Troubling Thoughts About School Shootings


By Don Ruhl

 

The World Cannot Figure Out What is Wrong

Just listen to the world as it struggles for answers. No one but God knows all things. Nor can we keep people from committing crimes. Proverbs 4:19 is a classic text, explaining the world’s bewilderment, and how it often contributes to the problem without realizing it: “The way of the wicked is like darkness; They do not know what makes them stumble” (Prov. 4:19). When I hear Hollywood condemn the NRA for the school violence, it reminds me of the time that “The Artist Formerly Known as Prince” called Michael Jackson weird. Luke 6:39 is also a perfect picture of the world trying to explain school shootings, and of the world trying to figure out the solution: “And He spoke a parable to them: ‘Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into the ditch?’” Jeremiah 13:16 shows exactly what is happening, as long as the world refuses to acknowledge the true problem and the true solution: “Give glory to the LORD your God Before He causes darkness, And before your feet stumble On the dark mountains, And while you are looking for light, He turns it into the shadow of death And makes it dense darkness.” Isaiah 59:9, 10 gives some interesting thoughts. The chapter begins with two verses with which we are very familiar, but so much more is in this chapter, and now listen to what it says, especially as we relate it to school shootings: “Therefore justice is far from us, Nor does righteousness overtake us; We look for light, but there is darkness! For brightness, but we walk in blackness! We grope for the wall like the blind, And we grope as if we had no eyes; We stumble at noonday as at twilight; We are as dead men in desolate places” (Isa. 59:9, 10). John 12:35 shows that Jesus addressed the problem also: “Then Jesus said to them, ‘A little while longer the light is with you. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you; he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going.’” First John 2:11 seems to be so sadly right on target (I hope that is not a poor choice of words): “But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.”

Christians Should Not Be Surprised By The Increase In Violence

That is not meant as an arrogant claim, but we have been observing for years what is being taken out of society, and what is being put into it. We have been telling the world that the more you take the Bible out of society, the more violence you will have. When finally the Bible is removed totally, then you will have total violence. Christians are modern day sons of Issachar, “who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do” (1 Chron. 12:32; See also Esther 1:13; Prov. 14:8).

 

“The Lamb” (author unknown)
Mary had a little lamb
His fleece was white as snow.
Everywhere that Mary went,
The Lamb was sure to go.

He followed her to school each day,
When it wasn’t against the rules.
He made the children laugh and play,
To have a Lamb at school!

Then the rules changed one day,
Against the law it became,
To bring the Lamb of God to school,
Or even speak His name.

Every day got worse and worse,
And days turned into years.
Instead of hearing children laugh and play,
You heard them crying tears.

What must we do to stop the crime,
That’s in our schools today?
Let the Lamb come back to school,
And teach your kids to pray.

Romans chapter one shows that when you take away the Bible, you will have to replace it with metal detectors.

“It’s the Truth” (by Paul Harvey)

Whoa! What in the world is happening with our kids today? Let’s see…I think it started when Madeline Murray O’Hare complained that she didn’t want any prayer in our schools, and we said OK.

Then someone said you had better not read the Bible in school—the Bible that says thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself. And we said, OK.

Remember Dr. Benjamin Spock, who said we shouldn’t spank our children when they misbehave, because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem? And we said, OK, we won’t spank them.

Then someone said that teachers and principals better not discipline our children when they misbehave. And our administrators said whoa, no one in this school better touch a student when they misbehave because we don’t want any bad publicity, and we surely don’t want to be sued.

Then someone said, let’s let our daughters have abortions if they want, and we won’t even have to tell their parents. And we said, that’s a grand idea.

Then someone else said, let’s give our sons all the condoms they want, so they can have all the “fun” they desire, and we won’t have to tell their parents. And we said, that’s another great idea. [The Klamath County Health department once refused to give these devices to fourth grade boys, because they were making water balloons out of them. No, they were supposed to use them for what they were designed to do!]

And then some of our top officials said that it doesn’t matter what we do in private as long as we do our jobs. And we said, as long as I have a job and the economy is good, it doesn’t matter to me what anyone does in private.

