The shooting in Pittsburgh last week…a man walked into a gym and killed several women; he had planned this for some time, was apparently openly disturbed, published details of it online and was questioned by police a week before under suspicion of having a grenade on public transport. Yet, somehow, ‘nobody noticed’ that something was amiss with him.
The murderer noted that, at church, “This guy [the pastor] teaches (and convinced me) you can commit mass murder, then still go to heaven.” A deacon of this church (from which the murderer was removed for harassing a woman) stated, “God will hold him accountable. God has his justice.” The pastor, “Knapp, who left town Saturday to care for his critically ill father in Florida, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Friday that, ‘the message of the word I preach never reflected such a thing.’” But then the deacon immediately states, “We believe in permanent security—once saved, always saved,” Rickard [the deacon] said. “He will be judged, but he will be in heaven. ... He’ll be in heaven, but he won’t have any rewards because he did evil.” (Quotes from AP.)
So which is it? You preached a message of ultimate predestination and election; that one can do nothing that would turn God away from your salvation. Yet you say that he’s going to ‘be judged.’ What, is he going to have to sit in the penalty box for a thousand years? You gave the man a message that he would find acceptance and peace in the life beyond whist fully missing all markers of his unhappiness in this life and attempting to address them here.
The gun dealer where the murderer purchased his weapons certainly does not take responsibility for anything, “Thompson [the dealer] said attacks like Tuesday’s underscore the need for people to protect themselves because police can’t respond in time to crises, he said.”
So…to be clear, the woman in the gym are to blame for this because they were unarmed. They were foolish enough to go out in public without adequate protection from disturbed men who can easily purchase high-powered weapons used in battle and designed specifically for killing people. That has to be the most pathetic logic I’ve heard in at least the last three weeks. Yet people spout it off with a straight face. Why are we checking for weapons in airports? It would seem logical that what is really necessary is to arm everyone on the plane to make things even.
Also, this man was craving attention—and now has it. His name is all over the news around the world. For however many years people did not pay attention to him; he was not important enough to note or give help to and now ‘everyone is talking about him.’ How wise is that? We are giving ammunition to others like him who feel they have no other alternative. What does this have to say about our society that we are so unaware of people with mental illness that they have to completely break down and kill for us to notice (and then we are ‘shocked and saddened’)? It is wholly destructive from all angles that we pay no heed to the warnings (and are ill equipped to deal with them regardless, I would imagine there was nothing the police could do when they encountered him a week before without ‘proof’) and give over an arsenal of tools (literally) to the socially maladjusted for bad ends.
This is going to pass right under the radar; big news for this week till the next tragedy on Wednesday. We will go right back to our lives…and right now there is a lonely person searching for an assault rifle online who thinks this will be his option out.