Whenever a national tragedy like the school shooting in Parkland takes place, I bear witness to many discussions about gun violence that are unproductive. Unfortunately, our education that we received when we were growing up has not taught us how to ask the right questions. In order to get the best answer to a problem, you first have to know not only what question to ask, but also the implication of the question. Once the issue is framed properly, reasoning toward a solution becomes easier.
Can The Problem of Gun Violence Be Solved?
There have been a multitude of solutions that have been suggested for the problem of gun violence. Those on the left side of the issue argue that we need stricter laws on gun control, whereas people on the right say we need less restrictions so that law-abiding citizens can defend themselves. Others point to God as the solution.
Perhaps there is some room for all of these solutions; however, we must ask, “What would it look like if we solved the problem?” There wouldn’t be any gun violence. The blood of children would no longer pour over their own school’s floors. Innocent women who walk down the street will no longer be forcefully coerced or killed as the result of gun violence. The families of fathers and mothers who dawn a uniform and keep order in our cities would never have to fear that their loved one will not return from the line of duty due to being shot.
In short, solving gun violence means that there is no more gun violence. Now we must ask ourselves, can any of the solutions that have been suggested actually solve this problem? The answer is a resounding “no.” We can bring God back into our schools, but until Messiah Yeshua returns and establishes his kingdom on earth, people will always rebel. We can enact stricter gun control laws, but there are many ways to obtain a gun regardless of any laws that are brought to fruition. We can make it easier for law-abiding citizens to access guns, but that doesn’t guarantee that they will carry them. These “solutions” do not solve the problem at all. The conversation is being framed incorrectly, and even if we implement these solutions, another shooting will inevitably happen. When it does happen, the government’s politicians will once again cry out, “We must do more!” If we take these solutions to the extreme we will wind up with a theocracy, anarchy, or some leftist form of dictatorship.
Mitigating Gun Violence
Would any of these proposed solutions mitigate gun violence? Possibly. Clearly, the FBI was tipped about the shooter prior to the shooting’s occurrence, and this isn’t the first time that we have heard such a story. Maybe we should ask, “What is holding the FBI back from fulfilling its duty to protect the public?” Once those are identified, we should ask, “Are there any solutions that we can apply that will not infringe on the liberty of law-abiding civilians?” Such solutions would likely be more applicable to dealing with people who have caused disturbances or committed more serious crimes. Indeed, the shooter was kicked out of the school for an act of violence. Perhaps this is something that law enforcement needs to be aware of.
Would bringing God back into our schools (though I’d argue that bringing God back to the american household is more effective) mitigate gun violence? Possibly. The effectiveness of the solution is contingent on how willing potential recipients are to accept the truth that is being given to them. Certainly, a society is heavily influenced by the ethical norms that are imposed upon it and their willingness to abide by those norms.
Would making guns more accessible mitigate gun violence? Possibly. Typically, when there is a good guy with a gun in the area of a shooting, the shootings tend to not last as long. Fatalities will not be eliminated, and there may even be accidents; however, in most cases, the shootings stop when a law-abiding civilian or law enforcement officer shows up to deal with the threat.
Ultimately, there is a place for all of these solutions. Since this issue cannot be fully resolved until Yeshua’s kingdom is established on earth, we must approach this problem pragmatically. First, we want people who are in the vicinity of a shooting to have as many options as possible for dealing with the threat. Those who have not been convicted of crimes and who have shown themselves to be well behaved and stable should be able to carry a firearm with them in public more easily. School faculty should be trained on how to use a fire arm and have a firearm on their person on school grounds. More security is necessary as well. Law enforcement needs to be able to readily ask questions of those who could be a potential threat so that it is easier to ascertain probable cause. Last, but not least, our children should be brought up in faith by their parents and community leaders so that they can understand what Adonai expects of them.
There is no “solution” to gun violence, but there are steps that we can take both in government and as individuals that can help keep these horrible tragedies from happening. We all grieve as a community so we must all work towards a solution as a community. Instead of political grandstanding and acting with an agenda to advance your own viewpoint, we must all work together for the betterment of the community, in particular, we must act in the interest of our children, for they are one of our community’s greatest treasures. What would you do if your child was at that school? The image I have above is heart wrenching. A young girl with a “Happy Valentine’s Day” balloon has just bore witness to the result of violence that no child should ever see. It should not be this way.
The first steps we should take should be on an individual level. We must accept the truth of God’s Word and bring our children up in faith. We must make sure that we take measures to be able to protect ourselves and our children. If you have a conceal carry license, I highly suggest you take advantage of it. If you are comfortable with the idea of being able to carry a gun on your person in public, I suggest you apply for a conceal carry license. If you decide to carry a gun, be sure that you know how to use it.
Our government also has a fiduciary responsibility to address this issue. The first concern should be to respect the 2nd Amendment Rights of our law-abiding citizens. We must get to the bottom of why the FBI didn’t act when first tipped off about Nikolas Cruz, who was obviously in need of help. At the very least, the FBI should be able to question those who show signs of being a danger to the community. School faculty should be able to have fire arms at school and should be trained on how to properly use them. There needs to be technology in place so that guns can be detected regardless of which entrance someone uses to get into the building.
What happened in Parkland is a terrible tragedy, but I would like to assure my brothers and sisters in faith one thing. As horrible as this tragedy may be, Adonai has a purpose for it. We should take time to reflect on how such a concept puts Adonai’s power on full display. The fact that God will be able take this terrible situation and work it according to the counsel of his will is a great testament to his power and glory. Though we may never understand the exact reason why this had to occur, by faith we understand that God will work this tragedy for the greater good of those who love him.