Stopping school shootings: cowardly & practical ways? There’s only one way…

nikolas cruz school shooting florida

  • Cowardly ways: Just insist that it’s all about gun control. This is screamingly stupid. People will just get knives and baseball bats, machetes and power tools or just beat people to death with their fists. Do we outlaw hands? Gun control is cowardly because the perpetrators of gun control don’t want to deal with dealing with the actual problem, which regards what goes on inside individuals.
  • Practical ways: O.K. These things are good because we’ll never have everyone be saints before our Lord returns. So, fine: metal detectors in schools, better control of points of ingress, egress, windows, having school resource officers in uniform who are extremely adept with guns and have practiced lock downs understood by students and teachers and staff and administration and responding agencies. I’ve written about this a lot on this blog, with those articles being visiting by innumerable grade schools, middle schools, junior high schools, colleges, universities, especially the ivy league schools, major businesses with something to protect, especially military manufacturers, pretty much all types and levels of law enforcement agencies on all levels, from local to federal, on and on. This is all good. But this shouldn’t be the be-all, end-all response. After all, while practical ways to deal with violence are supposed to be preventative, they are actually only and merely reactive. It doesn’t go to the cause. Get it? This important. People are dying because people don’t understand this point. It’s all about “What ifs” – What if so and so brings a gun? What do we do? What is our policy? If this is the only approach, it is also cowardly. You might as well buy stock in coffin manufacturing companies.
  • The Only Way: True prevention of such things must go to who we are before God and neighbor. This demands honesty, integrity, fortitude. It demands individuals coming to know their true identity as creatures before their Creator, indeed, as fallen, weak, tempted to be evil and bad creatures before God and neighbor, as those who can, nevertheless, find forgiveness and wholesomeness and worth in Him who stood in our place, unto death, unto death on the Cross, having the right, then, in His own justice to have mercy on us. There are the wounds! They mean that He loves us! This is the Way, the only Way. There is no other way.

Cowardly ways? Give me a break. Practical ways? O.K. But not enough. The only Way is the Only Way.


Filed under Guns, Terrorism

20 responses to “Stopping school shootings: cowardly & practical ways? There’s only one way…

  1. I agree that the only way is The Only Way, but while that happens, I think we should ban high powered assault rifles – these are only needed in the military, and have been used in 6 of the deadliest attacks in the civilian world. I agree that people will use their bare fists if that’s all they have left – but at least in a mano a mano, you have a fighting chance. Let’s increase mental health awareness, reduce mental health stigma, and increase mental health care. And sure, let’s make our schools fortresses in the meanwhile, too.

    • Father George David Byers

      Where do you draw the line? Everything will be a deadly attack possibility. If you know how to fight with your hands, you should know it’s supremely easy to kill in seconds.

  2. Tom Schott

    Amen Fr George…Amen.

  3. Gina Nakagawa

    We chose the knowledge of good and evil instead of life. Choices have consequences. We must, must, must temper our free will and turn it to its original and only worthy use. We must use it to freely choose the love of God. That is a tall order since it has been corrupted by our own stupidity and vanity, but with the help of God it can be done, and that is the only solution.

  4. elizdelphi

    Gun control is effective in other countries at reducing gun crime; the US is so gun saturated that it is hard to see how to make it work. But this is definitely one of those obvious cases where more restrictive laws might very well have prevented this. This very disturbed 19 year old was adopted as a young child and been orphaned by the adoptive parents, then gone from one home to another, was living with the family of a schoolmate that let him have his legally obtained automatic weapon in their home. There is NO WAY a teenager should be a gun owner, let alone an automatic weapon. In families where the dad hunts or does target shooting with his son the parents should be the ones who own the gun(s). For this vulnerable and wounded boy, owning a gun was near occasion of sin. The other problem implied based on the details of the story may have been […]. This boy lost everyone and having perhaps no relationship with God he snapped. It is an absurdity for anyone to think that the law should protect a teenager’s right to have an automatic weapon, doing what is possible to keep a gun out of his hands could have helped protect not just others but this boy who has made his horrible situation far more horrendous.
    But can we agree, failure to evangelize kills. It leaves the devil free to instigate murders and abortions and kills souls too. What if this boy who lost everyone in his life had a church family and knew he was part of the family of God?

  5. pelerin

    I thoroughly agree with elizdelphi. In England we are aghast at the lax laws concerning gun ownership in the US. Yes I agree that knives etc can and do kill but with guns, killing on a much larger scale is possible as in Florida. The BBC has said that while you can own a gun in the US at the age of 18,even it seems if you are unstable, you have to be 21 to be able to drink a beer. If this is really true then something is very wrong with American values.

    • Father George David Byers

      @ pelerin – We can also join the military at 17 (16.5 in Australia and just 16 in the U.K.). At least we wait one more year before sending guys and gals to do missions in forward operating bases. So, what were you saying?

  6. elizdelphi

    According to the kid himself, demons made him do it. I heard that just now in the video on this article

    We have free will, but the demons being involved I do believe.

    • Father George David Byers

      @ elizdelphi – that’s actually why I put his picture up. I shouldn’t say this as this is no way to discern, but the second I saw that picture I said to myself that that guy is possessed. Maybe not, of course. It’s just that I’ve seen that “look” before. Again, that’s no way to discern, but, that’s how it hit me, really strong I might add. Again, that’s no way to discern.

  7. pelerin

    Father – I don’t wish to offend American readers (after all I do have American ancestors!) but what I think the BBC reporter was saying was that it seemed strange that American law regarded drinking beer more seriously than owning a gun.

