Guns in my 𝐋𝐢𝐟𝐞
When I was eight or nine years old I paled around with my youngest sister Norma. We were always getting into mischief. We snuck into our brothers’ room to mess with their belongings. Carefully hanging on a wall was a gun rack with a huge rifle. I don’t know how, but I managed to take it off the rack. Both Norma and I climbed on top of one of our brothers’ beds, opened the window, and knocked off the screen. I pretended I was going to shoot someone. The mattress was unstable but that didn’t stop me. The rifle was so big and awkward that I had to rest it on my right shoulder. When I released the trigger, the fast movement caught my cheek and pinched it hard enough to draw a little blood. This terrified me, so I quickly put the rifle back on the rack, and Norma and I ran out of the room. We never told our mother, and, other than Norma, no one knew of the mishap. I recently called my brother George to ask him if he remembered having this rifle. “That was one of my favorite guns, it was a 12 guage double barrel shotgun; it was our dad’s gun.” George also mentioned that he made the gun rack in his woodshop class. “What ever became of the gun?” I asked. George told me that our brother Robert sold it.
Around that same time a deranged man snapped and started shooting people in our neighborhood. The crazed man, a former school teacher and pedophile, shot at four persons before taking his own life. My brother Robert and his friends, Ricky and Joe were just hanging out, sitting on hay stacks. When they first heard the gunshots they thought it was from firecrackers. Robert got caught in the crossfire. My bother was very thin and, thank God, because the bullets went right through his jeans and the sleeve of his shirt. My brother’s friend Ricky was not so lucky; he was shot in the stomach and had to undergo several extensive surgeries. This was big news in our small town of Brawley. The article made it all the way to the front pages of The San Diego Union and The Los Angeles Times. For years we had a copy of the article, with Robert showing how the bullets grazed his clothing. Today this would have been considered a mass shooting.
Saugas High School
In the early morning of November 14, 2019, a deranged young man killed two of his fellow students and injured three others. My heart dropped in great sadness as once again the news was playing a rerun of the same scene, adolescents filing out of school, with parents nervously waiting for their children. I rarely watch the news because it is so tainted and untrustworthy, but on this night I wanted to know more about the troubled killer.
The Boy The pattern is always the same: a disturbed boy filled with loneliness that led him to a state of irrational thinking. This is a doorway to darkness and an introduction to the strong hateful voice of Satan. The boy, like many who preceded him, did the unthinkable, and, as if the San Andreas fault gave way, California was violently shaken again. These boys are sociopaths; they believe that they have no other outlet, so they take matters into their own hands. These disturbing diabolical acts are all too common in our society.
What is the first reaction after a tragic shooting? People become a force of unity. If they have fallen away from God, they quietly make their way back. Those who have no firm foundation in their faith start looking to God for answers and comfort. Then there are those who can’t seem to get past the anger; they seek immediate action, falling into the cracks of the political movement to make a drastic change in gun control laws. I feel so strongly that gun control has too many loose ends. I am not a proponent of banning guns from responsible gun owners, but I believe we need to take additional measures. When our children were in high school, my husband and I signed an agreement from the school not to serve alcohol to minors in our home. We need to get connected with the community and find out who has guns in their homes. We also need to make sure that these weapons are under lock and key and that the school is aware of these guns. I understand that gang members have illegal weapons and that tracking guns from outlaws would pose a greater challenge, but gang members are not the assailants in mass shootings.
Removing God From the Schools
If we could all take a closer look at the core of this ongoing problem, we would understand the importance of God in our lives. The more we pollute our public schools with worldly, unnecessary indoctrination by forced, immoral changes, the more we shut out God. There is no spiritual protection when we remove God from the schools. These special interest groups have challenged Judeo-Christian values by denouncing moral guidance of the Word of God. Our Lord in not in the hearts of those who operate in rebellion. God is with the families that have lost loved ones, He is in the midst of those suffering from broken spirits.
We all want answers. Why do these young men keep surfacing and taking innocent lives? The connection is clear – all of these young men need mental counseling. They are vessels of evil but because no one understood the seriousness of their suffering they exploded on the world.
These are the words of Sean, a Saugus High School student. “I don’t know what happened. I don’t know why these things happen, they just do. It was just the comfort of having my teammates and my coach around us. We ended up just, all joining hands and praying in the room with our coach. He led us in a prayer to just calm us down and let us have the comfort of knowing that we’re okay.” That is all we can do when we are faced with something that is out of our control. We pray because only God has the right answers to this ongoing dilemma, and we all need to be still and know that He is there.
Dear Lord, we will never understand why innocent lives are taken from us. We are all filled with grief and need Your comfort. I lift up the families of Grace Anne Muehlberger and Dominic Blackwell. These two beautiful souls left for school one morning never to return to their loved ones. Dear Lord, give these families special graces to get through their tragic loss. Lord, we have nowhere else to turn. Teach us to seek You always. Amen