"Horrific mass shootings aren’t the only sign that the world is pining under the effects of sin and darkness."

But some Christmas songs seem painfully fitting: “Long lay the world in sin and error pining.” And this plea: “O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free Thine own from Satan’s tyranny.”  Dark Day

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Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

It's getting tiresome to repeat, but I'm not seeing it in the media yet: what if just one teacher had been armed?

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

Huw's picture

Or better still what if the mother had not been able to buy and keep arms?

What if the son had not been taught how to shoot?

 

What if the son did not have access under law to weapons?

 

Why was this woman in need of an assault weapon? She bought it out of fear. The fear that she and hers would be in danger. She taught her son to shoot at and kill people and I have no doubt that this became an obsession. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ron Bean's picture

Aaron Blumer wrote:

It's getting tiresome to repeat, but I'm not seeing it in the media yet: what if just one teacher had been armed?

Then five and six year old kids could have seen their teacher shoot someone to death. 

While I'm pro gun, I don't believe that armed teachers is the answer.

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

Brad Kelly's picture

Then five and six year old kids could have seen their teacher shoot someone to death. 

 

Which is somehow worse than watching a gunman shoot their classmates and teachers to death?

 

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

Ron Bean wrote:

Aaron Blumer wrote:

It's getting tiresome to repeat, but I'm not seeing it in the media yet: what if just one teacher had been armed?

Then five and six year old kids could have seen their teacher shoot someone to death. 

While I'm pro gun, I don't believe that armed teachers is the answer.

I am sure seeing their teacher shoot an intruder would have been preferable to being shot themselves or seeing an intruder shoot their peers. As a teacher in a public school, I do.

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Larry's picture

Moderator

Or better still what if the mother had not been able to buy and keep arms?

What if the son had not been taught how to shoot?

 

What if the son did not have access under law to weapons?

Yes, because gun control laws have worked so well in places like Chicago where this many people (28) die about every two and a half to three weeks  (436 through Oct 30). More than 40 people a month are dying in Chicago and they have the gun control laws (or did, until the courts ruled them unconstutional, if I recall correctly). Laws against buying and owning guns didn't stop anything there.

I am going to go out on a limb and suggest that someone intent on committing the crime of murder will not be slowed by laws against buying or owning guns. You can make laws (as they did with prohibition), but you can't remove the guns. "Access under law" is far different than "access." The latter is what prevails.

Out of everything we have tried to prevent these (exceedingly rare, but immensely sorrowful) events, we have yet to try arming the first responders--the people in the schools. The principal was trying to fight off a gun with her hands. How silly is that. 

Right now, the people with the power and ability to fight back are 10 to 15 minutes away. You know how many people you can kill in the 10 minutes or so that it takes people with guns to get there? About 28, as we learned this weekend. And the thing that stopped it was apparently when the shooter found out the police were coming. That caused him to shoot himself.What if he had known that there were people with guns sitting right inside the only entrance to that school, and they will shoot him before he gets the first shot off? I am guessing at least a couple of dozen or so people are still alive.

If someone in the school is armed, then people probably still die, but probably fewer. We praise a principal and other teachers for their sacrifice to try to protect children.

But we (to borrow phrase) sent them to a gunfight armed with a knife (or actually only their hands). It turned out badly. They acted nobly, as nobly as they could. But they were woefully ill-equipped to protect the children.

There's a reason we don't send our soldiers into battle armed with laws. Laws cannot protect you when the other guy has a gun. You fight bad guys with power and force, not with congressional actions.

This is not the time to get on a soapbox about political stances, but we need a good dose of common sense in the aftermath of it, once the emotions have cooled a bit.

 

Huw's picture

you will die by the sword.

 

Can we just agree that guns have replaced swords? 

 

If a nation allows it's people to live by the sword/gun then that nation is under wrath and its consequences. 

 

In Wales we have strict gun control and I can't remember the last time I heard of someone being shot, yes it's that rare.

Do our gun control laws have an effect upon the lack of gun crime? 

Larry's picture

Moderator

you will die by the sword.

Can we just agree that guns have replaced swords? 

Sure.

But proverbs aren't helpful as public policy instruments.

And 28 people died by the "sword" last weekend. And there was no one with a "sword" to fight back. So the guy had free reign.

In Wales we have strict gun control and I can't remember the last time I heard of someone being shot, yes it's that rare.

Do our gun control laws have an effect upon the lack of gun crime? 

