We're a few days out from yet another school shooting and the gun-rights/gun-control verbiage is flowing more freely than melting snow in Midland. Some students of the Florida school have been prompted to do a great photo op and march on Washington.
On a less grandiose level, we have Second Amendment mavens pointing out that the shooter's weapon of choice (AR-15) is more mundane than it looks. One snarky variant (too snarky to link to) on that theme noted that, in the right hands, a non-auto manual-load rifle can rack up a nice body count, using the 1966 Texas tower shooter as their poster boy.
Of course, the most cliche of the NRA rhetorical kit is "guns don't kill people, people kill people." Well, it's a close fight between that and "if guns our outlawed, only outlaws have guns" for pinning the cliche-meter, but let me run with GDKP,PKP.
What really does the killing is anger. Uncontrolled anger.
While we're in the cliche-trashing realm, let me run the risk of trotting out a Church Nerd special from Ephesians 4.
25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. 26 “In your anger do not sin”[d]: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold.
Good advice even if you don't believe in a literal Devil or the Savior that the writer (Paul) preached about. However, it's easier said than done, especially if that anger has metastasized into a truly nasty cancerous boil.
Our shooter Mr. Cruz seems to have anger by the boatload. The reporting pointed to a stint with a local white-nationalist outfit (Hispanics must have been white enough for them), giving a troubled young man a target for his frustrations in life.
Having a one-pull-one-shot semi-auto AR-15 expedited the killing process, but it was the anger at life and at one's fellow man that got the very ugly ball rolling.
I'm reminded of the "War on Terror"; critics of the phrase will point out that it isn't terror tactics that are at play, but radical Islam that is the issue at hand. Dig deeper, and it is anger that is the true driver, a dislike of some class of people to justify killing them.
For quite a few jihadis, it is a rage against society that seems to be far too akin to Mr. Cruz's, rather than some hard-core Muslim theology. An angry young man finds an Other to rage at, whether it be non-whites for a wannabe Klansman or the infidels for jihadis.
Get rid of the rage and anger, and you're a long way towards getting rid of the violence. Some more prudent Muslims will note that jihad means struggle in Arabic, not war, and that a greater jihad lies in taming our sinful nature, making the violent resistance of infidels a "lesser jihad."
Easier said than done, once again. Without the Holy Spirit's help, it's a very uphill struggle.
Changing the Constitution to ban guns is another uphill struggle. A more achievable struggle is to try and minister to the angry young men (and women...we don't have too many female mass killers, but that could change) in our communities before that anger gets out of control. This Cipher Brief article points out that little can be done to lock up would-be killers before they act out, but trying to change their angry attitudes is still legal.