So now we’re asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don’t know right from wrong, and why it doesn’t bother them to kill.

Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with “we reap what we sow.”

“We Need God” (By Darrell Scott, father of two victims of the Columbine shooting. This is part of his testimony to the subcommittee on crime. The house judiciary committee; United States House of Representatives)

Your laws ignore our deepest needs
Your words are empty air.
You’ve stripped away our heritage.
You’ve outlawed simple prayer.

Now gunshots fill our classrooms.
And precious children die.
You seek for answers everywhere.
And ask the question “WHY”?

You regulate restrictive laws.
Through legislative creed.
And yet you fail to understand.
That God is what we need!

A Troubling Thought About The School Shootings Is That People Will Think There Is Nothing But Bad In The Schools

Millions of teenagers, millions of times a day do good things. For example, during the same week as the Columbine shootings, hundreds of students at a local high school in Klamath Falls, Oregon were honored in a special ceremony for outstanding grades. This, of course, did not make the news. If it had, I doubt that it would have changed people’s opinions about the schools. Hundreds of students can do wonderful things in a school, but let one student in that school, commit a crime, and we condemn the whole school system or that particular school. That one student will make adults ask what we did wrong, but when the hundreds do right, the same adults do not ask what we did right.

A Troubling Thought About The School Shootings Is That People Will Propose The Removal Of Guns And The Placement Of Metal Detectors In School, And Stationing More Policemen In The Schools, Use Of School Uniforms, And Surveillance Cameras

This will not solve the problem, because it is not the root of the problem. If removing weapons was the solution, then God’s word would have said so. I am not trying to make a statement for or against guns. Biblically speaking, it does not matter to us whether it is a constitutional issue or not. What I am saying is this: if guns, knives, bombs, swords, spears and other instruments of death were the problem, hence their removal the solution, then God would have commanded their removal in the Bible. If it could be proven that removing guns would cease all murders, then I would be for it. If it could be demonstrated that prior to the invention of guns, there were no murders, then I would be the first to declare their removal.

A Troubling Thought About The School Shootings Is That People Will Propose More Self-Esteem And Psychology

Research has shown there is no connection between low self-esteem and violence. The research has actually revealed the reverse. Regardless of the research, can we not see that if low self-esteem were the problem, then the Bible would have revealed it. People want to put together profiles that will tell them ahead of time who is going to commit these acts of violence. The whole world, including the psychological society, the school system, and other organizations designed to deal with children, do not know Jeremiah 17:9, 10, for if they did, then they would know that they could never succeed at this profiling: “The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it? I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give every man according to his ways, According to the fruit of his doings.” With this profiling in place, who would have known: Judas would betray Christ? Peter would deny Christ? All the apostles would forsake Christ? David would commit adultery and order a murder? Solomon would forsake the Lord? We cannot predict human behavior. The world is convinced that counseling, or talk therapy, will solve the world’s problems, but with it, and without the Bible, the world and the schools are only getting worse, and that is the way they will continue to head.

LITTLETON: The Killer Narcissists, The missing explanation

BARBARA LERNER Dr. Lerner is a psychologist and writer in Chicago.

THE questions won’t go away. The recent shooting spree—the eighth in two years—forces us to face them again. Why all these wanton killings by schoolboys, this senseless spiral of schoolhouse slaughter? Who are these kids? Why are they doing it? What can we do? In the ‘90s, most parents look to psychology for answers, but psychology doesn’t have one set—it has two: pre-’60s answers and post-’60s answers. And they conflict.

Every sensate American knows the post-’60s answers. You hear them from all the talking heads. Not just establishment experts, but mainstream teachers, preachers, politicians, and journalists. All subscribe to the conventional wisdom of the ‘90s: Kids who kill are in great distress, they’ve been neglected, rejected, and abused, their self-esteem is low, they are crying out for help. They need more love and understanding, more communication and parental attention, more early intervention, professional counseling, and anger-management training. And the reason we have more of these kids today is that we have more absent parents, more media violence, more guns.

