I watched the movie I Am Not Ashamed last Friday. It is about the teenage girl, Rachel Joy Scott, who was the first one shot and killed in the Columbine shooting in 1999. I appreciated that the movie depicted her as the real teen she was. The movie portrayed her as a teen girl trying to find her way, making mistakes along the way, and coming to know and desiring to live for Jesus.
I would certainly recommend watching the movie if you haven’t already. While her story is inspiring for living for Christ and not denying him in the face of danger, sadly it also made me think about our society today.
There was something else I watched last week. I watched America’s Got Talent and one of the people auditioning was a 14 year old girl. She sang a rap song that she wrote because her father was killed before she was born. I have listened to it again on youtube and must admit that it saddens me that a 14 year old girl, Flau Jae, has to live in the reality of our culture in America today with so many mass shootings and gun violence. Her song is about her father and not having a father, and also about anyone killed in gun violence.
Here is her video. If you want to know what is on the minds of today’s youth, listen to it. I have and I don’t like rap music, but she communicates something on the minds of our youth. Yes her song is more about her father dying, but she also sings in general terms.
When I was a child and teen, there were no school shootings. Now I teach ESL in an elementary school in the mornings and at a community college in the evenings. It is insane to me that I have to think about what to do if an incident happens at my community college. It sickens me that children worry about school shootings and that parents worry about their children being safe.
The only things students should have to worry about are studying, tests, and homework when they come to and from school and wondering if the cafeteria food will be any good. There should be no other concerns. There weren’t concerns about shootings 30 years ago.
Perhaps this won’t be a post that will be popular, but it is long past time to take steps to prevent mass shootings. I applaud retailers FINALLY deciding to stop selling assault rifles but that didn’t happen until this year. That needed to have happened a long time ago.
It is going to take a lot more than retailers finally stepping up. My time in this life grows shorter by the day with retirement age coming in the not too distant future. My concern is for the children, teens, and young adults. What kind of society are they inheriting? Do we care about now and the future for our youth and care enough to do something?
We need to move beyond partisan clichés and each side has them. As our leaders stand polarized playing to their lobbyists and base back in their districts, nothing gets done and the casualties keep rising.
Yes, our country has told God he is not welcome in our schools and and our society is anti-Christian. However, other western countries have also taken God out of the schools and do not have the problem with violence that we do in the U.S.
One questions is do we care enough to reach out to the troubled teen living in our neighborhood or going to the school our children go to? Do our youth groups really encourage and prepare our kids in school to befriend the ones being bullied, disenfranchised etc.?
I would love to see a for real conversation among Christians about what to do. For sure prayer is first on the list. But what else with no cliches? Some suggestions I have heard seem ludicrous to me such as arming teachers. What other “modern” country has armed teachers? I teach and have never owned a gun. I don’t know any fellow teacher that wants to carry a gun in school.
This has been bothering me for quite some time. Each time a new story about a school shooting comes out, it makes me think about my students and their safety. You may have guessed I am in favor of stricter gun laws, so if that offends you and you don’t want to follow my blog or read it, I understand.
But it comes back to my question- Can we Christians talk about it? Can we talk about it beyond saying something like- Well, God isn’t welcome in the school- and then throw our hands in the air, figuratively speaking.