Almost all the public debate over the Florida school shooting has been over whether the NRA is to blame because a guy used a gun, or whether blame the Broward County Sheriff’s department is to blame for not stopping him.
Various and sundry other targets have been in the crosshairs of the regressive left (they call themselves “progressive,” but they’re not – they’re dragging us backwards).
For example, President Trump is at fault for not ramping up gun control. Congressmen and senators are likewise pilloried for not sponsoring legislation to take guns out of the hands of American citizens (witness what happened to Marco Rubio last Friday). And of course, anyone who supports the NRA is to blame (ask Dana Loesch all about that), and any American who opposes the disarming of the citizenry is likewise at fault.
The main evil for the left, of course, is the gun itself, as if guns wake up in the morning, decide to shoot up a school, find a way to get themselves to campus, and then find a way to pull their own trigger.
A third entity to draw blame, besides the gun and the NRA, is the mental health profession. A lack of mental health resources is resulting in school shooting after school shooting.
The common denominator in all these formulations is that they place no blame on the actual culprit, the shooter who mowed down 17 innocent school personnel in cold blood. It’s been almost bizarre how little direct blame has been laid on the shoulders of Nikolas Cruz.
And yet in the American system of justice, based on the criminal code of Moses and the Prophets, no blame-shifting is allowed. As Ezekiel said, “The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself” (Ezekiel 18:20).
In other words, a man may have had a perfectly wretched upbringing, but if he commits a crime, he must answer for it himself. He cannot be allowed to shift responsibility for his choices onto someone else.
Every man is a free moral agent with a conscience and a will. Each man individually, apart from any other person or influence in his life, must be held accountable for the uncoerced decisions he makes. We don’t put sons to death for the sins of the fathers, nor do we put fathers to death for the sins of their sons.
So, in looking for culpability in the Parkland shooting, we must never take our eyes off Nikolas Cruz. He and he alone took a rifle to a high school campus, he and he alone loaded that rifle, and he and he alone went from classroom to classroom targeting innocent people.
It’s wholly irresponsible to hold the NRA or any other outside agency, or any other people, to account for the actions of Mr. Cruz.
It is certainly not wrong to hold Broward County sheriffs accountable for mistakes they may have made, which by my reckoning are both egregious and numerous. If they had acted sooner, this incident may have been prevented. But it wasn’t a Broward County sheriff who left 17 students dead on the floor. The NRA had nothing to do with the shooting, nor did any mental health professional.
As Jeremiah put it, “Everyone shall die for his own iniquity” (Jeremiah 31:30). Let’s put the blame where the blame belongs, on the guy who pulled the trigger.
(Unless otherwise noted, the opinions expressed are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Family Association or American Family Radio.)
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