By Carol Round
Special to Inside The Pew
“Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it”—Proverbs 22:6 (NIV).
Did you know the recent school shooting at Reynolds High School in Troutdale, Ore., marked the 74th one since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn., in December 2012? In 2014, so far, there have been 37 school shootings and as of February, about half of the incidents were fatal.
In the latest shooting, at least one student was killed and a teacher was injured by a lone gunman who later took his own life. According to police the teenage gunman had an AR-15 type rifle, a semi-automatic handgun and nine loaded magazines in his possession.
Have school shootings become the norm in our country? According to press reports, each gunman, including the ones involved in the Columbine High School massacre, occurring in 1999 were outsiders – loners who didn’t fit in or who had been influenced by our culture of movie and video violence.
In the case of the Columbine massacre, 12 students and one teacher were murdered by two senior students, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. Although Harris and Klebold’s motives still remain unclear, their personal journals reveal they wanted their actions to rival the Oklahoma City bombing. USA Today referred to the Columbine massacre as a “suicidal attack [which was] planned as a grand—if badly implemented—terrorist bombing.” The two had also been influenced by violent movie and video games, according to the press.
School shootings have sparked debate over gun control laws, the availability of firearms in our country and gun violence involving youths. Discussion has also revolved around the nature of high school cliques and bullying as well as mental illness.
Why has no one stopped to consider that ultimate responsibility not only lies with the parents of the shooters but our society as well? Government cannot fix our broken country. We can’t enact enough laws to stop the madness.
What can we do? As Christians, we have a responsibility—several actually—to not only make sure our own actions reflect our morals but to help others who are struggling. Can one person make a difference? Yes!
Reflect on these choices:
- Do your values reflect God’s Word or do you allow culture to define who you are?
- Do you allow your children to watch television shows or movies or play video games depicting violence or behavior that society deems acceptable?
- Do you read and study the Bible and pray with your children? Do you attend church regularly?
- Do you teach your children the value of human life, including accepting others who might be different? Do you tell your children it is wrong to bully others?
- Do you spend quality time with your children in wholesome activities?
- Do you teach your children about peer pressure? Do you emphasize the importance of following godly principles instead of the crowd?
- Are your life choices the ones you want your children to emulate?
This list is only the beginning. I urge you to reflect on your life and help stop the madness.
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