For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, 4 for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.5 Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. 6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. – Romans 13
Romans 13 informs Christians that we pay taxes to the government because it should serve the purpose of protecting us from law-breakers. We have a Federal Congress and an entrenched bureaucratic system – from national to local governments – that seem hell-bent on allowing illegal aliens to enter our country across porous borders, and keeping them here once they’ve invaded our country contrary to our laws. Unfortunately, when the government shows disinterest into doing their job – protecting their Citizens and upholding the nation’s laws – some will sinfully take the law into their own hands in criminal, wrong-headed, and non-sensical ways.
When the El Paso mass shooter (name withheld as an editorial policy of this publication) chose to engage in the lawless act of murder, he ultimately made a decision all his own. No one else should take ownership of his decision to murder the innocent. However, understanding the reason for his actions can help prevent such behavior in the future.
The shooter released a four-page manifesto on 8-chan (which has since been closed down) twenty minutes prior to the shooting incident, and it explained the reason for his actions.
According to the manifesto, the shooter’s concerns were not primarily racial, but economic. He felt as though the government wasn’t looking out of the good of its Citizens.
The shooter, who also advocated for two policies of the extreme left, including Universal Basic Income (UBI) and environmentalism-driven Eugenics, seemed most concerned that the government was not upholding the law when it comes to immigration, which indeed it generally is not.
When reading the manifesto (posted here by Pulpit & Pen after 8chan’s shut-down), it becomes clear that the delusional and hateful shooter believes it is his responsibility to take the law into his own hands, because the government was not doing its job to enforce immigration law.
The shooter writes, “I can no longer bear the shame of inaction knowing that our founding fathers have endowed me with the rights needed to save our country from the brink destruction. Our European comrades don’t have the gun rights needed to repel the millions of invaders that plague their country. They have no choice but to sit by and watch their countries burn. America can only be destroyed from the inside-out. If our country falls, it will be the fault of traitors.”
In his manifesto, the shooter says that he could never bring himself to kill his fellow Americans. Of those killed by the gunman, however, only seven were Mexican nationals, and 11 were among those wounded; the rest were Americans. It is unknown whether their statuses were legal or illegal, and it is highly unlikely that information will ever be released.
Regardless of Mexican or American citizenship, none should have been gunned down. It was murder, it was wrong, and it should never be done again.
But while talking-heads on the news will blame racism, blame Trump, blame guns, blame mental illness, or blame psychotropic drugs, consider the role that the federal government plays.
What kind of psychological damage does it do to people when they don’t feel protected by the institution God gave to protect them? What kind of hopelessness does it give people when the government isn’t enforcing its own laws? And what kind of violence does it instigate, with sinful and mentally-ill people see their government as apathetic to the wellbeing of its Citizens? What’s the long-term mental health consequence of people who view the government as siding with foreign nationals rather than siding with their own people?
One of the first responses of the government to this tragedy should be federal, state, and local governments clarify to the Citizenry that they are doing everything possible to enforce current immigration law and promote law-and-order at American borders. And in doing so, they must reiterate that it is never the role of individual Citizens to take the law into their own hands.