Hard to say. That is a topic for a study to be sure. But what other factors are there about Wales that may influence that number?

As I showed above, here in the states, some of the places with the strictest gun control laws (such as Chicago) have very high rates of gun violence. As I said, more than 40 people a month are getting killed in a place that has gun control laws to prevent it. So the laws don't work.

But what we know for sure is that guns work. A dead guy can't shoot anyone. So if this shooter gets shot and killed at the door, or in the hallway by the principal or counselor, then this turns out very differently. Still tragic, but different.

 

 

Larry's picture

Moderator

Here's an article by John Fund that is worth reading: http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/335739/facts-about-mass-shootings...

 

Incidents of mass murder in the U.S. declined from 42 in the 1990s to 26 in the first decade of this century.

The chances of being killed in a mass shooting are about what they are for being struck by lightning.

Until the Newtown horror, the three worst K–12 school shootings ever had taken place in either Britain or Germany.

SNIP

Gun-free zones have been the most popular response to previous mass killings. But many law-enforcement officials say they are actually counterproductive. “Guns are already banned in schools. That is why the shootings happen in schools. A school is a ‘helpless-victim zone,’” says Richard Mack, a former Arizona sheriff. “Preventing any adult at a school from having access to a firearm eliminates any chance the killer can be stopped in time to prevent a rampage,” Jim Kouri, the public-information officer of the National Association of Chiefs of Police, told me earlier this year at the time of the Aurora, Colo., Batman-movie shooting. Indeed, there have been many instances — from the high-school shooting by Luke Woodham in Mississippi, to the New Life Church shooting in Colorado Springs, Colo. — where a killer has been stopped after someone got a gun from a parked car or elsewhere and confronted the shooter.

 

Huw's picture

What I quoted was the words of the Messiah by His own mouth.

dmyers's picture

Huw:  As Atlantic Magazine pointed out in its December 2012 issue (which came out just days or weeks before the Newtown shooting), any idea of banning guns in the US is a waste of time because it ignores the fact that there are already something like 300 million guns in private hands.  You can debate all you want about what's the best policy before millions of people have guns, but it may be that the only realistic solution once millions do have guns is to let them protect themselves with them.  Here's the link:

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2012/12/the-case-for-more-guns-and-more-gun-control/309161/

The subtitle of the article:  "How do we reduce gun crime and Aurora-style mass shootings when Americans already own nearly 300 million firearms? Maybe by allowing more people to carry them."

Huw's picture

Are you are advocating that evil should be fought with evil? 

 

 

 

 

dmyers's picture

My response to your question is no.  My comment would only be advocating that evil be fought with evil if guns themselves are evil, which they are not.  Nor is gun ownership.  A country that has 300 million guns in private hands is not more evil than a country that has no guns in private hands.  

But if that's your only response to my comment, and based on your responses to other comments, it appears that there's not much point in continuing the discussion.  You apparently equate guns with evil, and as long as that's your premise, there's nowhere constructive the conversation can go.  

For what it's worth, I'm not a gun nut trying to justify myself -- don't own one and never have.  But I'm seriously considering becoming a trained owner and obtaining a concealed carry permit.  I pray that doing so would turn out to be a waste of time, but I'm beginning to think that waste of time would be preferable to the (remote) possibility of being in the Newtown school principal's shoes, or the shoes of an Aurora theater patron, and not be able to attempt to prevent my own or some others' deaths. 

Kevin T. Bauder's picture

Folks,

To everything there is a time, but I question whether now is the moment for this discussion.

The blood has not been scrubbed from the classroom floors. The bodies have not been laid to rest.

My views on firearms are about as pronounced as anybody's, but I'm holding myself in check.

We are enduring one of the worst nightmares that has ever been committed within our nation. This crime strikes at us all, and it holds up a mirror to the depravity that shelters itself in our hearts. Like the dissecting tables of Buchenwald or the furnaces of Auschwitz, this horror reveals the sin of which humanity, given over by God, has become capable.

There will be a time for anger and there will be a time for argument.

But now is the hour to mourn, is not not?

Susan R's picture

EditorModerator

There were several school shootings this last year- California, Texas, Ohio, Washington... the death toll was much lower in each incident, so they only received a couple of days of coverage. 

As soon as some starlet wears a new dress or a celebrity couple gets a divorce, the CT story will also pass into media oblivion. The news media has the attention span of a gnat.

