Summary: This sermon was in response to the horrific shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas HS in Parkland, FL. Lessons from David's inaction when...1. Tamar was raped by Amnon; 2. Absalom murdered Amnon; 3. Absalom was plotting to overthrow his throne.
As a father of 2 kids in school, I still cannot process what I saw on the news this week. This is no longer a story that happened to some stranger in a different state, as a parent of 2 kids entering that age where they will be attending our school system very soon, this story affected me this week much more so than even 5 years ago when Sandy Hook happened.
I did something that I NEVER did before. Someone wrote something on Facebook and I just couldn’t hold it in, I didn’t care. I NEVER post anything political on my FB. If you ask me in person, I will tell you but posting that information online isn’t something that I do. But this time, it was different.
A pastor posted his opinion on the recent shooting and people immediately started responding to his post. And reading through it, it normally wouldn’t bother me so much but there was this one comment that REALLY made me upset and I just couldn’t keep my mouth shut. I had to write something and I had to respond.
This was the 18th shooting in school this YEAR! It’s only been 48 days and we had 18 gun-related accidents in our schools.
Since Sandy Hook (in which 20 of my daughter's age kids murdered), 438 people have been shot in school shootings and of 438, 138 lost their lives. And in that same time period, over 150,000 people have died from gun violence in the US.
At this point, we are so de-sensitized to this issue that if I didn’t have kids, I would’ve been like “oh well” because that’s how I felt after Sandy Hook. After that initial shock, by the next meal, I had completely forgotten about it and my life went on.
But it’s different now. I have kids. My oldest daughter will be in school next year. It is no longer someone else’s problem. It is MY problem. It is OUR problem. And of course, CA has had more mass shootings than any other state. (23)
We have a shoe bomber that attempted a terrorist act but got caught and we have a huge overhaul of the way we travel and pass through airport security. ONE MAN, and he didn’t even kill anyone. Now we have to take off our shoes, our jackets (now you can bypass all of that if you have pre-TSA approval). A COMPLETE OVERHAUL. A complete reform. EVERY airport in the US, we have TSA agents checking baby bottles and laptops. We are OK with that but when it comes to school shooting, where literally thousands of lives have been lost, NOTHING gets done.
Why is that?
I’m not saying I am right and I have all the answers. I don’t want to get into politics and it’s a complicated issue. I’m not here to debate or talk about politics, I’m not here to condemn certain groups of people.
Regardless of your standing on this issue, I think we can all agree that something has to be done about mass shootings in our country. SOMETHING has to be done.
I grew up in Korea and guess how many mass shootings in school there are in Korea. 0. What about Japan? What about other civilized, 1st world countries? Did any of those countries have 18 school shootings this year alone?
US makes up less than 5% of the world’s population but holds 31% of global mass shooters. We are breeding some crazy people in this country. What are we doing?!
Since 1966-2012, there have been 90 mass shootings in the US. The most of any other country in the world. Guess who #2, 3, 4, 5 are? Philippines (18), Russia (15), Yemen (11), France (10). US almost doubled #2-5 COMBINED!
In Australia, 4 mass shootings occurred between 1987 and 1996. After those incidents, public opinion turned against gun ownership and their Parliament passed stricter gun laws. Australia hasn’t had a mass shooting since.
Our mental health professionals have done a great job so far but we still need to change somethings.
1. We need to reduce the stigma associated with mental health needs and support our children/friends/family members in seeking and obtaining high quality treatment.
2. We need to reduce our children’s exposure to violence and address the impact of trauma. Our kids are watching movies, playing games, listening to music that are sometimes not age appropriate and quite honestly, too violent or graphic.
3. We need to enforce gun safety. Gun owners should be required to regularly refresh their training and renew their permits (with requirements at least as stringent as those renewing their Driver’s license)
4. We need to recognize gun violence as a preventable issue
5. And lastly we need a gun law that makes sense. How can a kid not old enough to drink beer, buy a rifle? A kid not old enough to buy a handgun, buy AR-15?