Not so long ago the biggest problem kids faced was getting a flat tire on their bikes or having a mean teacher assign homework over the weekend. How times have changed. Who would have guessed that one of the perennial stories of 1998 would be kids killing kids?
Gun shots in Oregon and Arkansas once again remind us that we are living in a different world. The latest body count is four little girls, a teenage boy, two parents, and a brave, dedicated teacher who put herself in mortal danger to shield the body of a fifth child. The hail of bullets comes from kids sometimes as young as 11-years-old.
In the past when we did talk about kids killing kids it was in an urban setting. Gangland battles between the Bloods and the Crips reminded us that life in the inner city was hard and ruthless. But the latest battlegrounds have not been Watts, the Bronx, or Cabrini-Green. These violent confrontations have taken place in rural, idyllic towns with names like Pearl, Mississippi or Paducah, Kentucky or Jonesboro, Arkansas.
We are shocked and surprised. We open our newspapers to see the faces of Opie and Beaver look-alikes charged with five counts of murder, and we shake our heads. But should we be surprised? Is this not the evidence of a culture in chaos that has turned its back on God's moral law? Do we really believe that children can see thousands of TV murders or play violent computer games and not be tempted to act out that violence in real life? Do we think we can pull God from the schools and prayer from the classroom and see no difference in the behavior of children? We shouldn't be surprised. This is the evidence of a nation in moral free fall.
I'm Kerby Anderson of Probe Ministries, and that's my opinion.
© 1998 Probe Ministries International