Since the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, there have been an average of 1.37 school shootings for each school week, according to data maintained by Everytown for Gun Safety, a group fighting to end gun violence.
Including Tuesday’s incident at a high school in Troutdale, Oregon, 74 school shootings have taken place in the approximately 18 months since the Dec. 14, 2012, Newtown shooting. The average school year typically lasts about 180 days, which means there have been roughly 270 school days, or 54 weeks, of class since the shooting at Newtown. With 74 total incidents over that period, the nation is averaging well over a shooting per school week.
The data maintained by Everytown for Gun Safety also shows that these shootings have occurred throughout the country. In all, 31 states have had an incident of gun violence at a school. Georgia has witnessed far more incidents than others, with 10 happening at schools there since Sandy Hook. There have been seven school shootings in Florida, five in Tennessee, four in North Carolina and four in California.
The majority of the school shootings, 39, have taken place at K-12 schools. The remainder of them have happened at colleges or universities.
Not surprisingly, schools tend to be safer when they are not in session. The longest gap between school shootings appears between mid-June and mid-August of 2013, which falls during summer break, when the majority of students are not enrolled in classes. Other gaps of weeks or longer fall during periods when schools are typically on winter, spring or summer breaks.
Which bring me to my next point. Should teachers be mandated and training in gun safety and handling. It seems to me that if a would be assailant knew in advance that a facility he or she was considering on attacking, might just think twice before going in and scaring, hurting or even killing fellow students, knowing in the back of their minds that members of faculty are not just armed, but trained to defend without prejudice. (That’s just my opinion, though). Granted I wish every state had a right to carry law that required every individual to go through extensive training to do so. (Again, that’s just my opinion).
However, it seems that some states and school districts are taking this subject very seriously and the statistics are showing it.
A pastor COMPLAINED about Facebook actually being COMPLAINTbook.
However, in a sense, isn’t it better to blow off steam online rather than physically slapping the taste out of the mouths of those that they are ticked off about?
As an example, he referenced those that post about getting shoddy service at Starbucks. But as expensive as those beverages are, shouldn’t you be able to vocalize your dissatisfaction somewhere?
But without complaining, wouldn’t a pastor be a bit like a firefighter without a hydrant or something akin to a one armed boxer?
Complaining about things is the bread and butter of the ministry.A pastor remarked that a status update is nothing more than an attempt to be a star for a moment.
So how is that in essence much different than what a pastor does whenever they ascend the pulpit and do anything other than a rote recitation of the Scriptural text?
A pastor admonished that Facebook friendship does not constitute real friendship.
But still isn’t it better than nothing at all for those that do not derive much satisfaction through traditional human interaction or happen to be someone most don’t really desire to interact with?
Most of the same information can be conveyed through a variety of posts that would otherwise be collected through means that would be categorized as “human intelligence”.
The pastor attempted to solidify his argument by insisting that Facebook friendships are not Biblical friendships.
But frankly, doesn’t any relationship where you do not fornicate with, steal from, or murder the involved party pretty much pass Biblical muster?
By Frederick Meekins
As he continues to build a pontificate endeavoring to appeal to nearly everyone on some level, Pope Francis responded to the Charlie Hebbdo massacre in the same spirit.
The Catholic News Service has the Pope on record as saying “It’s true, one cannot react violently… But…one cannot insult other people’s faith, one cannot make fun of faith.”
Such a standard would seem perfectly reasonable in a culture steeped in Christian values.
However, in a profoundly decayed postmodern era, the Pope’s recommendation raises more conundrums than his attempt at sage advice actually resolves.
For example, how is insult or making fun of being defined?
Some of depictions of Muhammad (as well as of Christ) published in the French satire magazine no doubt crossed the boundaries of good taste.
However, in this age obsessed with sensitivity to the point where certain agitators can’t seem to shake off the sting of an insult after a few hours, the bar as to what constitutes being offended has been shockingly lowered.
For example, there are those that insist it is improper for adherents of one expression of the Christian faith to criticize what are believed to be the doctrinal shortcomings of another.
At the same time, those uplifting such a spirit of ecumenicity in the next breath let loose with a litany of rants against the brand of Christianity adhered to by the person being badgered into acquiescence and silence.
Likewise, what if the legitimate beliefs of a religion compel that religion to act in ways or profess beliefs that are perceived as offensive or insulting to others?
Muslims aren’t too keen on the doctrine of the Trinity; is the Pope willing to renounce this foremost Christian fundamental in order to comply with the spirit of the age?
There are some that believe that it is not the place of church functionaries to bar an individual from the elements of Communion or the Lord’s Supper.
So what if someone feels slighted by the Roman Catholic Church assiduously monopolizing what adherents of this understanding of Christianity believer are essential ingredients in the liturgical pursuit of salvation?
Likewise, to what extent is the remark “…one cannot insult other people’s faith, one cannot make fun of faith” to be adhered to?
To some, an insult to faith can be little more than to insist that your doctrine is right and someone else’s is wrong.
It must be remembered that when an American hears these sorts of principles, they are more like rules of etiquette in that they are good ideas to aspire to but not all that much will be done to you if you decide to ignore them.
However, when nearly anyone else around the world says these sorts of things, they mean these notions should be imposed as a matter of statutory law with punishments such as fines or incarceration.
It, therefore, must be asked does the Pope stand with those wanting liberty to prevail throughout the world or does he side with those wanting to plunge civilization into an interminable tyranny?
By Frederick Meekins