Jarrod Jacobs: School Shootings – What’s The Problem?
This month brought us another horrific historical event. Nineteen dear students and two teachers from Robb Elementary school in Uvalde, TX, were killed in a random act of violence by an 18-year-old Salvador Ramos.
When we are faced with these events, the voices seeking to ban all guns are the loudest heard. It is believed that if guns were banned, or at the very least, made harder to obtain than they are currently, such acts of violence would be avoided. Obviously, if guns were outlawed, then the statistics for death and injury by gun violence would be significantly lowered. If firearms are not available to citizens, they obviously would not be able to shoot one another.
However, is banning firearms the answer to violence? Outlawing guns might have a temporary effect of lowering a statistic. However, someone determined to do violence will find a weapon, whether it is a fist, a baseball bat, a stick or stone, a bomb, a sword, a knife, a book, a chain, a whip, a board, a chair, (you see my point?), etc. In the right hands, almost anything can become a weapon (even our words!).
Honestly, violence is a matter of “heart control.” Violence is in a person’s heart, and it will come out if we do not get these feelings under control! Remember Cain (Gen. 4:1-11)? I see no record in the Bible of what weapon Cain used against Abel, but I know that after their argument, Abel was dead (Gen. 4:8)! Friends, could I suggest it is not another law we need. Instead, we need Jesus!
Jesus taught that murder begins in man’s heart, and thus we need to think about the right things (Matt. 5:17-20). Paul taught a similar thing, reminding us we must bring our thoughts “into captivity” (II Cor. 10:3-5). He encourages us to think about the right things in Philippians 4:8, for in this way, our bodies can also be under control (I Cor. 9:27).
In essence, the Bible teaches us that if we think about something long enough, we will do it or we will say it! Therefore, let us think about things that are godly, lovely, pure, honest, etc. (Phil. 4:8)! This will bless us! Thinking on the wicked and ungodly defiles us!
Friends, our brains retain everything seen, heard, smelled, felt, tasted, etc. It is not like we can think about something evil and then turn on the “garbage disposal” and send it away! This is what Jesus taught in Matthew 15! This is why Paul said to think about the good and righteous things (Phil. 4:8)! Think about the right things in expectation that this is what will come out in our words and actions, and not the evil.
For proper control, we need Jesus’ teaching! We need to allow the words of truth (Jn. 17:17) to guide us in our youth and old age (Ecc. 11:9-12:1). To accomplish what the Bible describes, we need to care for others and realize we are our “brother’s keeper” (Gen. 4:9; Matt. 7:12, 22:39; Gal. 6:2; Jas. 2:8)!
Parents, where are you? Our children need direction, focus, and discipline. Guiding them in correct thinking now while their brains are still maturing will help them cope and overcome when they face hardships in the future. This is not the job of school teachers. This is the parents’ job (Eph. 6:4; Titus 2:3-5)!
If every nation on earth produced a law that banned guns, we still would not have addressed the issue that motivates mass murder. Until we address this, the violence will never end. Men will find ways to kill and harm others. It was done before guns, gun powder, bullets, etc., ever crossed our minds! Sadly, it will continue until our “heart problem” is addressed in every family!
-- Jarrod Jacobs preaches with the Caneyville church of Christ in Caneyville, KY. He can be reached at (270) 589-4167 or http://caneyvillechurchofchrist.com.