Update: It’s been a heavy and reflective week here in Seattle in light of the recent shootings at Seattle Pacific University (June 5, 2014). We have been mourning and hoping with SPU and grieving the passing of Paul Lee – the 19-year-old freshman student who I had a chance to meet once during his couple visits to the church I pastor. Two days ago (June 10, 2014), there was another school shooting at Reynolds High School in Troutdale, Oregon.
Yes, another shooting.
How many shootings?
If you’re keeping count, that makes 74 shootings (wait for it…) at schools…since Sandy Hook Elementary (Newtown, CT).
Let that sink in.
74 school shootings in the past 16 months in America.
And yes, I understand the distinctions that not all 74 shootings were mass shootings like Newtown. According to CNN, 15 of those 74 shootings were similar to Newtown and the rest were shootings in schools that invovled “personal arguments, accidents and alleged gang activities and drug deals.” It’s painful to speak to some teachers that I know (who mostly attend my church). For them, it’s not a matter of if…but when. Has this now become our new reality? Our new normal?
I am not suggesting we abolish guns altogether. Not at all. Please refrain from sending angry emails, or questioning my salvation, or telling me to “Go back home” or to “Move to Canada then.” I am asking that as we continue “the gun debate”, we – particularly the Christian community – ask the question:
Do we elevate the Constitution above all things, including the Scriptures, and our faith and love in Jesus. If so, isn’t that idolatry?
And yes, yes, yes…we can’t hide the conversation of mental illness in the big picture and in connection with guns but as we discuss gun violence, we can’t avoid discussing guns. Which begs the question I ask in the original post below: What would Jesus do with guns?
What would Jesus do with guns?
Would he own guns? Sell guns? Perform miracles and multiply guns for 5000 people? Would he use guns? Would he ask his followers and disciples to own guns? I’m no expert on the topic of Jesus and guns but I do know Jesus and for this Jesus who encouraged people to “turn the other cheek” and gave encouragement to be “peacemakers”, my guess is that he wouldn’t be a member of the NRA.
I know that Jesus has many names but he is also the “Prince of Peace.” Right?
The sad truth is that guns and violence are no laughing matter.
Today only marks a week since the horrific mass shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School at Newtown, Connecticut. Even as of today, families are burying children and loved ones. A week later,we still can’t make sense of something so senseless.
When the shootings at Columbine took place in 1999 that left 70 shot and ultimately killing 13 people, I heard some pundits explain that we need not fear and that Columbine was going to be an isolated once-in-a-lifetime incident. Since Columbine, there have been 181 shooting at schools across the United States. 61 mass murders since 1982 and 6 alone here this year including one about 3 miles from our home that left 6 people killed on May 30, 2012.
I don’t care what you say, we have a problem. An epidemic problem. Read the rest of this entry »