Last week, Chris Harper-Mercer, opened gunfire at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. Nine victims lost their lives and it was ruled by investigators that Chris, the shooter, committed suicide after shots back and forth with police. My heart breaks when I hear of these shootings, but sadly, I feel the more I hear, the more numbness sets in as to the gravity of what happened.
Whenever a mass shooting like this occurs, the cry for gun control rings loudest. I agree that we need to control the accessibility to guns, but the issue goes so much deeper than that. What if Chris decided to build a bomb and blow up the college, with most likely even more lives lost. How do we instill "bomb control?"
I grieve for those that have lost loved ones, a pain that is difficult to reconcile. But, I also grieve for Chris' parents. His father was interviewed by CNN and he stated that his son lived with his Mom in Oregon and he hadn't seen him in two years since they moved. The very next statement in the CNN article said that they had a good father/son relationship. Whoa, what?! You haven't seen your son in two years, yet you have a good father/son relationship? My heart grieves for the destruction of the family unit. We will never know what the split of Chris' mother and father did to him, but even deeper, we will never know how that impacted Chris' mental and emotional state. God help our families to turn to You, make You the center and not take the marriage covenant so lightly.
It was reported that Chris asked each person if they were a Christian and those that weren't were shot, but not in the head. If you answered affirmatively, Chris shot you in the head. Reports said he even referenced them seeing God quickly. What a powerful testimony these victims have. Would I be that strong? I surely hope so. I don't know what sickens me most - the act of the killing of innocent people, or the pure mockery of Christianity. Lord help us.
When the news broke and my social media feeds filled with speculation and cries for gun control, the first thing I thought of was the true problem here. Sin. Chris was struggling with an unbelief in the One who created him, possibly due to a manifested feeling of being the cause of his parents' divorce. The next thing I thought of was how little we value life. The continual saga of the Planned Parenthood videos and their destruction of babies in the womb reveal our world's inability to value life in the womb. If we don't value life in the womb, why do you think we'd value it outside of the womb...those lives attending a community college?
I heard a report today that a woman who was shot said to Chris, "I'm sorry you've had the life you've had" and he shot her. This tells me he expressed his feelings on his life very openly to these people. And his outpouring of this emotion came through the killing of innocent people.
The problem isn't gun control. The problem is this world needs a Savior. Even so, Lord Jesus come quickly.