The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

December 21, 2012

Your View: Time to decide

By John N. Jeffries
Special to The Globe

CARTERVILLE, Mo. — By now the only Americans not aware of the shooting in Newtown, Conn., have been out of touch with civilization for a while.

Our hearts go out to the families and friends of the victims. Unless you personally have been caught up in something like this, it is impossible to fully relate.

Parents should ensure that the schools where their children attend are as secure as is reasonable, in terms of physical security with backup systems and training.

Armed security personnel not in uniform may be desirable. “What to do if” exercises should be a routine part of the program, making it a game for the kids, since children love games and find them less threatening. We want our children aware and cautious without becoming afraid of every shadow. At home as well, parents should teach their children good security practices for a variety of situations.

At the same time, realize that absolute (perfect) security is not achievable. We cannot even guarantee the safety of the president of the United States. Whatever security one man can establish can be breached by another with determination and skill.

You would be amazed how many around you every day are silently screaming out for help with their mental, emotional, situational, financial or relational issues. As caring human beings, we should come alongside of those in trouble, help them to get help as needed, and make the authorities aware if a person’s situation becomes unstable or threatening. If we overlook it, it will not go away on its own, but rather will tend to become worse.

 Every man and woman is a multidimensional being: mental, emotional, physical and spiritual. The components interact with each other in ways we are still only beginning to comprehend. So if you are tempted to ask: “Where was God in all this?” keep in mind that he was officially kicked out of the schools by the courts decades ago.

Dust off your Bible that may lie on a shelf somewhere and read 2 Chronicles 7:14 with an open heart. Any hope for America and its future lies with allowing God to have his rightful place in our hearts, lives, schools, workplaces and government. Yet that hope is slipping away from us at a rapid pace, so the time to decide is now. Consider your ways.

John N. Jeffries