I hate to admit it, but I’m glad this school year is over. After the events unfolded in Uvalde. Texas, I could not help but pray daily that another crazy attempt to leave even greater carnage at a school would not occur.
The unraveling of details on the timeline of Tuesday's ordeal leaves the grieving and stunned parents asking a myriad of whats and whys. The Texas governor is “livid about being misled" on the actions of law enforcement. Police officials continue to duck and cover themselves as to why they did not engage quicker. It was said law enforcement thought they had time on their side. They didn’t.
What turned Salvador Ramos into a killer? Note what Anthony B. Bradley, professor of religious studies and director of the Center for the Study of Human Flourishing at The King's College said:
"Almost every major school shooter since Columbine suffered from dad-deprivation. It predicts criminal deviance. Sadly, this shooter is a textbook case of a dad-deprived, abused, and neglected kid. Hurt boys hurt others…Boys learn empathy from their fathers. Dad-deprivation in boys often develops into violent rage and suicidal ideation. Bad/absent dads are the pre-condition for boys' violence.”
Bradley said Ramos’ mom was “an abusive, neglectful, drug user.” The two often argued. It helped explain why Salvador reportedly left his mother’s home two months ago to live with his grandmother.
In his column, “School Shootings aren't about Gun Laws but the Collapse of the Family,” John Daniel Davidson of The Federalist offers more. He writes, “So why is it that only now, over the past two decades, do we see the kind of mass shootings we saw this week in Texas? (Governor) Abbott… along with most everyone else in America, knows perfectly well the answer to that question. It has nothing to do with gun technology or gun control laws and everything to do with our corrupt culture, and especially with the collapse of the family.”
Davidson summarizes it this way, “A broken home, no father or father figure in his life, no church or community of any kind, no real friends except those he met through social media. Here we have, in brief sketch, not just a profile of a school shooter, but an indictment of our entire culture.”
Dr. Jim Denison adds further insight. Jim has taught the philosophy of religion and apologetics at several seminaries and serves as Resident Scholar for Ethics with Baylor Scott & White Health. I’d recommend reading his column, “What We Know about Gunmen Who Carry Out Mass School Shootings.” (Link below)
Jim’s article includes more nuggets about Ramos’ life. His acquaintances said Ramos frequently missed school and struggled to get along with classmates. Some of those classmates reportedly made fun of his clothes and made crude references to his mother and sister.
Denison reported that “Friends and relatives added that he (Ramos) was bullied over a childhood speech impediment and had lashed out violently against peers and strangers recently and over the years. He had fistfights with peers in middle school and junior high.”
Include another important variable in this: social media. People can bully, insult, and spew hate in a number of ways online. Most people can do little to stop it. Instead, perhaps like Ramos, they announce their intentions to retaliate on social media. And in the case of the recent Buffalo shooter, they transmit video while committing the crime.
Sure, make guns harder to purchase. But a black market will rise up. It already exists. Chicagoans know this. There should be reasonable purchase requirements for guns, of course.
This is a hard proverb: “Don’t envy violent people or copy their ways. Such wicked people are detestable to the Lord, but he offers his friendship to the godly.” Proverbs 3:31-32 (NLT)
We must focus attention on violent tendencies earlier. Learning to catch those signs and reaching out to help before it’s too late may be our only hope. That’s what I’m hearing.
Somewhere out there, more anger is lurking below the surface.
That’s Forward Thinking.
You can find a number of YouTube episodes and podcasts of Mark’s program, Moving People Forward at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCosyuBzdSh1mXIas_kGY2Aw?
For more information on the Elfstrand Group, please visit www.elfstrandgroup.com
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