A Simple, Sacrificial Solution to School Shootings?3 min read

Another school shooting. It makes me sick to my stomach. More than this, it eats away at my soul. Lord, have mercy on us. On the children who died and those left behind. On the families of the victims and the family of the shooter. On the school and the community. On our nation: those crying out for limits to weapon access; those advocating for a better mental health care system; those dreadfully perplexed by where the world went wrong and how to right it.

If you’ve come here looking for an easy answer, you’ve come to the wrong place. Easy solutions to complex problems are not only misleading, they are dangerous. What is most needful is not easy and even-dimensional. It is damn hard. It requires sacrifice. Sacrifice of our time, our talent, our money.

First, it’s about time. We live in a lonely culture, getting lonelier by the day. We have come to replace genuine friendships with false virtual ones. Our children desperately need comforting companionship, not cutthroat competition, not food that leaves them starving, not the latest techno gadget.

But before you point the finger of blame at the shooter’s parents, look within. When I was at the peak of my profession, I thrust myself into my career to the detriment of my family life. I noticed my daughter getting depressed, so what did I do? I did what any concerned parent would do. I hired her a mentor.

Sad. More than sad. Tragic. Our children need our time. Not a cheap substitute. No matter what it costs.

Next, it takes talent. In the midst of surfing over vitriolic Facebook memes, on the subject, I encountered a novel idea. Why not hire Veterans as school bodyguards? I’m not saying we should arm them to the teeth and turn schools into more of a war zone than they already are. But I do believe those who have dedicated their lives in the service of our nation are the best ones to protect our children.

It takes time. It takes talent. Finally, it takes money.

Partisan politics aside, it is tragically telling that the same persons who claim mass murder is a mental problem gut funding for mental health care. Rather than fighting the very real and present battle caring for those afflicted, their loved ones, and the community around them, we funnel our money into shows of force that do nothing to help the well-being of anyone.

One alarming statistic that shows the depth to which we’ve sunk is this. More than 10 times as many persons with mental illness are floundering in jail and prison than are in psychiatric facilities. Good God! How on earth can we allow this?

It takes money. And not just throwing bandaids at gushing wounds. We desperately need equipped, well-staffed, humane living facilities where persons with severe mental illness can be safe from themselves and from others. And safe for others.

How do we address violent attacks in our schools? It takes time. It takes talent. It takes money.

It takes sacrifice. But our lives depend on it.



About the Author:

I am a man with an unquiet mind who delights in the One who delights in me.
  • I found your site through Alex’s blog. Alex is one of those worthwhile people I met on the internet. If there is one thing that is true about such people, it is that they speak freely and are not easy to offend.

    Offending Americans, sadly, is all too easy. My temporary ban from Facebook ends soon, and is the result of a modest infringement on the American’s ability to be tolerant. That Americans are armed only makes the situation more dangerous.

    However, I want to look at armed societies from a different and little known angle. In every house in Switzerland where a grown man lives, there will be a semi-automatic weapon along with the required bullets. In the last five years there has been to my knowledge one shooting in Switzerland, and that was last week. It is true that the population of Switzerland is small, but even given its small size, the lack of shootings is nothing if not remarkable. Especially given the profusion of weaponry.

    The answers to America’s problems lie in understanding why the Swiss can be armed to the teeth and yet they remain happy to co-exist with each other in ways that would baffle an American. Part of the answer (and certainly not all of it) lies in the kind of education system that is common across Western Europe, and being British (a country that shares the US style of education, albeit somewhat better) I can attest to the genuinely high quality not only of the schools but the teachers themselves.

    When I did my time as a teacher, it was a time of immense pressure and of little time off. Meeting a friend in Germany informed me that my 3/4 timetable was around 50% more than a fully trained teacher would expect in Germany by way of a workload. What was more, they had vastly more administrative backup. Switzerland’s education system is little different, save that it teaches more languages, what with the cultural diversity of the country.

    It is my firm contention that a good education and a high level of tolerance go hand in hand.

    What is more, tolerance is the first step to a true appreciation of how God manifests himself in our world.

    • Tony Roberts

      Thank you for your thoughtful and timely comments on my post, “A Simple, Sacrificial Solution to School Shootings.” We in the US no doubt have much to learn from the Swiss when it comes to curbing violence and promoting quality education. It is good to hear from someone like yourself who knows first hand things can get better.

      Blessings in Christ,

      Facebook Author Page Delight in Disorder Website Revealing Voices Blog

      *“Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”* (Psalm 37.4)

      • Thankyou for your swift response.

        In offering a different point of view, it was in no way to suggest that the US would be able to learn from us here in Europe. In being British, I am painfully aware of how my fellow countrypeople manage here. Put better, they flounder, because they have an immense unwillingness to learn – and that is especially true when it comes to other languages and cultures.

        It is here in understanding how a culture is different that the American will be able to solve their own problems.

        The truth is that even the Swiss – most of whom are at least bilingual – would find it immensely difficult to solve their social problems. Thankfully for the Swiss, those problems are modest by comparison.

        One of Christ’s messages was that every human could learn something from another. Why then do Americans refuse this? We British are bad enough.

        • Tony Roberts

          I must confess I’ve never travelled internationally, but I do think there is a distinctly American arrogance that we are the chosen ones God has manifestly destined for blessings above all. What are your thoughts?

          Blessings in Christ,

          Facebook Author Page Delight in Disorder Website Revealing Voices Blog

          *“Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”* (Psalm 37.4)