Some times I don’t think I belong in the Midwest. I am in Oklahoma on college business right now. I was in the breakfast room of the hotel quietly eating my Raisin Bran about 6:15 this morning when the TV blared a local new story about a 12-year old girl shooting a home intruder, a sad scary story. This was troubling enough, but what shocked me was an older man who was by the TV. He turned around to address the small group eating and said, “Good for her! I wish all our children could learn how to shoot and defend themselves.” Several of the men in the room affirmed this with a hearty “Yeah-boy” and other expressions of support. The older gentleman looked at me for some sort of support, but I just looked down at my cereal. I felt a chill in my heart.
I would rather have this girl shoot the intruder than be killed by him, but I cannot celebrate anything about this. She will surely be traumatized by this incident. Imagine if she had killed him. I think it would have changed, maybe ruined her life. It is maybe overused terminology, but she is surely a victim here. The man’s hope that all twelve year old girls in his state is not even confirmed here, for the news story indicates that she was not trained, she had never shot a gun before. Would this man celebrate if this had been his granddaughter, and she suffered life-long mental depression?
I was sharing this with one of the men here, and he told me about a police officer in his church who had shot and killed a man years before who was attacking him. He was justified in this killing in every way you could think of, but he was without peace. It ruined his life. He eventually left the church, quit his job, and his marriage failed.
In our sin-filled world, violence and killing is inevitable I guess. But for those of us who follow the Prince of Peace, may we never be happy when a shooting takes place.
Nebraska Christian College