Well, that didn’t take long. Roughly 90 seconds after news broke of Monday’s mass shooting in Washington D.C., the usual suspects fell in line and went to the Internet, radio and television to do what they do.
The conspiracy theorists told us that this was obviously a false flag operation designed by three men in the basement of a Norwegian castle. Don’t get me wrong. History is filled with conspiracies. But history is also filled with evil. And sometimes evil people do evil things without conspiring with anyone. Well, anyone but the devil.
The progressive politicians were at it too. They used the opportunity, and I use that word intentionally, to promote gun control. The president used guarded words to say that he and his administration would do, “everything that we can to prevent” tragedies like this one.
Senator Dianne Feinstein was more direct. “Congress must stop shirking its responsibility and resume a thoughtful debate on gun violence in this country.”
Of course, not too many politicians are asking how a man in a city with some of the strictest gun laws in the nation managed to walk into, get this, a highly secure military facility carrying a shotgun. Perhaps the federal government should spend more time investigating how to keep its own bases and employees safe instead of worrying about making it harder for average citizens to buy guns. But that would require politicians to stop finger-pointing and begin a bit of self-examination. Go ahead and carry on with your plans and I’ll let you know when something like that happens.
Maybe the best response to all of this came from a doctor. Janis Orlowski is the chief medical officer at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. She was the doctor overseeing the treatment of Monday’s victims and she has become an expert in tragedies like these.
“There’s something evil in our society that we as Americans have to work to try and eradicate.”
Tragedies like the one in D.C. on Monday tend to make us think that evil just kind of shows up every other month or so. But it’s with us everyday. It’s with us as our government funds the killing of babies and plans unprovoked attacks on other countries. It’s with us as we allow hate to fester and injustice to go unchecked.
But the real source of evil in our society isn’t a power-hungry politician with bad ideas. It’s an blood-thirsty adversary, bent on death and destruction.
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8 (ESV)
No amount of gun control laws or libertarian principles can eradicate this evil. The answer isn’t found in wrapping ourselves in the American flag. We have to look deeper. Looking deeper takes work. It involves painful self-examination. It takes us to dark places and reminds us that we are in a daily battle where hanging in the balance are life and death, Heaven and Hell.
Wayne McDill once said, “the fundamental reality of every need is to trust God.” That’s a good word for us today. But it’s a hard one to apply. We want to feel like we’re doing something. We need more laws. Give us another speech. Show me something I can sign or like on Facebook. Something! Anything!
While there certainly is a time for action, that action tends to be counterproductive if it is not first rooted in trusting God (James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:9-10). That’s because we are not primarily working against bad laws or security flaws. We are fighting against an evil that is not new to our society. It has been attacking us and killing us since the Garden of Eden.
Sometimes it shows up in horrific ways like we saw on Monday.
Sometimes it’s federally funded.