Will the Colorado killers fit this profile? Were they the abused offspring of harsh, uncaring parents and a cold, indifferent community, desperately unhappy beings with nowhere to turn for help? It doesn’t look like it. Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold both came from intact middle-class families variously described by neighbors as “solid,” “sensitive,” and “utterly normal,” and both had already been through the therapeutic mill. Each boy had gotten individual counseling; each got anger-management training as well. Both finished their therapy in February, two months before the crime, and both got glowing reports from their counselors.

Maybe, when all the facts are known, Harris and Klebold will turn out to be a lot more like Kip Kinkel, the 15-year-old Oregon shooter who vanished from the news as soon as his life story began to emerge because it didn’t fit the profile at all. Kinkel was a problem for the conventional wisdom because he had it all, everything ‘90s experts recommend. His parents were popular teachers, one of them was always there for him when he came home from school, and both did their best to make him happy, spending time with him, taking him on family vacations, helping him get whatever he wanted, even when the things he wanted unnerved them. They made few demands, rejected firm discipline as too harsh, and sought professional help, early and often. They were in counseling, along with Kip, when, in May 1998, he shot them both dead, killed two of his many school friends, and wounded 22 others.

Looking at cases like this, psychologists in the 1950s and earlier had a set of answers you don’t hear much anymore. Here’s an updated sample: We have more wanton schoolboy killers today because we have more narcissists, and the step from being a narcissist to being a wanton killer is a short one, especially in adolescence. A narcissist is a person who never progressed beyond the self-love of infancy, one who learned superficial social skills—narcissists are often charming—but never learned to love another and, through love, to view others as separate persons with an equal value. To the narcissist, other people have no intrinsic worth; their value is purely instrumental. They are useful when they satisfy his desires and enhance his self-esteem, disposable as bottle caps when they don’t.

Only the narcissist matters, and because his sense of self-importance is so grossly inflated, his feelings are easily hurt. When they do get hurt—when others thwart him or fail to give him the excessive, unearned respect he demands—he reacts with rage and seeks revenge, the more dramatic the better. Take guns away from kids like these, and many won’t settle for knives and baseball bats: They’ll turn to deadlier weapons—to explosives, as that overgrown schoolboy, Ted Kaczynski did, or to environmental poisons, as the young subway saboteurs of Japan did. Kip was on his way—police found five bombs at his house. And the Colorado killers upped the ante: They made more than 30 bombs and used shrapnel as well as bullets to blow away their victims.

Will more counseling and anger-management classes help? At best, they are palliatives, in cases like these. They can put a patch over the hole at the core of these kids, the moral void, but they cannot fill the hole. No brand of psychology can, and earlier brands—Freud’s especially—had the humility to recognize that. He saw the hole for what it is, a moral hole that only moral training can fill. Not just calm, rational, smiley-face, didactic lessons, but the kind of intense, gut-level experiences children have when their parents draw a sharp moral line and demonstrate a willingness to go all out to defend it.

Through experiences like these, normal children learn that the parental love they could take for granted as infants and toddlers can no longer be taken for granted. That love is no longer unconditional; it can be withdrawn. And to avoid that frightening outcome, the child learns to see his parents as more than human piñatas, full of goodies he has only to bang away at to get. He learns to see them as moral beings with standards and values that are more important than his own immature wishes, and he begins to internalize those standards and values, making them his own, and developing a conscience.

Many ‘90s experts don’t understand this process. They focus only on self-esteem, not on esteem for others, and they obsess about the methods parents use to teach their kids, ignoring the content, the moral lessons they are trying to teach, insisting that any physical punishment, however infrequently and judiciously applied, is child abuse. These experts have no real solutions to offer, when the problem is overindulgence rather than abuse, as it now so often is. They are part of the problem. And the sooner we recognize that, the better. (National Review, 215 Lexington Avenue, New York, New York 10016, (212) 679 7330, National Review is a Member Organization)

A Troubling Thought About The School Shootings Is That People Will Propose More Drugs

Rather than teaching people, especially young people, to learn to control their own behavior more medications will be given to control behavior. However, the world cannot do this properly, because it has no moral absolute on which to stand.