Children die from illness, neglect, and violence every day. It seems that it takes a massacre for folks to notice that our world is sin-sick and lost without a Savior.  I don't understand why we think these deaths in particular are somehow more tragic, more grievous, than a single child shot in a drug-related drive-by, or one who lost their battle with RETTs, or those killed by drunk drivers every day. Those parents have lost just as much, but who will notice their sorrow and minister to them

It is time to pray, and time to grieve, but let's not forget to grieve with and comfort those to whom we can minister in our own communities.

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

About mourning... I understand the need for sensitivity, but many of our leaders are already talking gun control. Neither the dead nor the grieving families are honored by having only the gun-blamers' ideas heard.

Huw wrote:

Or better still what if the mother had not been able to buy and keep arms?

What if the son had not been taught how to shoot?

What if the son did not have access under law to weapons?

Why was this woman in need of an assault weapon? She bought it out of fear. The fear that she and hers would be in danger. She taught her son to shoot at and kill people and I have no doubt that this became an obsession. 

On the first two questions: How would that become enforceable? Either all moms have to have the ability to tell what their sons are going to do with shooting skills or you have to legally ban the teaching of shooting skills. Can't see either of those working out... especially since the latter would require a constitutional amendment.

About the assault weapon... These are really not as special as the media like to encourage everyone to believe.

a) The shooter also carried two semi auto hand guns

b) I doubt he would have been much less "successful" using those or an ordinary .22 semi auto rifle... or any number of other non-"assault" options.

What really creates these situations (other than the evil-maniac himself) is the knowledge that people at schools are completely defenseless. Any mad shooter can count on doing a whole lot of damage without being stopped because federal law bans firearms on school property: which means that federal law only allows homicidal crazies to have guns on school property.

But even for the gunphobics there is a relatively simple solution: allow trained armed security guards on school property or staff them them with local police. Expensive. But $ is worth less than liberty and certainly less than lives.

Still, God only knows how many of these shootings would not occur if the potential killers knew there might be somebody armed on school property, even if a civilian. (The profiles of these killers are pretty consistent: they are not people who like a fair fight and they intentionally seek out places where they are confident nobody will shoot back)

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

Kevin T. Bauder's picture

Susan,

While your point about tragedy occurring every day is legitimate, it seems that there is something different about this episode.

This was not just a massacre. It was an intentional targeting of the innocent (I am using the term in a social sense, not a theological one), not singly, but en masse. These little children had wronged no one, but they were deliberately destroyed.

We are heartsick over a single child who falls. When a child is taken, whether by disease or mishap or predation, we know that something is wrong. This event, however, is beyond the usual expression of depravity. It is not just sinful, but horribly unnatural.

In most other school shootings, the perpetrators have been students , usually expressing some element of rage against classmates who were perceived as persecutors. Bad as the reasons were, they at least made some measure of perverse sense. Furthermore, the victims have rarely been children--not in the proper sense of the term. They and the shooters have been in adolescence, which our civilization tends to reckon as the last stage of irresponsible childhood (could that be part of our problem?), but which other cultures reckon as the first stage of adulthood.

Here, you have an adult, not connected with the school, invading the precincts with the express purpose of doing as much harm to as many of the utterly defenseless as possible. The closest thing to this was the episode at the Amish school in 2006. These two events may well stand together as the nadir of our culture.

The targeting of noncombatant populations is acknowledged to be immoral by all civilized peoples. What must we say about one who aims to slay a population of les enfants innocents? The mind balks at the hideous deed.

Kevin T. Bauder's picture

Aaron,

I completely agree with you that the gun-blamers are honoring neither the dead nor the grieving. Their pronouncements are entirely out of place.

So are ours.

There are times and places for brawls, but the graveside is not one of them. The dead are far more honored if we simply refuse to engage until the appropriate time.

People will remember our decorum (or lack thereof) and demeanor much longer than they will remember our arguments. Nobody is going to pass a law before the week is out. The deliberations can wait.

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

Dr. Bauder,

When would you suggest is the appropriate time?

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Larry's picture

Moderator

Quote:
What I quoted was the words of the Messiah by His own mouth.
Yes, and it is proverbial in nature. "Proverb" is a genre of speaking or writing, and it is used often in the Bible.

I agree in the main with Kevin, as I expressed in my earlier comments about this not being the time to get on a soapbox about political ideas. I have commented some here because I think this forum (no pun intended) is a bit different in that it is a relatively private gathering of people unaffected directly by it. I did not like the comments on Facebook comparing this to abortion, nor the public comments about gun control, one way or the other. Doug Wilson expressed the same concern here and here.

