The tragic school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, capped off a record year of school shootings in the United States. In 2012, there were 10 school shootings that left a total of 41 people dead and 13 wounded. Though the Newtown shooting was the deadliest one of the year, also tragic was that three of these shootings were suicides carried out on school grounds, one of them in front of a group of 9th-grade students.
But as terrible as 2012 was, 2013 has been even more deadly. In the month of January alone, a mind-staggering eight, yes, eight school shootings took place.
- January 10, Taft, California: A gunman entered a science classroom of Taft Union High School with a 12-gauge shotgun and opened fire. A 16-year-old male student was shot in the chest and critically wounded while a teacher was also slightly injured. The classroom teacher, Ryan Heber, convinced him to drop his weapon, and the gunman was later arrested.
- January 11, Detroit, Michigan: A 16-year-old boy was shot after an altercation during a pickup game of basketball in a field across from Osborn High School after a school basketball game. He was hospitalized in serious condition.
- January 15, St. Louis, Missouri: A gunman shot and wounded the financial aid director of the Stevens Institute of Business and Arts in his office after an altercation. The gunman then shot and wounded himself.
- January 15, Hazard, Kentucky: Two people were shot and killed, and a third person, a 12-year-old girl, was wounded and succumbed to her wounds the next day. The shooting took place in the parking lot of the Hazard Community and Technical College.
- January 16, Chicago, Illinois: A 17-year-old boy was shot to death in a parking lot of Chicago State University after a high school basketball game. The game between two powerhouse high schools was being held on the university campus to provide a “neutral setting” for the game.
- January 22, Houston, Texas: Two men got into an argument and one of the men pulled out a gun and shot the other, a student, injuring him, at the Lone Star College, near Houston. A nearby maintenance man suffered a gunshot wound to the leg, while the gunman accidentally shot himself.
- January 29, Midland City, Alabama: A gunman boarded a school bus and shot and killed the bus driver, Charles Albert Poland Jr., 66. The gunman abducted a 5-year-old child and held him hostage in an underground bunker. The child was still being held hostage three days later.
- January 31, Atlanta, Georgia: A 14-year-old male student was shot and wounded in the back of the neck at Price Middle School in Georgia. The gunman, a student, was believed to be arguing with the other student before taking out a handgun and firing it at him. In addition, a teacher received cuts and bruises in the chaos that followed.
What should we make of this rapid increase in violence? Undoubtedly, some politicians will use this as additional evidence to push through gun control laws. But what is the real cause of this senseless violence that is creeping down into middle schools? It’s no longer just the older teens. There are 14-year-olds who are committing these crimes.
Back in 1999, the Trumpet warned about this deadly trend. “Over 30 years ago, the United States was sucked into a destructive, costly and unpopular war,” Stephen Flurry wrote. “I am not referring to Vietnam. I’m talking about the cultural revolution. It was waged by an American minority—mostly young people. The fundamental premise of their revolt was simply rebellion—rebellion against traditional standards, against high morals, against virtually any form of authority—especially parents.”
Back in the ’60s and ’70s, the “cool” thing was to rebel. And now, 40 years later, we are reaping the results. What is the underlying cause of all these shootings? The Trumpet has been giving the answers for 20 years: rebellion, and the breakdown of families. Dysfunctional homes are producing dysfunctional children. God said through the Prophet Haggai that He had a controversy with the people of Israel because there was no knowledge of God in the land (Hosea 4:1). Because the people had forgotten God, God said He would forget their children (verse 6). And this is exactly what we see today.
Gun regulations will not reverse this trend. It will take repentance. If you want to learn how to protect your children, read our article “Why Kids Kill.”