Mass shooters don’t come out of the blue. They aren’t random. They are discipled to be who they are.
We live in a culture that has stripped out absolute truth. There is no objective standard of what is right or wrong. What is true for you may not be true for me. That is a recipe for disaster – what do you do when someone takes that system “all the way”? If you think there are no absolutes then how would you answer “What makes what happens in a school shooting wrong?”
Our movies and music are full of violence and the degradation of men and women. This leads to and is produced by a culture of objectification. People become objects and when they become objects we are justified to use them rather than love them. We are addicted to violence – it sells on the big screen and it sells albums. One definition of addiction that is helpful at this point in time is “healthy people love people and use objects. Addicts use people and love objects.” We are seeing this played out daily and maybe you and I play into this more than we know.
We have demonized our men for being male and attempted to feminize them. That won’t turn out well either. Our young men are confused and hurting. They often don’t feel okay to be who they are (when I thought that was the message we were all supposed to be getting – just be who you are – somehow that is not okay for young men). I am not excusing bad behavior…I am saying we should accept and celebrate masculinity. It isn’t all toxic or even mostly toxic.
Fathers have left the home, leaving our young men to be discipled by social media. Most of the people who commit mass shootings lack a father in the home. These young men have often lived lives that lack accountability so that their antisocial behavior has gone unchecked for years.
Social media has appealed to our most base instincts and made socially acceptable the profane and pornographic.
You can take a lifetime to make a name for yourself (or fail at trying after all those years and toil) or you can be known throughout the world in one violent hour…this news sells. The 24 hour news cycle has really hurt us.
It isn’t just one or two of these things…it is a combination of factors that lead to events like what we just saw in Uvalde.
Where is the church in all of this?
How are we shining a light? How are we being salt?
Who are we discipling and how are we reaching into the lives of the at risk to help them find a path to peace?
There isn’t a single mass shooter who is following Jesus. We cannot force anyone to Jesus but we can certainly help some. We can’t get rid of all the socials but we can keep ourselves from objectifying others.
How are we not talking about evangelism and discipleship after this event as preventative factors?
Congress wont’ fix this for us. Better technology won’t fix this for us because the real fix is a fix of the heart and you cannot ever legislate hearts to be better hearts. We often hope others will solve problems God put us here to help with. We avoid this because it is hard work and we don’t know where to start.
These events will always be with us…to the very end in one way, shape or form. But in the meantime we do what we can to make a difference. In order to make a difference we need to pay attention to how people are formed to do such violent and unimaginable things and begin changing the culture, addressing the fatherless and giving them mentors, and not perpetuating or indulging in the cultures that produce people who do such things.