The Greatest Commandment
Jesus gave us rules that we should live by when he walked the earth over two thousand years ago, yet we are still battling the same demons in the 21st century. He told us to follow the Ten Commandments. Jesus added that the greatest commandment was to love God with all of your heart. He said the second greatest commandment was to love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:36-40). So, why is murder still such a modern day problem? Look at what’s going on around us.
Think about this for a second or two. Go back in time and see how things were handled a couple of generations ago. We had arguments, and sometimes pretty bad fistfights, but the shootings weren’t commonplace as they are today. Guns were around in the old days, but drugs were a “no, no.” If they were caught doing drugs, kids were severely punished. Your minds were clear and your morals were clear….you didn’t kill other people. Discipline was at the forefront of raising children. People were taught to respect other people and other people’s property. Most of us came from a strong Christian upbringing and were raised on the Ten Commandments.
Drugs, Guns, and Mental Illness
Dakota Theriot made the news recently by killing 5 people in South Louisiana. His life was full of turmoil and I feel that mental illness and drugs played a big part in the killings. The young man’s friends said they think drugs changed his personality because they can’t imagine the young man that they knew doing something this horrific. Theriot’s parents knew he was troubled and tried to get him treatment. He refused treatment and the only recourse they had was to put him out of their home.
Theriot went to live with the family of his new girlfriend, where he murdered three members (his girlfriend, her little brother, who was in high school, and her father, while he sat, unsuspectingly, in a chair in the living room. Fortunately, the killer left a preschooler and infant alive in the home). Somehow, the young man had managed to take his father’s gun with him when he was put out of his parents’ home. Theriot used that same gun to kill the family who took him in, then traveled to another town to kill his parents in the home where he was not allowed, before driving across country in his girlfriend’s father’s stolen truck. He was captured with that gun when he pulled into the driveway of his grandmother’s house in another state. She had checked into a hotel and notified the local authorities that she believed he would be coming.
The things these shootings and many other shootings in our country have in common are mental illness, illegal drugs and guns. Oftentimes, the people who commit these crimes do not legally purchase these guns, so all of the gun laws and background checks we have in place wouldn’t stop these shootings.
Sometimes People Are Just Plain Evil
A middle-aged man, who legally owned his guns, (yes, it’s almost always a man who does these shootings) broke the record in the number of people murdered in a mass shooting last year. He wasn’t on any of the watch lists of the local police, Homeland Security, the FBI, CIA or any other police organization, because he appeared to be a sane normal American. This man decided to go on a killing spree, whereas 58 people were killed, and hundreds of other people were injured for no decipherable reason.
He rented a room on the 30th floor of a hotel to carry out one of the worst mass shootings in America. He shot at innocent concertgoers in Las Vegas with no more feeling than an exterminator killing a pile of ants. Detectives searched for a motive but could only come up with the idea that he did it to be noticed. Wow! Here was a very wealthy man who could have traveled the world and seen places and enjoyed the things that most of us can only dream about, and he chose to do this horrendous thing instead. That is sad.
You have to be educated and insured to drive and buy a car. Gun safety classes should be required to purchase a gun. The old saying “guns don’t kill, people kill,” is true, but the latter is going on too much in this day and time. There are too many young people who are “accidentally” shooting a sibling or a friend with a parent’s firearm. Yes, children should be taught to obey, but leaving a loaded gun around is just plain stupid on the adult’s part.
Education and Personal Responsibility
My brother was a police officer and the father of four children. In all the years he brought a revolver home, the children never knew where he put it, and if they happened to be able to reach it, the ammo was kept in some other unknown location. His children were also taught about the dangers of pistols and what could happen.
As I was writing this article about children and guns, a news segment came on about gun safety and children. The popular singer “Pink” and her husband were allowing their young daughter to learn how to handle a gun. They received a lot of criticism, but Pink and her husband regarded this education as part of the child’s safety.
Let’s All Just Agree on Something
People are shot intentionally more often than not. The shooter doesn’t care about the long-term consequences of his actions. He is angry, afraid or high on drugs….whatever. Somehow, our society has reached the point where human life is regarded as expendable. We don’t teach our children to respect others. Everyone is more concerned about themselves being treated with respect and their own rights and feelings. We aren’t teaching our children to value other people and their rights and feelings. We do not love others as we love ourselves. The greatest and second greatest commandment has been abandoned.
We can’t fix the “murder” problem if we don’t face up to the fact that some people just don’t give a dang about anybody else. We are raising a society in which people are not being held personally accountable for their actions. People make their own choices and they pick their own values. When they make the wrong choices, we are letting them get away with it. Part of the problem is that we no longer all agree where the line is for right and wrong anymore. Freedom of belief is a beautiful thing, but there have to be some definite truths. Can’t we just all agree that taking another’s person’s life is wrong….period.
May God Bless All,
MATTHEW 26:52 “THEN JESUS SAID UNTO HIM, PUT UP AGAIN THY SWORD INTO HIS PLACE: FOR ALL THEY THAT TAKE THE SWORD SHALL PERISH WITH THE SWORD.”