Grieve before you act

Once again Americans are in shock after another horrific mass shooting.  The depths of such a disaster defies description.  We have become a largely cynical society, but our children are still considered innocent and invaluable.  Any loss of life is tragic, but losing children to violent massacre makes the soul ache interminably.

Looking at the beautiful enthusiastic faces of the youthful victims, one cannot imagine the staggering grief of the families.  Even heartfelt condolences are inadequate, there’s really nothing to say to assuage the incredible seemingly infinite pain.  The best we can do is pray for the hurting because only God can handle the magnitude of such cruel calamity.

Only the passage of time may make such profound loss bearable, but our impatient often insensitive society won’t allow even a modicum of mourning.  Before everyone is safely accounted for, overzealous reporters clumsily ask frightened families “how do you feel about this right now?”  Like we don’t know the answer or parents in shock should be expected to give cogent interviews.  The media exploits fear and anxiety because too much of the public tunes in for the high drama.

Worse than the media, some politicians head straight for the microphones to score political points while bullets are still flying.  Brutally candid analysis and determined debates seeking solutions should certainly follow such an awful act at the appropriate time, but to roil the public with emotionally charged slogans before the victims are cleared from the scene is callous and self-serving.

Good laws and policies are made by honest introspection and prudent deliberation after sufficient mourning, not when the nation is still emotionally distraught.  There are still too many questions unanswered about this senseless slaughter. 

Who was this young man that could commit such heinous evil and then cower like an injured animal?  Despite some fake news reports that this Hispanic teenager was a white supremacist, it appears he had no agenda beyond unbridled anger.  Is he mentally ill?  Was he on medications?  How could many in the community know he was deranged and some even said they were not surprised he would commit such a vile attack?  Why was there no intervention?

Apparently, there were many warning signs and even reports to authorities.  A Mississippi YOUTUBE vlogger reported his “I want to be a professional school shooter” comment to the FBI, but that information never made it to the Miami FBI.  Someone who knows the shooter reported his dangerous erratic behavior about a month ago to the FBI and still no follow up.  How is it that the FBI can find 13 anonymous Russians pretending to be Americans on social media to disrupt the 2016 election, but they can’t find a troubled teenage school shooter that has been visited by law enforcement 39 times?

Why do we protect our money, jewels, and politicians with armed guards, but not our children?  Which is more precious?  Football Coach and school security guard Aaron Feis heroically shielded students with his body; why was he not allowed to carry a weapon?  The axiom remains that a bad guy with a gun is only stopped by a good guy with a gun, not a smart mouthed senator.

Some manipulated students are turning activist demanding gun control.  They’re scared; who can blame them?  Until about 1970, many schools actually taught gun safety.  Despite the pervasive presence of guns even in schools, we did not have mass shootings until the last few decades.  When we removed guns from schools did the kids lose respect for weapons?  About the same time, we also removed God from school.  No longer teaching a Judeo-Christian foundation to all American children, they are adrift with no common morals to anchor them.

The school failed.  Mental health services failed.  Law enforcement failed.  Churches failed.  Society failed the students in Parkland Florida.  The authorities certainly share blame, but government cannot extinguish evil.  Only a God fearing people who cherish and exercise morality can make common decency common again.

“Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”  Psalm 82:4


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