Random Ramblings: February 24, 2018

Carnage, Terror and Getting It Right

Quite a few things have gone on in recent days here in the USA, and sadly, much of it has been ugly. Chief among these was the horrendous attack at the high school in Parkland, Florida on Valentine’s Day last week.

I have 3 kids, grown now, but even so, I can’t imagine what the families of the lost are going through, and the families of the survivors, for that matter.

The whole thing is just too terrible to contemplate, yet we must contemplate.

Another thing that we must contemplate is how certain political individuals were so fast to try and use the terrible events for political advantage. An example, in case you missed it, can be found in the two Florida Senators: One of them was in front of the cameras demanding action and blaming his opponents only an hour or two after the events. The other one was caught in his office with reporters demanding to know if he was going to change his position and do the ‘right thing’ now that this had happened, and he replied that he wasn’t going to make any moves until he knew the facts of the case (which no one knew at that point in time).

Using the murder of children for political advantage… really?

Certain individuals and groups have been doing that for years now, and I wonder if that might not be one of the reasons we can’t seem to put an end to such terrible events.

Yet to be fair to all concerned, emotions run high in such times, and we don’t do our best thinking when this happens; that goes for all of us. With every day there are more voices calling for action on things that are knee-jerk solutions much like we have gone through so many times in the past. Yet where have these ‘solutions’ gotten us?

Apparently nowhere, but we all felt better when they became law. I don’t know about you, but passing ill-advised laws so we can feel better isn’t good enough this time. We actually need to settle down and think for a change.

I have a friend in the UK who says that we “colonials” are “mad” because of our “sick fascination” for guns. I saw another gentleman on a panel the other day who is British as well, but he had another view on the subject which I thought was quite interesting. He was once a member of Mr. Cameron’s team, when Mr. Cameron was Prime Minister. He said that he used to think we were crazy too, but now after being in the US for 6 years he realizes that this is unbelievably complicated with cultural issues. That gent hit the nail on the head.

If we decide that all of the guns need to go, there is no law you can pass to accomplish your goal, that will not be thrown out by the Courts- just ask the folks in Illinois and the District of Columbia who’ve had their laws overturned. The right to keep and bear arms comes from the Bill of Rights and is guaranteed just as much as your right to freedom of speech. You can’t outlaw either one− that requires a Constitutional amendment.

I would suggest that it is a very slippery slope if we want to repeal one of the Bill of Rights.

Having said this, I agree entirely: something must be done!

But what?

Maybe we could ban the AR-15… does anyone really need one? My pro-gun friends answer that question with a slogan, not a reason… but then so do my anti-gun friends so I conclude that they haven’t thought it through. Do you know the answer (without a slogan)?

By the way, did this most recent shooter need that particular model to visit carnage on the school in Florida, or could he have done just as much damage with a lesser gun?

We need better background checks. Probably, but how many of these events would actually be stopped; wouldn’t that just make it a little harder? We must raise the age to buy a gun to 21! Why not 35? We need to arm our teachers! Maybe, but then haven’t quite a few of these events ended with the shooter taking his own life? We need to lock up the insane! You sound insane to me… really want to go there? We need to ban movies with violence, video games too! So, you want to trash 20% of the Bill of Rights now… are you sure?

Well, you get the idea; there is no simple answer. My point is that we really need to get this right, and maybe we all need to settle down and actually think and listen. So far, only one person appears to be doing that. Maybe it’s just for show, but even if that’s all it is it’s a smart example to be setting right now. Well done Donald Trump.

If you’re a long-time reader here then you know I haven’t said that before, for normally if I venture into politics I’m being critical of his tendency to say ridiculous things… but not this time.

I’ve been amazed at how much Mr. Trump has been criticized for this. The day before, I saw a White House Press Briefing in which the correspondent from Fox News demanded to know why the President doesn’t have any ideas of his own… the sort of mindless nonsense one might expect from MSNBC or CNN… who’ve demonstrated their own style of stupidity in recent days.

Maybe these folks feel threatened because they fear we will notice that they are a big part of the problems we face in dealing with difficult issues as they exploit the Florida attack victims for all it’s worth in their mindless coverage.

That’s enough ranting for one post. May I make a suggestion?

We who are followers of the Lord Jesus Christ need to take a little break to think, to contemplate and to pray. We must pray for those who are in pain, for those who must live with the horrors they have experienced, and for our leaders who must deal with this issue… and so many more. Maybe we need to pray for those who cover the news while we’re at it.

Much has been said recently about “thoughts and prayers” not being enough. Since people say this so often without ever having any intention of actually praying, I kind of agree with those voices. However, what if we actually followed through with the prayers for peace and wisdom in dealing with this situation? What if large numbers of Christians did this, and also prayed that the Gospel would fill our land with God’s redemptive power?

What if we stopped being surprised when God keeps His promise to answer our prayers?

Wouldn’t you like to find out?

 

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About Don Merritt

A long time teacher and writer, Don hopes to share his varied life's experiences in a different way with a Christian perspective.
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5 Responses to Random Ramblings: February 24, 2018

  1. Pete says:

    What if all those who say they are praying and thinking about what to do actually went out and practiced what they prayed? What if all those teenagers who are screaming for gun restrictions actually went out and loved their neighbor as themselves? What if we all acted with the 1 Cor 13 kind of love?

    I have heard that this kid was shunned and ridiculed in his school. That others treated him as an outcast. Perhaps if they had shown him respect and not pushed him aside his attitude would be different. The real truth is that high schools can be brutal to a persons self esteem. So many of these shooters are students or former students. One has to pint to the way they were treated in school as a cause.

    • Don Merritt says:

      Great questions- excellent points. At times like this, taking such an approach would be suicidal for a politician. Yet passions pass; that’s when the real solutions can be found, if only our attentions didn’t move to the next news cycle so quickly… Thank you Pete.

  2. Gary Fultz says:

    What if we prayed for revival and it actually happened? I find myself on the short end of the stick more than I want to be in our “Christian” culture. The call is to us, god’s people to humble ourselves and pray… we all know the promise. “then will I hear from heaven and heal your land”
    I find myself a humbled pauper in the kingdom when I really soul search.

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