We live in a fallen world.
That should not come as a surprise to anyone. Every day the news reports on murders, abuses, thefts, and other crimes. And then, some days, horrific events happen.
Recently, the worst act of domestic terrorism occurred when a man wielding at least four weapons opened fire in a crowded theater. Then another shooting in Virginia. Then Texas.
Many people are outraged, as they should be. Some blame the system. Someone in Colorado had a bad feeling about the future shooter, but action was not taken, and now the blame game is in full swing.
The hard truth is that while we live in a fallen world, we also live in a free country. The same constitution that allows citizens to bear arms also protects a person who uses weapons to kill fellow Americans.
Living in a free country means people have the freedom to commit crimes. There are penalties for being convicted of a crime, but it is extremely difficult to prevent people from committing a crime, as is evident in the fact that they happen every day.
People blame Colorado University for not doing more with the information they had. Yet if the authorities acted upon every comment each person made, you would end up with thousands of people in overcrowded jails screaming that their civil rights had been violated, and then they would all get out and sue the entity that tried to contain them.
The only possible way to prevent crime is to take away the rights and opportunities to do so, as in the case of Martial Law. Even that, while it would reduce the crime rate overall, would not prevent all crime, because the armed militia would still be able to do whatever they wanted. And then civilians would have no freedom to even walk the streets. Food would be rationed, all entertainment venues would be closed, people would not be allowed to gather, etc.. What kind of life is that?
Ideally, it would be fantastic if we could all just agree to live in the same communities and adhere to some general guidelines about respecting each other and living in peace.
Is that not exactly what our forefathers sought when they drafted the constitution?
Yet we now live in a country of 300 million people who all want different things, and when your goals and values are not aligned, you will have conflict. And while everyone wants to hang the apprehended criminal, everyone also wants mercy when they are said criminal. “He should go to jail forever! Oh, and can you get me out of this speeding ticket?”
Our judicial system is far from perfect, but it would be better if the laws made sense and were enforced strictly across the board. If castration was the punishment for sexual crimes, the rates of rape and child abuse would drop. If flogging was the punishment for theft, people could leave their doors unlocked.
While it would help if more people took responsibility for their actions, the bottom line is that a free society inherently brings each person the risk of pain and violation by other free individuals. Let us appreciate the freedom we have and use it for good.
Jesus said things would get worse before He comes back. I am hoping this means He is coming soon.
The only thing in life you can control is the attitude with which you face it. ~Chuck Swindoll