The first step ought to be to make the access to weapons of the kind that was used to kill 17 students more than a week ago impossible, certainly illegal. Apparently, in most recent mass shootings killers used the guns designed to kill many, in the shortest possible time, leaving no survivors. AR-15 is a high-powered military weapon designed for war, and not for the civilian use, or for hunting purposes. It releases bullets with the force of 2182 miles per hour, which causes a deadly shock and damage to the body of a victim.
I would not trust anyone with this kind of gun, even if they have all necessary clearances that they are mentally sound. I would not trust myself with a possession of such deadly force either. I would certainly not entrust our children with those high-powered rifles. A responsible government should follow the Australian example and issue a legislation that would make those guns illegal. If, however, we continue finding excuses that would, in the name of the reverence to the Second Amendment, keep on justifying free use of the high-powered assault weapons, we can just as well be honest enough and admit that we are simply obsessed with guns. In which case why stop at the assault weapons? Why not legalize buying military tanks, provided the proud owners have their driving licenses in order?
A more recent statistics states that “on average there are nearly 13,000 gun homicides a year in the US”, and that “for every person killed with guns, two more are injured.” According to Vox, since the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting, “where a gunman killed 20 children, six adults, and himself in 2012, there have been more than 1,600 mass shootings, killing more than 1,800 people and wounding more than 6,400”. However one wishes to interpret the statistics, more people are killed by guns in the US within one year than in some countries with the ongoing active war situation. Military style weapons should never be in the possession of the civilian population living in a democratic country.
But we must also do more than ban the extreme lethal weapons. We must look for some honest answers to the questions – Why are too many, especially young people, turning into mass murderers today? What are the ingredients that lead to their radicalization? Why are there more mass shootings of different kinds taking place today within a single year than there are days in a calendar year? Where does the urge to kill others, or take one’s own life in such large numbers come from?
So, this is the deeper truth which only a few dare to touch.
We are living in a social framework that, in every possible way advances and monetizes the culture of nihilism, dehumanization, abuse, aggression and fear of uncertainty. In other words, we are living in a culture of death, enhanced by the education anchored in atheism, pop-science based on fiction rather than facts, spiritual and moral darkness and confusion, political hopelessness, and tons of meaningless media and entertainment content. They all are working in unison to effectively kill all sense of decency, hope and purpose in the lives of the young people today. Unbeknown to them, and often unaware of the causes, the minds of young people are steadily becoming addicted to the nihilistic worldviews that advocate meaninglessness of life. Just as much as we are being changed for better “by beholding Jesus”, according to the words of Paul (2 Corinthians 3:18.), or any good and decent example, so it is equally true that “by beholding” we are changed into whatever we behold, even quicker if we behold darkness and evil.
Especially lethal for human mind today is the aggressive visual and audio entertainment industry and market, that ‘evangelize’ effectively through the use of TV networks, internet, smart phones and other gadgets, and especially through electronic and video games. All of them are indoctrinating today’s generation, the youth and children especially, with the mega-tons of brutal, sexually explicit, occult, highly suggestive, idiotizing, mean and addicting content – intent at formatting a generation of brainless human zombies, quickly bored by any decent, community loving and socially responsible interaction or activity. Through it all we are witnessing the evolution of a disturbed, disorientated, lonely, angry and desensitized generation of young people, utterly confused as to the purpose and meaning of their existence.
Most of it has to do very much with a gradual change of generations, increasingly untrained to know the Living God. With our fallen natures being constantly fed with moral and spiritual garbage we are losing the sight of the only remedy, which is Jesus Christ. Apostle Paul very graphically explains what happens when a generation loses its touch with its only legitimate source of life and meaning. “Although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor they gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy”. (Romans 1:21.28-30.)
Is it then surprising that some people, in the state of utter darkness, desperation and deep-seated anger, not knowing who to punish for their hopeless estate, are turning against the most innocent, vulnerable and available victims? Or against their own lives? Of course, most of them will never become mass murderers. But those who will are more than enough to terrorize the whole nation.
My point is this: when a free access to guns is granted to all, in the climate where all kinds of pulpits declare the meaninglessness of life, accompanied with no sense of accountability to anyone, nothing short of disaster and perpetual tragedy will follow.
Yes, the easy access to guns, especially the assault weapons, needs to be radically reduced. But, by God’s grace and with His help, we must do much more than that. We must be brave enough to identify the substances and sources that are poisoning the minds and hearts of the young people of today. We must raise our voices in opposition to the centers of power that not only promote a free access to weapons of any kind, but also in the opposition to the centers that manufacture and profit from the ever-growing culture of death and hopelessness.