Why Have School Shootings Become a Part of Our Culture?

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Gone are the days when chewing gum ranked among the top problems in public schools. When tragedy strikes, it is natural to opine for the “good ole days” of yesteryear when times were simpler, and morals mattered. In such moments, we are reminded of what our nation has sacrificed on its journey into relativism, and we are confronted with the stark reality that something has changed within the very fabric of our society.

In desperation, a national cry has arisen to banish guns—or at the very least, restrict those who are permitted to purchase them. Championed by the media, and fueled by the attention of social media, these protestors preach that a simple solution—the removal of guns—is all that is necessary to keep our kids safe and to return to a simpler time. Ironically, the simpler time that so many long for was a time when schools were gun zones. For the majority of our history, students habitually carried guns and other weapons to school, yet it is only in recent history that school shootings have become a genuine concern. What changed?

Rush Limbaugh addressed this question in his nationally syndicated radio program, noting that when people reminisce of a time of innocence—such as the 1950’s when America experienced a post-war economic boom; families were stable, consisting of a mom, a dad, and 2.8 children; people went to church; and there was a clear understanding of right from wrong—they are mocked by those promoting an “anything goes” culture:

Now, in many instances the people wishing for a rebirth of those days of innocence are talking primarily about cultural things, when there seemed to be a more robust morality that the majority of the Americans abided by and agreed with.

It is cultural degradation that most people lament when they talk about returning to the ’50s. And, of course, those who are benefitting from the cultural degradation who don’t want to return, mock those who long for those simpler days by telling them, “Grow up! Get real! You have to accept things as they are. Things change — and if you don’t want to change with them, then you’re a so and so.” Isn’t it interesting that the American media and its fellow radicals are essentially asking for a return to a more innocent time — a simpler time when these events did not happen?

When school shootings, mass shootings, church shootings, movie theater shootings, didn’t happen. They are hell bent on believing that we can make that journey to the past. They are convinced that we can get there by simply eliminating the Second Amendment or eliminating guns or what have you. What would their reaction be if we were to say: “Come on, get real! You can’t go back to the ’50s. None of us can go back to the ’50s. We can’t turn back the hands of the clock. We have to deal with what’s now.”

Exactly what the left tells people who reminisce about the ’50s today. We can’t go back to the ’50s! You’ve got [to] deal with it! If you don’t like gay marriage, deal with it! If you don’t like transgender bathrooms, deal with it! If you don’t like open-borders immigration, deal with it!” People who long for a more innocent and simpler time are mocked and laughed at and impugned in any number of ways, and yet now it is the American left somehow seemingly longing for those days in the past when these kinds of events didn’t happen.

They have a firm belief we can get back there. All we gotta do is something with guns. We’ve gotta take them away from people that have them; we’ve got to prevent new ones being made or sold. We’ve gotta get rid of the Second Amendment. Totally unrealistic demand and unrealistic expectations. But even worse: A failure to recognize the current reality and deal with that. And until they, not us — but until they — can deal with the current reality instead of lamenting and wishing for days that no longer exist, we’re never going to fix this (emphasis added).[1]


Regardless of on which side of the political aisle we may find ourselves, Rush Limbaugh has made a profound observation. What we are experiencing are the effects of cultural degradation. The stabilizing influences of morality and objective truth have been rejected in the name of relativism, and until we are willing to face this reality, we will never witness meaningful change. While relativism may further select causes, its affects are not limited to those areas of culture. If we champion individuals who reject social norms and forcibly compel society to validate their feelings and perceptions, then why are we surprised when others dismiss our understanding of what is acceptable and moral?

The cry of the hour is to banish guns. This is rooted in an optimistic search for a quick fix to the more blatant examples of cultural degradation. But this will not provide the desired results. Instead, we as a nation must grapple with the reality that we are a rapidly degenerating society, morally. We must be willing to honestly discern the hour in which we live. Decades of endeavoring to purge God from our society and to cast aside God’s restrictive commandments has produced a society that is ripe for social turmoil. And nothing short of a spirit of repentance will restore the stability and safety that we seek.

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Timothy Zebell

As a former missionary to Asia for twelve years and the author of several books, Timothy is passionate about helping people understand the relevancy of God's Word in today's world. His goals are to help Christians discern truth from error, empower Christians to speak into cultural matters with relevancy, and to help Christians capitalize on the opportunities that these matters provide for sharing the truth about God and His gospel message.
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1. Limbaugh, Rush. “The Left Fails to Recognize the Current Reality.” The Rush Limbaugh Show, Transcript, February 16, 2018. Accessed February 22, 2018. https://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2018/02/16/the-left-fails-to-recognize-the-current-reality/.


Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


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