Today, the news reported that this early morning there was the worst shooting in U.S. history. Really; the NPR coverage I linked is sobering. At least 50 people killed, and a similar number of wounded persons, inside of a night club.
It appears that this slaughter was motivated by hate. The perpetrator, a radical Muslim, targeted the club seemingly because it catered mainly to homosexual persons. This is a despicable and horrendous action, made against peaceful people who were harming no one.
We Christians have the duty to respect everyone, regardless of any condition: “Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.” (1 Peter 2:17) The victims were bearers of God’s image and their lives were sacred and worthy of respect and protection. We cannot and will not accept the hateful mindset that led to this senseless killing. May God grant comfort and hope to the victim’s families and loved ones.
Now, there’s something to reflect on this. I saw from several sources, some close to my family, several calls to enforce tighter gun control procedures in order to avoid similar tragedies. To be honest, I entirely sympathize and I think there should be better gun control in the U.S.
But also it will be very difficult. Pro-gun persons in the U.S. look back to the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment. They have powerful lobbies, and it is only fair to say that gun usage by private persons in the U.S. appears to be grounded in the constitutional text and is part of the foundational groundwork of the American experiment.
But whatever the level of gun control the U.S. might enact or not, there’s an inescapable fact. Someone already said this, and I will just repeat it here: Guns don’t kill people. People do.
Guns, as well as knives, spears, ropes, nail, hammers, etc., are just tools. Someone needs to be there to pull a gun’s trigger. Timothy McVeigh did not use guns for his horrendous crime, but fertilizer. My point is: Guns are not the root of the problem. The root of the problem is the evil that lies in the human heart. Old Solomon said it well, thousands of years before the first gun was invented:
This is an evil in all that is done under the sun, that the same event happens to all. Also, the hearts of the children of man are full of evil, and madness is in their hearts while they live, and after that they go to the dead.
–Ecclesiastes 9:3 ESV
Our hearts are full of evil, and we have no hope of overcoming that unless we submit to Jesus Christ and seek His redemption. Because no gun laws, no educational campaign, no change whatsoever, can give us hope but Him.
I pray for Orlando. I pray for the victim’s families. And I pray for redemption and hope in Jesus Christ.
O Israel, hope in the LORD! For with the LORD there is steadfast love, and with him is plentiful redemption. And he will redeem Israel from all his iniquities.
— Psalm 130:7-8
May the Lord bring that redemption to us.