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This month we were again shaken by horrific shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. Pain and fear has struck the hearts of the American people and the reverberations are sweeping our nation again. Every American can agree — these tragedies need to stop. Sadly the agreement ends there. The cry that comes from everyone is “something must change.”
The debate rages on. The liberals yell for gun control. Congress is considering what laws or regulations must change. These are complicated issues about which any sound-bite solution being offered is neither serious enough nor contains adequate solution. Our society is increasingly embracing a culture of violence and death. All manner of brutality in film, acted out in video games, and reported in the news seems endorsed in public and political discourse.
We have also come to see that human life is not sacred. Unborn children are murdered, even subsidized as “health care.” Now, even some government officials are approving the after-birth killing of babies who have abortion procedures.
All of these happenings are just the symptoms … the heart is the cause. Removing guns will not cure what ails our society. Change must start in the homes. Parental action in the lives of children is absolutely critical. Evidence indicates that those charged with the mass shootings come from homes absent solid foundations that should have been had in their homes.
In support of strong home life there must be a message of hope in our communities, our schools and places of business. That hope can be offered by pointing to the giver of life … to a God who offers hope and a future. We can disagree about guns. But the only solution will come when we agree on one thing: the problem begins with what’s in the heart, not what’s in the hands.
Regardless of any law or regulation, without hope, there will continue to be violence and the loss of precious lives.
The place where change of heart is found is in the infallible word of our creator God. After all, shouldn’t we look to the one who made us to discover how we are most assuredly supposed to behave?
If we can change what is in the heart, then maybe what’s in the hands won’t matter quite so much. It’s up to each one individually to take seriously that challenge and to seek the only solution to the horrific shootings and other tragedies becoming so common in our day. Let’s each search our heart and make determined efforts to be a part of the solution.
J. Russell Capps is a Republican former member of the N.C. House.