When I first heard about the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, I felt very sad and angry. I prayed for the families and friends of the victims, and I will continue to pray for them. The murder of nineteen children and two adults by an eighteen-year-old shooter is a terrible tragedy. The killer’s massacre was the deadliest school shooting in the USA since 2012.
The shooting raises some important questions. Why did Salvador Ramos kill so many people at Robb Elementary School? Why did he shoot his grandmother in the face before embarking on his killing spree? Was Ramos a monster?
We don’t know for sure what motivated Ramos to shoot and kill so many people earlier this week. We do know that he was bullied because he had a stutter and a strong lisp. We also know that Ramos had few friends, and he exhibited strange behavior before the rampage. For example, he once cut up his face with knives for fun, and he sometimes drove around his neighborhood shooting random people with a BB gun. He was also angry that he failed to graduate from high school this week.1
It’s not helpful to try to explain Ramos’ evil behavior by calling Ramos a “monster.” What Ramos did was clearly wicked, but Ramos was still a human being. Assassinating Ramos’ character by calling him a monster doesn’t enable us to correctly understand why he did what he did. Ramos was an isolated, angry teenager who had acted on his anger and his evil intentions, but he wasn’t a monster.
Although we don’t know why Ramos chose to kill his victims, his bizarre behavior before the shooting and his problems with anger suggest that he probably was under demonic influence or possession when he killed his victims. One writer has correctly argued that the massacre of children is “satanic” and Ramos’ murder of many children was wicked.2 The Bible teaches that demons can possess people, Satan uses human anger to harm people, and Satan seeks to kill people (see Mark 5:1-20; John 10:10; Ephesians 4:26-27; 1 Peter 5:8). Scripture also tells us that those who trust in Jesus can’t be demon possessed because they are indwelled by the all-powerful Holy Spirit (see 1 John 4:4). Ramos clearly wasn’t a follower of Jesus.
It’s possible that requiring stricter background checks for gun buyers might reduce the number of school shootings. However, repealing the 2nd Amendment and taking away the right to bear arms definitely aren’t the solution to decreasing the number of school shootings. The ultimate solution to reducing the number of school shootings is sharing the gospel about Jesus with as many people as possible so that they can trust in him and live for him instead of for themselves. Jesus is the Life Changer, and he changes people from the inside out so that their thoughts, desires, and actions are transformed. People who know Jesus and follow him have a strong desire to help others, not hurt them.
1 Chloe Mayer, “Salvador Ramos Cut His Face for Fun, Would Shoot People with BB Gun—Friend,” Newsweek, May 25, 2022, accessed May 26, 2022, https://www.newsweek.com/salvador-ramos-knives-face-bb-gun-1709987.
2 Dan Sanchez, “The Devil Went Down to Texas: The Utter Evil of the Uvalde Massacre,” FEE Stories, May 25, 2022, accessed May 26, 2022, https://fee.org/articles/the-devil-went-down-to-texas-the-utter-evil-of-the-uvalde-massacre/.
Posted on May 27, 2022