The Gospels record that Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” The tragedy in Uvalde that took place yesterday (May 24) was NOT what he had in mind.
Jesus also told us that we could not serve two masters, “You cannot serve God and mammon.” Mammon came into usage from the Gospels and was thought to mean money or wealth, perhaps borrowed from a Syrian god of riches. In the early age of Christianity, it came to be a personification of a demon representing greed, a greed that enslaves.
So it is fitting in the aftermath of the latest school tragedy that we bring the question to the forefront: America, you cannot serve both God and Mammon. You cannot serve both God and Guns. Your greed for one shuts out the other. Which will it be?
Already, politicians who have obstructed gun reform in any way have rushed to make it clear what god they worship. They promise to sabotage any effort for gun regulation to move forward in Congress or state legislatures. Ken Paxton, Texas Attorney General, among others, trotted out the idea that teachers should be armed.
But the police, engaging with the killer at the schoolhouse door, armed, equipped with protection like Kevlar vests, and trained in both the use of firearms and these types of situations, could not stop the killer from getting inside. If they could not stop him, why would anyone think that teachers could do it?!
Let’s arm all the adults: teachers, administrators, custodians, secretaries and paraprofessionals, cafeteria and maintenance workers, and in high school, let’s arm the Jr. ROTC because they are learning how to function as military officers. Then, if someone enters a school with high-powered weapons determined to murder as many innocent children as possible, let everyone draw their weapon and blaze away! That hail of bullets will cut down anybody and increase the body count into the hundreds!
Politicians like Ken Paxton are not serious and we should stop listening to them.
Hardening the architecture may be helpful, but America’s schools are old. They were not designed for this. According to one news story, the killer got into one classroom and then used a connecting door to get to the one where the children and teachers were. Hard corners have limited usefulness. In Grumpy Old Teacher’s classroom, it can only accommodate about a dozen teenagers and that’s if they’re packed in like New Yorkers on the subway during rush hour.
Some doors have windows that fill half the space–easy for a killer to knock out and enter the room. Some schools have doors that cannot be unlocked; others do not. In one report, the gunman entered the classroom through a door and locked it from the inside.
We could build new schools as fortresses, but is that what we want for a positive learning environment?
Those who will blame a lack of hardening are not serious and we should not listen to them.
They will offer their thoughts and prayers. They are not serious. GOT has lots of thoughts and you’re reading some of them, but he will not offer prayers. God is not waiting to hear from GOT to be in the midst of the grieving families to cry with them and bring solace.
How do we reach out with human comfort to the families? We must follow their lead. They will show us. Right now, they don’t want our thoughts and prayers. They want their children back.
They need their time and their space. Instead of thoughts and prayers, too often a performative public act without meaning, we should give them action. We owe them that.
We should and must:
- Speak out on the need for reasonable gun regulations
- Support and defend the people and organizations who have worked on this for many years, people like David Hogg
- Contribute our resources to further this end
- Call the offices of our representatives and senators, flood the phone lines at their local, regional, state, and national offices to demand action
- Vote out the ones who will not listen or respond.