NO...this isn't a sermon, even though it may end up sounding like one...I'm just thinking out loud.
I wouldn't normally post twice in one week, but in the last few days, I can honestly say, I've been torn up inside about something...something I feel very strongly about and that I have very personal reasons for these feelings.
On Friday, I watched the absolute horror of the school shooting in Texas unfold on live television. These school shootings really hit home to me for a couple of reasons. Other than the obvious reasons of being totally disgusted by the use of violence and the senseless loss of life, I now worry daily about my wife and daughter, both teachers, being in harm's way.
I was a classroom teacher for 25 years. Looking back, I can see that there were some students and some situations that, more than likely, could have turned into tragedies. I would be lying if I said that, in the last few years of my career, I didn't think about what I would do if faced with an active shooter situation. I am so thankful that we didn't ever face one of these scenarios, and I really can't say how I would have handled it. What's sad is that I have even had to think about it...
My wife and daughter both teach in elementary schools, and although school security measures have improved in recent years, there is really no way for a school to totally secure a campus from unwanted intruders. Earlier this year, my wife had a parent that suddenly appeared in her room and confronted her about an issue with her child. This parent has a history of violence and could have done some serious damage before anyone could have done anything to prevent it. No one could offer any explanation as to how this woman got into the building and to my wife's room without checking in or being questioned by anyone. What's worse...NOTHING was done to the parent. The incident was ignored...by EVERYONE!
I get the feeling that those who SHOULD be concerned about this growing trend of school violence, are NOT...and the reason the "powers that be" don't want to confront these issues...they don't want to ruffle anyone's feathers or rock the boat. They're just going to sit back and wait until it's THEIR school that is the scene of an attack. Of course, by then, it's going to be too late.
I have also had to confront my own personal feelings and beliefs about the issue of guns. I grew up with guns, personally own guns, and believe that the 2nd Amendment is to be protected...WITH ONE CAVEAT...I don't think ANYONE (0ther than the military or law enforcement) needs to own military grade weapons..AR-15's or AK-47's...But, that's the topic for another blog...I won't be boring you with that today.
I keep asking myself...What's the answer? And the only conclusion I can reach is...I don't know! I do have a suggestion...which I'll mention a little further on. Just remember, if this was an easy fix, I guess someone would have already fixed it. My personal belief is that the world has become so desensitized to violence and to the killing of our fellow man, that it really doesn't register on people's radar anymore. Violence seems to be the only way many people can express themselves today. I read recently about one neighbor killing another over a dispute involving their lawns....one man killed another man over some grass and weeds.
Following the 911 attacks, I personally altered some of my own behaviors. I no longer watch the violent "body count" movies or tv shows that are so wildly popular today. I also gave up hunting...ALL hunting. I just do not like the concept of killing a living creature for sport or food anymore. I do keep weapons for self-preservation and protection, but they are under lock and key and my intention is that they stay there.
I'm not much of a gamer either...but I certainly would rather play SUPER MARIO BROS. than the popular games today that celebrate body counts and the ability to kill with the most carnage. These games have become so realistic and lifelike...and the whole purpose of many of them is to see how many people you can kill at one time. Unfortunately, life isn't a video game. Going on a "body count" mission isn't going to bring you happiness or solve your problems.
So...what's the fix? I have only one suggestion. From the depths of my heart, I believe that the only answer is to seek God's Love! There is nothing in this world that is beyond God's Love...There is no one in this world that is excluded from God's Love...There is nowhere in this world that can't be reached by God's Love.
Well...that's my solution! There are those who'll call me a fool or tell me that you can't reach people with only faith. I've been told that those who believe in God are only looking for a crutch because they are weak! Guess what? You're right! I'm weak...I'm imperfect...I'm burdened by sin! But, in the end...I have my crutch...God gives me legs to carry me when I'm weak, to help me overcome my imperfections, and he forgives my sins thru Jesus! Maybe that's what is missing? It certainly couldn't hurt to give God a try! The current solutions sure aren't very successful!!!
And now these three remain...Faith, Hope, and Love! And the greatest of these is LOVE! (1 Corinthians 13:13)
Husband, father, sinner saved by the Grace of God, old teacher, wood-worker, bad golfer, USM Golden Eagle (forever) and MSU Bulldog lover (It's a daughter thing)