The Real (But Unpopular) Way to Prevent School Shootings

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It’s been nearly three months since the day that man walked into that school in Newtown, CT and shot a bunch of little children. The flurry of news about it and outpouring of sympathy on Facebook and Twitter is mostly over. Despite all the coverage, I actually heard by word of mouth. I was living in Wrigley at the time, with no television and had only recently had my internet hooked up. I was saved from watching actual news coverage and experiencing the drama and horror live (or nearly live).

Since the initial news coverage, there has been a lot of discussion, anger, and arguments about gun control. I am not going to talk about guns. No, no, no. I am going to talk about the man who did the shooting.

Clearly, he was a disturbed man, and I say this, again, having heard no coverage about him, psychologists’ analysis or anything else. It’s just clear to me that he must have been very mentally ill. The man who opened fire in the school that day was spiritually starved.

How can we prevent this from happening again?

I’m afraid I have to say the real — but unpopular, not-a-quick-fix, challenging, dirty, and awesome — way to stop school shootings is to

Care for your fellow man.

Don’t walk by a street person and scowl at them. Don’t ignore the guy on the bus who seems upset. Stop turning a blind eye to mentally ill people — they are people, too. Deeply love those around you, in your family and circle of friends. If you are afraid of mentally ill people, take a Mental Health First Aid course — this will help you understand other people and know what to do in many circumstances.

Why don’t we work together to let no one be as spiritually starved and so devoid of relationships and love as that man who opened fire in that school.

Be about love. Be focused on love — be more willing to be in love than to be in control.

Inspired by a Spiritual Living Podcast (Dec 16, 2012).

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