Who’s Responsible?

Not long after the tragic shooting in Tucson, Arizona, on Saturday, the pontification factory began production:

Who’s responsible for this tragedy?

You watched the news, you’ve read the articles, you’ve listened to the radio; so by now I’m sure you’ve already been informed numerous times who was responsible for this tragedy.

In all likelihood, none of the sources you’ve come across have given you the correct answer. I’ll tell you the answer: a deranged individual living in Congresswoman Gabrielle Gifford’s district. No more, no less.

Individuals are responsible for their actions. They always have and always will be. Unfortunately for us and our children, we live in a society, a culture, an age in which personal responsibility has taken a backseat to the idea that something or someone other than ourselves is really to blame for our personal actions. Whether it be a disease, someone else’s actions, the weather, or (fill in the blank); we are told that it’s not *our* fault that we as individuals did something.

As a Christian, I believe that each of us suffers from a deficiency in our character: sin. I can’t escape that fact.

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23

Our sin nature is not a product of our own original actions, but rather as a result of the sin of Adam in the Garden of Eden. Though that nature is not the result of our own original actions, God does not hold us unaccountable for our own sin.

Maybe we could benefit from a bigger dose of reality. Each person is responsible for his (or her) own actions. Life happens to all of us. Tragic events come into the lives of all people. Hurtful people cross our paths frequently. Our emotions can get the best of us sometimes.

Who is responsible for my actions? Me. Just me.

I grieve with those in Arizona who lost a loved one on Saturday or whose sense of safety and security were stolen away. A sunny, ordinary day turned tragic.

Unless additional evidence is uncovered, only one person is responsible, culpable, blamable, if you will, for the tragic shooting in Arizona. His name is known, and thankfully he is in custody. He should be held to account for his actions and pay the penalty for those actions.

Each of us as humans bears the image of God. As human beings, we are unique in all of creation. When a human being takes the life of another or others, it’s appropriate for that person’s life to be taken in return; not by a random act of violence by a member of society, but rather through the proper workings of a governing body. Through the proper workings of a governing body.

Should the death penalty not be available, we as members of society must be content with the punishment issued through the proper workings of the governing authorities. Knowing that even though our government may not always adequately punish the guilty, God’s justice will ultimately prevail completely apart of any action on our part.

For the sake of society, I hope this horrific crime is punished appropriately. I hope as well, that regardless of the outcome, that we look to God and His Christ for our ultimate healing, comfort, and satisfaction.

–the civil commentator


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