I went to Uvalde, once, when I was a student in college. We camped up in the hills and hiked and sang around the campfire and ate apple cobbler made in a dutch oven. Before yesterday, that was the only thought I’d ever had about Uvalde. Now, that irenic image of happy people in Uvalde is gone as all I can think about is yet another massacre of children in what should be one of the safest places on earth: an elementary school. Please excuse me if this is a little hot, but these are some exceedingly raw first takes from the school shooting yesterday in which it appears over twenty people were murdered, and nineteen of them were children.

  1. It is sickening that I literally just now Googled ‘Death Toll Uvalde’ as if it was a war zone. Let that sink in.
  2. I believe in the right to own weapons — I own several myself — but I just can’t imagine, in my very active imagination, the founding fathers — George Washington and Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, say, seeing the news from yesterday, or Parkland, or Sandy Hook, (or Buffalo or El Paso or Pittsburgh or Charleston or ….) and saying to themselves, ‘well, this is the price of freedom.’ By contrast, I am almost certain they would have determined some kind of legislative action was needed to protect the most vulnerable of our society. How far they would go is a legitimate question, but it is impossible to sanely or credibly believe they would do nothing.
  3. We have a problem with boys as they become men. The extreme is these violent explosions but the mundane is boys who don’t get jobs, drop out of life, and play video games all day. Don’t try and soften if. It is a problem, and it is related to the violence.
  4. Mental healthcare is grossly over-talked and overhyped but at the same time it is feloniously underfunded and unavailable to those who need it most. There is a connection between the destruction of others and the destruction of ones own body, either through cutting, fantasizing about suicide, reckless behavior, or gender modification. It is a hatred for life, which is a mental health issue and which is epidemic in our society and even more so amongst our high school and middle school students.
  5. The devil comes to steal, kill, and destroy. His hands are all over this kind of activity, and then he maximizes it in what we are already seeing play out on social media and around kitchen tables and work spaces, a political debate about weapons and The Second Amendment and who is to blame. Do you not see that this kind of division is exactly what The Satan does? He is literally getting two and three times the bang for this evil buck that he spent. And we are so dumb we fall for it every time. Every. Single. Time.
  6. At this point, I don’t care about political blame. What I want is for our elected leaders to show courage and leadership and begin to actually work to solve this. It is not unsolvable. There are paths forward that can guarantee liberty as well as protect our children. These are not mutually exclusive. This is America, we are the greatest nation on the planet with resources unimaginable even thirty years ago. It can be done, and if we love our children and want to safeguard our future we will. But we must first repent, repent of creating a world where this is normalized and no one is surprised, repent of caring more about our politics than the missing children who will never graduate high school, repent of idealizing violence and obsessing about weapons, repent of ignoring the millions of cries for help all around us, repent of not being bothered enough to change.
  7. I am a follower of Jesus, the Messiah. He said once that those who create problems for the ‘little ones’ would be better off to have a great millstone fastened around the neck and then drowned in the sea. The Lord will hold us accountable for how we respond. Violence begets violence, and the spiraling we are observing could be an aspect of that reckoning beating on our front door. But as with the prophets of old, there is always the offer of grace, to make right that which has been broken, and to enjoy restoration.
  8. I don’t want my grandchildren wearing Kevlar to school.
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