As we discussed yesterday, there is a lot that we can (and MUST) learn from school murders. And based on initial reports, at least there was some learning on the part of the Nashville cops (the MNPD) and Covenant School, as regards trying to protect children.
Yet they failed, at least to some degree. Some, because there could have been many more dead children and school staff. Nashville’s “finest” did not repeat the serious, fatal errors of the idiots in Uvalde, or those a long time ago at Columbine, Colorado. They responded and ran to the sound of the guns. And they dealt with the mad… mad-it, in the most direct way: they killed it. But only after the monster had killed six people. They didn’t get there in time.
Photo and text from Oleg Volk
The staff and leadership of Covenant Presbyterian Church and their Academy also seems to have learned something, but not enough. Definitely not enough. Oh, they locked the doors. They apparently had some kind of a plan to respond. And they had courageous adults – staff – willing to act and give their lives for the children. We should and do honor them for what they did.
But it was not enough. Locks can be (and were) shot out. Unarmed adults, no matter how courageous, can do very little against murderous and insane monsters in human form. Police – however trained and dedicated and courageous – cannot be everywhere and cannot respond instantly.
No one at the school seems to have been armed, although one screaming, crying hoploclastic (gun-hating) activist claimed that Tennesseans’ being “allowed” to carry concealed weapons without a gun permit was to blame for the murders.
I know nothing about Covenant Presbyterian Church in Nashville and their beliefs and practices. (Although the mere fact that they had 200 K-8 students in their school is at least something of an indicator that they are not the increasingly common “Woke” mainstream Presbyterian churches found in the States and UK. Woke mainstream Protestant churches generally trust government schools.) But Presbyterians are Calvinists. They believe that all of us are predestined by God to what happens in our lives: that we do not have free-will. So what will happen will happen: God has already decided.
It is, of course, a religious philosophy that we at TPOL do not believe, and that we cannot find in the Bible. Any more than we can find any pacifism other than the “small-mouthed” kind that SF writers speak of: we do not initiate violence but God has given us the right – and obligation – to defend others and even ourselves against violence, aggression, even with deadly force. (“The sword”)
We also view the typical mainstream Presbyterian position to be at best hypocrtical. If they truly believe that God has already determined their fate, and we must submit to that decision, then why worry and waste time and effort and money on locks. Or fire extinguishers. Or even smoke detectors and fire alarms, much less security cameras? (Some may answer “because government makes us do those things” and of course, like most Protestant denominations they usually believe that all government is “God’s minister” – anointed by Him to rule. Again, something we can’t find in the scriptures, here at TPOL.)
Not providing for your children – not just food and clothing and a roof – is condemned by Jesus Christ. That includes providing for their protection from animals and other dangers – including human monsters. It wasn’t just the school and the police that failed: their parents (and in the case of the three adults in their 60s, their children) who failed to live up to their God-given obligations.
We pray sincerely that many other churches and christian schools and families will learn lessons from the tragedy in Nashville. Before more children – and teachers and other staff – die needlessly for lack of a useful tool that God gave us the ability and resources to create.
The sad reality is that the response from MNPD is the best that we can hope for. This is the high water mark for a police response. And it may be the best we can hope for period. Not all among us are warriors. It would be good for a few people in a school to be armed and prepared–regardless of whether they are police, teachers, or the janitor. The pro-gun side can sometimes be unrealistic in our expectations from others. Should teachers be allowed to arm themselves? Absolutely. Will most of them do so? Nope. And that’s okay. Not everybody has to be a warrior. When Christ asked his dozen apostles at the garden of Gethsemane how many swords they had, the answer was two. His response was, “That’s enough.” Some of the apostles were fighters; some were not. We should not compel all teachers to become gunfighters. We should allow one another the choice to follow what we perceive as our own duty. For some, that duty is hugging kids; for others it is stacking bodies. And while I do not believe in predestination, I accept that sometimes bad things will happen and I will be powerless to stop it. That’s part of living in a fallen world.
Well spoken, Jeff. Thank you for these words.
Several of the national talk shows were hyping the idea that EVERY school should have a school resource officer – i.e., a resident cop. I think you have put it better: not a cop – uniformed or plainclothes. Rather a person willing, able, and prepared to take action. Some months ago, a commentary included a suggestion that could include retired military and veterans who have demonstrated their willingness (and often their skills) at defending others, violently if need be. Today I heard that the head of the school died charging unarmed at the killer, while one of the nine-year-old girls was killed as she was pulling the fire alarm to warn others. The courage – and often the willingness is there – at least in some. Is that one in 5? One in 10? Even 1 in 20 might be more than enough!