 

DavidO's picture

My pastor's text yesterday was John 1:5:

The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it. 

Embers of hope as we mourn these dark days. 

 

Huw's picture

Larry,

 

The Messiah was not speaking proverbially when he made these statements.He was delivering facts that were important at the time and were clear as well as urgent. 

Susan R's picture

EditorModerator

Kevin T. Bauder wrote:

Susan,

While your point about tragedy occurring every day is legitimate, it seems that there is something different about this episode.

This was not just a massacre. It was an intentional targeting of the innocent (I am using the term in a social sense, not a theological one), not singly, but en masse. These little children had wronged no one, but they were deliberately destroyed.

We are heartsick over a single child who falls. When a child is taken, whether by disease or mishap or predation, we know that something is wrong. This event, however, is beyond the usual expression of depravity. It is not just sinful, but horribly unnatural.

Here, you have an adult, not connected with the school, invading the precincts with the express purpose of doing as much harm to as many of the utterly defenseless as possible. The closest thing to this was the episode at the Amish school in 2006. These two events may well stand together as the nadir of our culture.

The targeting of noncombatant populations is acknowledged to be immoral by all civilized peoples. What must we say about one who aims to slay a population of les enfants innocents? The mind balks at the hideous deed.

The targeting of children is hideous- I agree. But why do we think it is more tragic for one lone gunman to kill 20 kids than 20 mothers abandoning, abusing, and murdering their own children? I think the murder of children by their own mother is as 'horrible and unnatural' as strangers killing strangers.

In this case, even though the perpetrator was 20 yo, he also seemed rather infantile, and the possibility of mental illness is being explored. He himself was a 'child' of sorts. This was not, from what I've read so far, the act of a fully functioning independent adult.  

Larry's picture

Moderator

Huw, I shall not dwell on this, but that saying of Jesus is a proverb, a proverbial form. When used, a proverb can deliver facts that were important at the time and were clear as well as urgent. Those things are not mutually exclusive. Calling it a proverb is not a statement about its truth, but about its form.

But the fact remains that it is a proverb (and perhaps one drawn from an extra-biblical source). To draw the application from there to now is a bit trickier than simply quoting it as a basis for public policy.

WilliamD's picture

Huw wrote:

Or better still what if the mother had not been able to buy and keep arms?

What if the son had not been taught how to shoot?

What if the son did not have access under law to weapons?

Seriously? You really think that would have prevented it?  What if? what if? ....Then, he could take his high school chemistry kit to make a bomb to blow up a classroom with 20+ kids in it. 

 

 

Shaynus's picture

I envision this kind of debate regarding gun rights shortly after a tragedy as a gun rights guy sort of like a reasonable man in the midst of a lynch mob. The scene is that someone's been killed, and the crowd is being whipped into a frenzy by a minority of agitators. Emotions are running high, and ropes are being thrown over a tree limb to string up a fellow that isn't guilty, and may have been prevented from helping the victim. There is a time for some reasonable people to say, "now hold on a minute. Let's think this through." The lynch mob is the anti-gun lobby. Emotions are on their side, but reason may not be. Those who say this isn't time to talk about it miss the context. Gun rights groups aren't going around bringing this up. They are responding to emotional reactions that could have real and lasting effects as of the first month of this year. 

Now is exactly the time to be defending gun rights, in a wise and winsome way. Gun rights advocates shouldn't do it in a "if thou hadst been here, my brother would not have died" tone. It shouldn't be cold and full of mere data. But I do think a defense of the basic right to meet force with force is a good thing. A timely thing. One good way to defend the fatherless and the widow when I can't be every place at once, is to at least give them the means to defend themselves. 

I do think allowing the arming (if not teachers always, then staff), AND training, staff that wish to meet force with force. 

Shaynus's picture

Huw wrote:

Larry,

 

The Messiah was not speaking proverbially when he made these statements.He was delivering facts that were important at the time and were clear as well as urgent. 

 

Huw wrote:

you will die by the sword.

Can we just agree that guns have replaced swords?

If a nation allows it's people to live by the sword/gun then that nation is under wrath and its consequences.

In Wales we have strict gun control and I can't remember the last time I heard of someone being shot, yes it's that rare.

Do our gun control laws have an effect upon the lack of gun crime?

 

So what do you do with the very literal statement where He told his disciples to get a sword, and sell their cloak if they had none. 

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