When I got home Susan told me there was another school shooting today. This time it happened at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. At the time that I write this there are 10 people confirmed dead. I am no longer shocked by these reports, they no longer cause a sense of disbelief. As opposed to my reaction of shock and unbelief to the mass school shooting at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado in 1999 when two high school students walked into school, heavily armed with several weapons and explosives and killed 13 people and wounded numerous others. Then, I thought that such a thing was inconceivable. Now, it just seems to be something we hear about every year, several times a year. Now we wonder when and where, not if, the next mass shooting will be.
President Obama addressed the nation shortly after the shooting. He said some interesting things:
Somehow this has become routine. The reporting is routine. My response here at this podium ends up being routine, the conversation in the aftermath of it. We’ve become numb to this,” he said.The President continued: “Our thoughts and prayers are not enough. It’s not enough. It does not capture the heartache and grief and anger that we should feel, and it does nothing to prevent this carnage from being inflicted someplace else in America — next week, or a couple months from now.
I agree… All of this has somehow become routine. We have become numb. We hear the news, express some angst, say some prayers and move on. To the next news story, to the next national crises or coming weather event. We move on to our daily lives, the bills we have to pay and the errands we have to run. What may get our attention a little bit more is that apparently the gunman had targeted Christians. Not that the lives of Christians are any more important than anyone else’s but perhaps this is a sign of things to come. Before going into spinal surgery, Anastasia Boylan told her father and brother the gunman entered her classroom firing. The professor in the classroom was shot point blank. Others were hit, she told her family. Everyone in the classroom dropped to the ground. The gunman, while reloading his handgun, ordered the students to stand up if they were Christians, Boylan told her family. “And they would stand up and he said, ‘Good, because you’re a Christian, you’re going to see God in just about one second,'” Boylan’s father, Stacy, told CNN. “And then he shot and killed them.”
In June nine people were killed at a prayer meeting in South Carolina at the historic Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church.
I don’t know what the answer is. I don’t know if we need stricter gun laws or more gun freedom. I don’t know if things are getting worse or we are just hearing about it more. I don’t know if Christians are being targeted or if it just seems to get the headlines. I don’t know if this is the beginning of people having to die for their faith in this country or random acts of violence that just happen to involve Christians.
I tend to think that things are getting worse. And I tend to think that Christians are being targeted in this country and around the world. And I think that Jesus warned us about a coming violence to His disciples for His name’s sake.
Perhaps that will un-numb us a bit.
What do you think?
How does it make you feel?