A Troubling Thought About The School Shootings Is That People Will Still Fail To See That Lack Of Proper Sentence Against Evil Is Part Of The Answer

Ecclesiastes 8:11 is something that all parents are able to recognize, but the world fails to recognize in other areas: “Because the sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.” Romans 13:4 explains that people ought to fear the government, that is, fear the death penalty which God authorizes the government to use: “For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil.” However, when the government is not doing as God wants, then, as Solomon taught in Ecclesiastes 8, men have no fear. (See also Isaiah 59.)

A Troubling Thought About The School Shootings Is That People Cannot See That Our Citizens Are Being Marinated In Violence

You have marinated meat before. You put the raw meat in a container and let it soak in a marinade, hoping to add flavor to the meat. When you cook the meat and then eat it, you fully expect to taste the marinade. People, especially young people, are being marinated in spiritual sauces of violence. It is only natural that is how their lives are turning out.

A Troubling Thought About The School Shootings Is That People Cannot See The Effect That The Teaching Of Evolution Has Had On Our Society, Especially Our Children.

Evolution says advancement is made when the weak are eliminated. Should we be surprised then when abortion is fully accepted by the general population; partial-birth abortion is actually being practiced; infanticide has been going on for years; and now Oregon voters have endorsed physician-assisted suicide? Evolution does not come out and teach students to be violent, but it implies that is how we arrived at our present advanced state, and that it is how we shall progress. The story that is between the lines is that violence is perfectly acceptable.

A Troubling Thought About The School Shootings Is That People Will Propose Moral Training Aside From The Bible

Murder cannot be condemned for long simply on the basis that it just is not right. In time, this thinking will deteriorate in people’s minds. Murder is wrong because God says that it is so, for we are made in His image.

A Troubling Thought About The School Shootings Is That People Fail To See That It Is A Fad, Though A Deadly One

Do you remember the Freeway Shootings? How about the Post Office Shootings? How about the Restaurant Shootings? Remember the McDonald’s in San Diego when a man shot 21 people? At a Luby’s in Texas a man drove his truck through the restaurant and got out and started shooting people. There were others. Fads come and go.

A Troubling Thought About The School Shootings Is That The World Still Does Not See The Value Of Teaching An Absolute Standard Of Right And Wrong

D.A.R.E. has attempted to teach school children to make up their own minds about what is right and wrong concerning drugs. Virtually every study now shows that this approach fails, and that it even encourages drug use. Why? Students are taught to follow their own standards. People have erroneously interpreted the Constitution to say absolutes cannot be taught. Post-Modernism has pervaded our thinking, so that it is not politically correct to teach that one way is right and another way is wrong.

A Troubling Thought About The School Shootings Is That The World Cannot See That People Do Not Love Others (And That They Are Not Sick)

The Bible teaches that love is the highest commandment, but these violent people as a whole do not know this because the Bible has been kept from them. People think more of themselves than they do of others. Second Timothy 3:1–4 is a perfect picture of what we are looking at with this issue:

But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.

All these things are so because they are not receiving moral training, and they are being encouraged in a culture of violence, immorality, etc.

A Troubling Thought About The School Shootings Is That People Fail To See Eternity

When anyone murders others, and then takes his own life, he believes erroneously that he has ended his existence. He believes he is escaping any punishment and humiliation, but it is only beginning, which he obviously does not believe. When eternity, which begins with the Judgment, is left out of a person’s thinking, then murder and other horrendous deeds will happen.

A Troubling Thought About The School Shootings Is That People Will Still Fail To Name Sin As Such

Why Did Cain Kill Abel?

Had Cain been watching a violent video game? Had he been watching violent television shows? Was it the easy availability of guns? Do any of these things encourage violence? They may feed an appetite, but they do not make someone want to kill. Someone kills because he wants to kill. Even as listening to the Bible does not make us do right, but encourages us to do right, because we have decided that we want to do right. Could Abel’s murder been prevented by behavioral medication? Counseling early in life? All the other solutions the world is offering? Cain killed because it was in his heart, that is, he wanted to do it. Mark 7:21–23 shows where the beginning of school shootings is:

For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man.

Let Us Pray For Our Nation. 

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