Inanimate, amoral, lifeless objects are not evil in of themselves; evil is always personal and hence requires persons. The simple reason is that evil is a violation of purpose. Guns do what they do. So, for example, when my daughter whacks her sister with a toy, I focus on my daughter and parent her, not the bat. We might as well ban the Super Bowl because certain individuals use it as an opportunity to promote sex trafficking while we’re at it. It is not the use but the abuse of something that causes problems; the violation of purpose.
- Ammunition comes in many more forms than just lead. It’s not a gun and a bullet that assaults life, but the person with an agenda of death. Guns are only the means by which evil can be expressed.
- Prohibition almost seems to have a reverse affect from whatever the original intent may have been. History, and parenting quite frankly, proves this. Give a child rules and then watch what happens. It’s like telling your child with a sore to stop touching the sore. Useless!
I may be the first to tell you this, but you have purpose. As a Christian, I simply believe that your existence assumes purpose. You are of utmost value.
So emotions are completely legitimate when lives are assaulted in such heartless ways. And nothing is more angering, grieving, and confusing when our least vulnerable are taken from us. Murder is so reprehensible because it is the most grotesque violation of purpose.
But in the midst of all our emotion, let us remember the recipe here:
Weapon + Ammunition + human with a death wish = murder
If Jesus was correct, you can take away the first two and still can have a murderer. Outcome is the same, the means have only changed. Take away a person with a death wish and a murder is no longer possible. Murders always require people! They are the key ingredient.
Additionally, people murder with guns, knives, bombs, clubs, fists, cars, ill-timed selfies, and so on. Guns are not the problem…people who want to murder are!
Banning guns does not help; people bent on evil will only find other means for their duplicitous ends.
I don’t know about you, but I am fed up with the headlines being filled with tragedies like last Friday’s! My heart breaks for these families! I can’t help but remember others in my “backyard”, like NAU and Tucson.
And then I’m reminded of Sandy Hook, Columbine, London, Fort Hood, San Bernardino, Aurora, Virginia Tech, and so many others. I’m reminded of my first month in high school when a moment of silence was enacted to remember and honor a fellow student who took his own life.
This is all around us and more of us are learning about it with our own eyes! Enough is enough!
But if we’re serious about solutions, let’s actually consider where the problem lies. Kids are not killing kids due to a lack of government control but self-control! Why would such ideas enter a child’s mind and be worth considering?!
There is a problem with morale, not munitions.
Answers are never found in surface-solutions that only seek to modify behavior. Until we’re willing to more consistently acknowledge the existence and persistence of evil, we will never find the good nor the ability to distinguish between the two. So in the meantime, we’re left with creating more waste paper (laws) and pills while still leaving people in their broken, wounded, and hell-bent state.
God help us find purpose before we destroy ourselves.
Although fictional, this movie explores the deep tragedy of kids killing kids…no gun involved.