  8. pelerin

    Just read the Wiki entry for Al Capone. Fascinating! I had no idea he did not die until 1947 and that he had a son who lived until 2004. I was under the impression he was way back in history. Actually with so much drunkeness among young people in Britain it would be a good idea to prohibit the sale of alcohol to young people here. I once had to wait an hour on the pavement for an ambulance to arrive as it was a Friday night when hospitals have to deal with umpteen drunks, split heads, fights etc. I was advised the next time I broke any bones not to choose a Friday night in my town!

  9. @elizdelphi I agree that yes, there quite possibly should be more restrictions on certain types of guns but in good conscience I feel I have to point a few things out. First of all, he is not a “boy” he’s 19 years old, an adult. Second. he is NOT a victim and I have absolutely zero sympathy for him. He killed seventeen people. Not because he had a difficult life but because he chose to kill 17 people. They are the victims. They deserve our sympathy. Their families deserve our sympathy. The wounded deserve our sympathy. The people who had to go through this, they deserve our sympathy. The man who decided to shoot them? He does not.

    Many people have difficulties, many people have losses and it doesn’t turn them into murderers. Because let’s make that entirely clear. That’s what he is, a mass murderer, not a child, not a victim and, in my mind, entirely undeserving of any sympathy.

    Also, on a less important note, he did not have an “automatic weapon” he had a semi automatic weapon. There is a great difference and most pistols are semi-automatic.

    • Father George David Byers

      @ James – Of course, he being redeemed by Jesus and all, he can expect forgiveness from those who are also saved, regardless of whether he wants to take that to heart or not. Sympathy is another thing as you point out.

      On the less important point, if one is intent on killing lots of people, there is not much difference between automatic and semi practically speaking. Where there is a huge difference is between a musket and a pistol.

      A pistol used for self-defense is very useful as a tool to attempt to stop aggression until, well, it stops.

      And, don’t forget, when seconds count, the cops are just minutes away (even hours around here).

      Anyway, James. I am quite taken that an Aussie knows anything about pistols. Long rifles I would expect. But pistols? You have some background. Care to share?

  10. pelerin

    Interesting comment from an American in defence of guns on tv. He said that you can kill someone with a pencil and presumably he meant that no one is calling for banning pencils. However what he seems to fail to understand is that pencils are not made to kill people and you would be unlikely to kill 17 people with a pencil. Guns are made to kill – that is their purpose – and that sadly is what they are doing time and time again in the US.

    • Father George David Byers

      And it’s difficult to defend oneself with a pencil, isn’t it? Self-defense is a virtuous contribution to the virtue of justice, which works on behalf of the common good. It is what it is. I wish I were in heaven where we won’t need guns for self defense. But I’m not there. I hope I make it one day.

  11. @Father Yes, you are right, a semi and a full auto are both capable of rapid fire. I suppose that’s just a pet peeve of mine hearing semis called automatic weapons. As for my background? Nothing interesting I’m afraid. I’ve never held a firearm in my life but a combination of seeing them so much in media (movies, shows and games) got me curious how they actually work. That and I’m actively considering joining the Police Force if I ever actually get enough discipline to get into shape so I familiarized myself with their service weapon here, the Glock 22.

    I’ve actually been following both of your blogs on and off for a few years now I think but I’m more of a lurker, Both me and Mum are very much enjoying your book.

    Back on topic though, I agree that self defence, and the capacity to do so, is vitally important. Unfortunately that isn’t recognised, at least not properly, in Australia.

    • Father George David Byers

      Thanks for considering law enforcement, James. We’re looking for officers here, even to train up with BLET. Why not here?
      Getting back to one of your original points about gun control, I’m wondering if metal detectors and x-ray devices (for printed guns) could be used at school entrances…

  12. Honestly Father if I could then I would. Unfortunately I can’t see a way to get a visa to work in the US and even if I could I care for Mum so, as of yet I can’t enter any full time profession even if I were in shape. That said if I do ever end up in the States then I actually have spoken to Mum about entering the police force there. She isn’t happy about the danger it entails, mothers rarely are I suppose but the way I see it it’s like that saying about how all evil needs to prosper is for good men to do nothing. Not that I’m saying I’m GOOD, I just try to be.

    As for the comparison, I can’t say I have compared them but I’d say the only thing the .40 would have, just guessing, would be greater stopping power on impact, more mass and all that right? I’ve actually considered joining the local pistol club actually.

    And with gun control yes, I think that would be a good idea, I mean, on the flip side you also would preferably not leave entering school feeling like entering a prison but I suppose it’s a tradeoff isn’t it? I suppose honestly the least intrusive would actually be one of the backscatter X-ray scanners they use at airports. Could be installed into the doorjamb itself maybe? Also, I agree that, while it’s less than ideal, there should definitely be an armed security presence. As you said, seconds count and at best the police can’t be there for the amount of time it takes to put together a response team and drive there. In fact… I can’t help but wonder if it wouldn’t also be a way to provide jobs to veterans. They’d certainly know how to defend the school.

  13. sanfelipe007

    This will not endear me to anyone, perhaps, but disarming the populace is a bad, bad, bad idea. Once accomplished, it is a short walk (a forced march?) to a totalitarian state. Yeah, that’s me and the big picture. The second amendment is not about hunting. It is about keeping our government in check.
    There were lots of guns in school in the near past – in my lifetime. Gun clubs, firing ranges, the works. Not everywhere, of course, but enough to be considered “normal.” So where were all the mass shootings in schools back then? What changed? One change, not to be discounted, is the exclusion of God from public schools.
    Free will is a harsh reality.

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