Let’s begin this application at home, within the American Church itself; which is entirely too political, and in many places, entirely too enamored with guns and gun culture. I have encountered several Christians with a deeper understanding of the Second Amendment and the NRA’s talking points than of basic Christian theology. It’s easy to spot and exclude extremists. Much harder is it to realize the impact political alliances, to which most Christians join themselves willingly, have upon the priorities we choose to amplify. As someone who is not steeped in gun culture, I find it most distasteful when fellowship is centered around owning a firearm or when firearms proficiency becomes part of the definition of being a mature Christian (or more to the point, a mature Christian man). Our brothers and sisters in foreign lands and foreign times would most certainly be disturbed by this mindset. We would do well to purge it from our thinking.
Nonetheless, as deserving as the above criticisms may be, the American Church is not at fault in any way for what happened in Florida. Quite the contrary. The fault lies with one culprit alone: sin. It is sin in the heart of the shooter that caused him to so callously murder people and destroy the lives of many more. He cultivated sin in his heart. He fed it. He loved it. His world was dark; his heart evil. As Christians, this foundation must be our starting point. We must boldly declare that it is but the common grace of God that we are not all school shooters. We must declare the condemnation of sinners under the wrath of God, and the merciful hope found in He who willingly took our place on the cross. We must call sinners to repentance. Any effort that does not begin with the unadulterated gospel is nothing more than secularism couched in religious words.
New laws preventing mentally disturbed individuals from owning firearms isn’t going to prevent one from obtaining a weapon. Laws preventing drug use don’t prevent the use of drugs. Murder was already against the law and yet several school children and teachers were murdered. To believe that we can pass a law that will stop behavior is foolishness, and untenable for a believer who understands total depravity. This does not, however, mean such laws should be abolished. We must properly understand law as a tool to prosecute offenders, not as a means to change behavior.