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Instead of seeking blame for Isla Vista shootings, seek God

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By Brian Owens

Elliot Rodger’s premeditated rampage of carnage in Isla Vista, Calif., wherein he killed six people before finally taking his own life, has reignited the flames of the gun-control debate in our country, which has never really died out but, instead, lie under smoldering coals of apathy until something else happens that stirs the national consciousness.

Richard Martinez, the grief-stricken father of Christopher Ross Michaels-Martinez, one of Rodger’s victims, pleaded for the madness to come to an end.

“We don’t have to live like this,” he said. “Too many have died. We should say to ourselves, ‘No. Not one more.’”

Mr. Martinez blames politicians in the NRA for his son’s death. Many in the media will give this a hardy “amen” and call for stricter gun laws.

Yet, this tragedy took place in California, which has some of the toughest gun control laws in the country.

By their own laws, Mr. Rodgers should have never owned a gun. And yet, he did.

He blames the NRA and politicians. Yet, why not blame Hollywood? Why not blame the directors and producers of television programs and movies that glorify all forms of violence?

Why not blame video game designers who create games that drip with blood and gore?

The fact is that blame can be shifted to many different places and people but that will not bring back any of those who lost their lives.

The NRA did not kill them. Washington did not kill them. A deeply disturbed young man who had plotted for weeks the carnage he would inflict was the one who did this unspeakable act.

Tragedies such as this one shake us to our core and face us with the reality of the world in which we live.

They also remind us that none of us are immune to the violence that is a part of fallen humanity. Ever since Cain slew his brother Abel in a raging fit of jealousy (Genesis 4), the taste and smell of blood stains our senses.

Prime time television is awash in chaos. We allow ourselves and our families to be entertained by violence and numbed to its reality.

We convince ourselves that if it is fictitious on television then it is does not really happen in “real” life.

We end up placing street violence, rape and other horrendous activities on the level of zombie apocalypses and poltergeist infestations, an adrenaline rush without any real threat.

Then we turn on the news and sit in shock over the headlines when we, in fact, should not be surprised. What ought to surprise us is that we do not hear more than we do.

What took place in Isla Vista is indeed tragic and we should be thankful every day we can go without hearing such news. But when we do hear about something like this, we should remember that apart from the restraining grace of God it would be far, far worse.

These things should remind us of how depraved we really are and should drive us to God in repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

His life, death, burial, resurrection and ascension provide the only source of peace in the midst of such calamity.

Peace with God brings about a hope that as bad as things are. God still rules and reigns and vengeance is ultimately His (Romans 12:19).

The pundits and politicians will debate how keep this from happening again. Fingers will point and blame will shift.

Yet, the reality is that this is an issue of the heart and no amount of legislation can change it.

Only the grace of God can quell the violence of man. And only God’s grace can calm a grieving heart.