Bend, Oregon residents are in shock over the suicide of a young Bend High School student, who shot himself to death in a modular classroom with other students present on February 7. Those students who witnessed the shooting have been traumatized to a life-changing degree and will likely never be able to erase the image of this tragic event from their minds. Professional counseling has already begun to help them recover emotionally and move forward in their young lives.
Our hearts go out to these students and their families, especially to the parents and family of the suicide victim, who should have had a whole lifetime ahead of him.
Much will be written on this latest school shooting expressing shock and sorrow. But another lesson that I hope that can be learned from this is to realize the tragic reality of violence. So much of what is considered and actually enjoyed as entertainment on TV and movies involves increasingly graphically portrayed violence and death. Coming face to face with violence and death in real life should remind us all that violence and death should be mourned, not glorified as entertainment. Sadly this begins with small children watching violent cartoons with the dynamics of humor, thereby initiating an unhealthy connection between violence and entertainment.
I am reminded of lyrics of a folk song from years back, "How many deaths will it take 'til we know that too many people have died?"
Many wonder why God allows such violence. Is the answer to that question the same as for those lyrics? Is it because we need to learn to stop glorifying and enjoying violence and seek to understand what we can do, or better yet what God can do, to prevent violence and death?
The song plaintifully laments, "When will they ever learn?
Thankfully, God has a plan to put an end to violence of all kinds and to usher in an era of health and happiness, peace and prosperity (Isaiah 65:17-25 Isaiah 65:17-25  For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.
 But be you glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy.
 And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying.
 There shall be no more there an infant of days, nor an old man that has not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed.
 And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them.
 They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and my elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.
 They shall not labor in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them.
 And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.
 The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent's meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, said the LORD.
American King James Version×). And all those who have died will live again to enjoy long, happy, healthy lives in a safe environment (Isaiah 25:8-10 Isaiah 25:8-10  He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD has spoken it.  And it shall be said in that day, See, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.  For in this mountain shall the hand of the LORD rest, and Moab shall be trodden down under him, even as straw is trodden down for the dunghill.
American King James Version×). My favorite scripture speaks of a future time when, "God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away" (Revelation 21:4 Revelation 21:4And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
American King James Version×). May God speed that day!
To understand why God allow such violence and His plan to end all kinds of suffering, please see these other blogs I have posted: "Why did God allow the Sandy Hook school shootings?" and "How and when school shootings will cease" and read the Bible study aid "Why Does God Allow Suffering?"