The Greatest Commandment
We are still battling the same demons in the 21st century that we have fought since the beginning of time, even though Jesus gave us rules that we should live by when he walked the earth over two thousand years ago. 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. I want you to go back in time and see how we handled conflicts just 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. Drugs were a “no, no.” Kids were severely punished if they were caught doing drugs. Your minds were clear and your morals were clear….you didn’t kill other people. Discipline was at the forefront of raising children. Our parents taught us 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. Mental illness and drugs played a big part in the killings. The young man’s friends said they think drugs changed his personality. 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. This is where he murdered three people (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). The young man had somehow managed to take his father’s gun when he was put out of his parents’ home. Theriot used that same gun to kill the family who took him in. Then he traveled to another town to kill his parents in the home where he was not allowed. He drove across country in his girlfriend’s father’s stolen truck.
The local police in Virginia caught him with that gun as he pulled into the driveway of his grandmother’s house to do God knows what. Theriot’s grandmother was wise enough to check into a hotel. She notified the local authorities that she believed her grandson would be coming.
Many shootings in our country have mental illness, illegal drugs and guns in common. Oftentimes, the people who commit these crimes do not legally purchase these guns. All of the gun laws and background checks we have in place wouldn’t have stopped 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. This killer wasn’t on any of the watch lists of the local police, Homeland Security, the FBI, CIA or any other police organization. This “supposedly” sound citizen 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. He chose to do this horrendous thing instead. That is sad.
Our society ensures that people get a driver’s education before they are allowed to drive a car on public roads. We should also require gun safety classes to purchase and own 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. The children never knew where he put it the gun in all of the years that he brought it home. My brother made sure that even if his kids reached his gun, they wouldn’t have access to the ammo because it was kept in another location. He also taught his children about the dangers of guns. They also knew would be get a “whooping” if they disobeyed their parents.
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. Because we live in a society where gun violence is so prevalent, Pink and her husband believe gun education as essential, even though they received a lot of criticism for it.
Let’s All Just Agree on Something
In conclusion, I believe that accidental shootings are tragic but more often than not, people shoot other people intentionally. The shooter doesn’t care about the long-term consequences of his actions. He is angry, afraid or high on drugs….whatever. Somehow, we have reached a point where we regard human life as expendable. We don’t teach our children to respect others. Everyone is more concerned about being treated with respect and his 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. Modern day America has abandoned God’s greatest and second greatest commandments.
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 that isn’t holding people accountable for their actions. People make their own choices and they pick their own values. When people make the wrong choices, we make excuses and let 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. Hence, 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.”