This Present Darkness

I’ve spent the past couple of days reading about this latest school shooting and it’s hurt my heart so incredibly, especially as a Mom.  I can’t imagine the terror each of these children went through, something that no child or human should have to endure – not knowing if they were going to live or die, not knowing if they’d ever get to speak to their parents, family, or friends again.  I cried tears as I read the text messages sent back and forth between these students and their loved ones, imagining how horrific it would be to get that text from my own 15 year old.

There are so many people chiming in with their own thoughts on what the solution to this modern day atrocity might be: ban guns, install metal detectors, armed guards and teachers, ban violent video games and tv shows, more care for the mentally ill…but do you know the REAL reason why everyone is so passionate about initiating something drastic? It’s because people don’t like being helpless, people NEED to be able TO DO something to prevent tragedy that effects each and everyone us.  So they immediately jump on whatever they think will empower them to fight against the evil that is threatening them – when they can blame one thing and show one thing as the answer to the solution, then they no longer feel HELPLESS.

Unfortunately, putting a bandaid on a gushing wound does nothing, instead, this only creates more problems!  We cannot take away something from those who have not done anything wrong with ‘X’ (pick the poison you believe responsible: guns, video games, tv shows, and/or political party) to prevent the less than 1% from doing wrong with it.  This argument is no different than a modern day Prohibition [surely, we learned something from History how that worked out].  By removing whatever you believe is the problem, you’ve helped yourself feel powerful by saying ‘X’ is the problem and thus believing that by removing ‘X’, we’ve solved this issue – yet, in reality, it hasn’t.  Look at Chicago, where they have the strictest of gun control laws, BUT it’s also the city that has the most deaths from gun violence!!  One would assume that this would prove undoubtedly that gun control isn’t the answer!  Yet, somehow, it comes up every time there is a shooting!!!  Logic says that guns are obviously NOT the problem, if in a city where they have laws against them, the criminals still manage to kill people with illegal ‘weapons’ [the definition of a criminal should answer this so-called dilemma].  Now if you’ve decided that banning guns aren’t the answer and maybe violent video games are the culprit – my question to you would be:  how many people do you know who play these games haven’t committed violent crimes?  I can only vouch for myself and my family as never committing any violent crimes, and actually I believe my sons are incredibly compassionate and caring, so there goes that theory!  I’ll be the first to admit that ‘back in the day’ [okay, my day was the 80’s] TV shows and movies did not have NEAR the content of graphic violence that there is today [don’t even get me started on the nudity and sex scenes] but even with the violence in our faces for entertainment, we and our children see just as much online via YouTube videos or just current events on the Nightly News!  So if you think we’ve become desensitized, I have to disagree – it’s not that we aren’t impacted by it, it’s that we think to ourselves, “It’s not happening to us, so I don’t need to be alarmed or concerned.”, and it can create a false sense of security.

The tragedy that happened in the Florida school shooting was most likely preventable [this time around], the school knew the boy was unstable – the local law enforcement knew and even the FBI was made aware!!  This case was completely preventable, but not by banning guns, video games or tv shows – the system failed this community.  Whether it be [as Chicago has proven – it’s impossible to prevent guns from getting in the hands of those who wish to break the law] so if laws prevented a disturbed young man from obtaining a gun [which if he truly wanted to do harm, he could have used a bomb, but I suspect he wanted to use a gun so he could witness the carnage, perceive himself as ‘powerful’ and receive notoriety in the News], or by allowing the school and law enforcement to prevent the young man from even getting close to the school [GPS tracking ankle monitor because of his terroristic and public threats], and I imagine the FBI has no viable excuse for their incompetence in this whole situation [did I just pop up on the Bureau’s radar?]…

The REAL question is:  If this person has decided to commit a crime and they hadn’t posted it on social media or made public threats before – would it have been preventable?  Perhaps with metal detectors, armed guards as well as armed teachers, the fatalities would have been less or even zero.  The truth is, we live in a fallen world, there are evil people that wish to do bad things ANYWAY they can, whether it be in the privacy of their own home or out in a public area.  It might make us feel better to say that if we remove ‘X’, these things won’t happen again, but deep down we know that’s not true – we cannot control another’s thoughts or actions.

Daily we see stories of parents who abuse and neglect their children, people who post videos torturing animals and humans – we see the depravity and sickness of the heart and yet we still want to say that by removing one thing, ‘X’, it will stop these kind of scenarios.  Removing a factor or even a vehicle for harm, is not a cure, if a person wants to commit a crime, they will – even those locked up in prison still find a way!  If a suicidal person wants to kill themselves, they can find several other methods – if you’ve noticed, all of these ‘crimes’ begin with a person and their intention – not the MODE of that intention!  What we can control is this division among those of us who wish to see these tragedies from occurring!  People point fingers at each political party, as if they have the power to stop another person from committing crimes and tragedy – INSTEAD of pointing the finger at the REAL problem – the person doing the crime.

It’s hard for a sane and good person to imagine the darkness that resides in these people, that’s why we try so much to put the solution in a box – giving ourselves some perceived semblance of control!  Rationalizing to ourselves, that if ‘X’ wasn’t possible, they wouldn’t commit such crimes.  I would love to say that once we stop fighting amongst ourselves about how to solve this problem, the world would be a better place, but in reality – I don’t believe it’s ever going to get better.  This world is full of darkness and the only way to fight it, is with the One who is Light!  Until the day every knee bows and every tongue confesses that Jesus is Lord – this present darkness will not diminish.  All we can truly do, in this time we have here on Earth, is to love ALL those around us, shine our own lights and point others to Jesus!  If you truly are serious about making a difference: pray to God that He might direct you to someone who NEEDS Him – if we can change even one heart, that’s a victory for eternity!