What Actually Caused The Texas Shooting?

What Actually Caused The Texas Shooting?

Gun Laws? Not Enough Regulation?
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In light of the recent shooting in Texas, we need to deal with the cause of the issue. Both sides of the gun-control debate want to place blame, but no matter who the blame falls on, the tragedy still occurred, and people were brutally murdered.

Here's the thing, guns are not the issue. Sin is the issue. People are terrible to each other because of sin.There is death, and pain, and chaos in this world because of sin. We, as a people, need to understand that laws do not regulate people's hearts. Everyone, every human being, has a sin nature that is the root of all the evil we see. And law, on either side, do not change that nature. Basic example: there are laws in place to regulate speeding on roads. However, speeding does not stop because the laws are there. Most people still speed, and the only time the law is enforced is when there is an enforcer present, like a police officer. It is illegal to break into someone's house, but people still have their houses broken into. Laws do not change the heart, and sin doesn't stop because a law is brought into being; look at the Old Testament and Ten Commandments for an example. If people are willing to disobey the God who created the universe, why do we think laws that other humans make will have a different effect?

So what does this mean going forward? We've seen throughout history that guns are not the problem, people are the problem. Hitler used acid baths and fire, Al-Qaeda used box cutters, Cain used a rock, and the terrorist that plowed through people in New York used a truck. The only common denominator in each of those stories is a human who was hell-bent on causing destruction. There are obviously people who don't care about laws, and we cannot leave our citizens unprotected against people who have no regard for the laws in the first place.

And to my Christian brothers and sisters, persecution should not be feared. "And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear Him who can destroy both soul and body in hell." Matthew 10:28. Jesus himself is speaking these words, so find comfort in that. As children of God, we were never called to safety. We were called to have faith in Him, so that's what we need to do. Trust that God is sovereign in every situation, and also find encouragement that where the church is persecuted is where we see the most growth. Christian, do not fear this world; fear God.

I mentioned earlier that laws do not change hearts. But Christ does. We can't out maneuver sin with laws, but Christ conquered sin on the cross. We are all sinners who are in need of savior, and the only one that can save us is the one we are guilty to. Christ came to redeem us, and save us from our worst enemies, ourselves, so if there is any silver lining in this terrible situation it is that God is ultimately in control and that Christ is available.

My prayer for this piece is to encourage believers and show Christ to non-believers. Any believers reading this, continue to pray for Texas, Vegas, and New York. Y'all be good.

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To The Stoneman HS Colorguards

We are all with you and thinking of you at this time.
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When I was fourteen years old, I had just begun to explore the world of colorguard. I went to seven am rehearsals every day with my older brother which I thought was the coolest thing, I traveled for contests and experienced winterguard for the first time as well. My parents always made it to my performances and always made sure to tell me how proud they were of me and loved me after everything I have done.

As it has come to light that one of the victims of the Stoneman Douglas HS shooting in Florida was a fourteen-year-old girl by the name of Gina Montalto who had just begun her journey into a sport that I fell in love with so many years ago.

She was set to perform at her first WGI regional this weekend in Tampa as well. She had the world ahead of her as she went to school on Valentine's Day thinking it would be like any other school day. She was probably preparing herself for her performance this weekend alongside many amazing teammates who I have no doubt pushed her to be an amazing performer.

All I have seen is that she was a sweet and kind young woman who I have no doubt was special. I also saw that she was just beginning a journey into falling in love with an amazing sport.

Many of you are probably asking yourselves why I am writing about someone I never knew at this point. WGI is a community that connects people in ways you never expect. You meet performers from all across the United States as well as internationally. Many are lucky enough to keep these friendships for life. Gina is a member of a large community that has been sending its love and thoughts to Florida during this tragic time.

The colorguard community has also been standing up and asking for a change to prevent violence like this from continuing. I have seen it across my social media feeds for the past day that each colorguard page I follow regardless if it is the official WGI page, people like PunkRockIrving, or teams from across the entire country, they all share a similar message. A message of condolence and prayer along with a request for a change to begin.

As the days continue to pass by and competitions seem to fly by for so many performers whether it be on your state's circuit or within WGI, hug your friends and your teammates a little tighter as you go on through your season this year. Be a voice in the community that so many have called a home and do not be afraid to speak up for what you believe in.

Show the members of Stoneman Douglas HS winterguards how appreciated they are this season if you ever get the chance. Their performers are some of the most dedicated that I have ever seen at World Championships and over social media. I have the utmost confidence that Gina's legacy will be carried with each of them as they perform.

Cover Image Credit: Stoneman Douglas HS

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Why I'm Pro-Choice

Abortion: a necessary evil.
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I live in a very conservative area, so the pro-choice/pro-life debate is usually a hot topic. When I see a post on Facebook arguing about abortion, I try to ignore it for the most part. I chime in every now and then, but I know that my opinions mostly fall on deaf ears. But today I have decided to take a stance: I am pro-choice, and I have something to say.

Let me start off by saying that I am not pro-abortion. I think abortion is terrible and it’s sad that it exits. But, I do think that abortion is necessary. In the 50s and 60s, before Roe v. Wade, the number of illegal abortions was astronomically high. The number of illegal abortions ranged anywhere between 200,000 and over 1 million each year. Out of these, almost 20% of all maternal deaths were a result of illegal abortions. (source)

Since the legalization of abortion, many women now have access to the proper medical care necessary for safe abortions. The amount of women that die as a direct result of abortion is almost non-existent. The past has proven that make abortion illegal wont stop abortions from happening. This will only increase the amount of unsafe abortions and the number of women who die from them.

My next opinion is bound to make some people upset but, until it reaches a certain age, there is no way for a fetus to survive on its own. At this stage in development, the fetus is essentially a parasite. A parasite is defined as “an organism that lives in or on another organism (its host) and benefits by deriving nutrients at the host's expense.” Until a fetus reaches the stage at which it is able to survive on its own, I do not consider it to be a person. It sounds harsh, but it’s simply the reality of the situation. The earliest that a fetus can survive outside of the womb is about 22 weeks. (source) Abortions rarely occur after this stage in a pregnancy, and when they do, it is only when a doctor says that it is medically necessary. As of now, almost 99% of abortions occur before the 21st week of pregnancy. (source)

A lot of people will argue that, “if you don’t want a baby, you shouldn’t have sex.” This, I believe, is an irresponsible statement to make. Yes, it seems like the obvious solution, but one that is impossible to enforce. Instead of shaming women for their sex lives, we should be encouraging and education on safe sex practices and making it easier for them to obtain contraceptives. This would greatly decrease the need for abortions because it would decrease the number of unwanted pregnancies overall. Not to mention that over half of the women that receive abortions already have at least one child. (source)

We can argue about whether or not life begins at conception. We can argue about religious or moral reasons for not having abortions. But the fact of the matter is: abortion is necessary, whether you like it or not.

Cover Image Credit: http://clipart-library.com/clipart/8i65erMbT.htm

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