Why Are There So Many School Shootings?

by Jack Wellman · Print Print · Email Email

Why are there so many school shootings these days? What’s the cause?

Fallen Man

You don’t have to look around very far to see that this is a fallen world. Jesus told Pilate, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world” (John 18:36). In fact, there is a god in this world and his name is Satan. Know why people are so hostile to the gospel? The Apostle Paul explains that “even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (2 Cor 4:3-4). Satan, called “the god of this world” has “blinded the minds of the” lost and only God’s Spirit can quicken them (Eph 2:1-5). In our fallen state, we cannot choose God. Dead men don’t choose anything! Lazarus couldn’t move a muscle to be resurrected by Jesus. Jesus told His disciples, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you” (John 15:16), so the first order is all glory to God for choosing us. This is why grace is so amazing. None of us are good. In order to make sure there are no exceptions, Paul says, “not even one” (Rom 3:12) is good. We are only saved by a very good God. Why are there so many shootings in schools today? Why is there so much violence? It’s Satan’s world (for now). What would you expect from satanic influence?

Max Lucado Quotes

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?

The Human Heart

Jeremiah described the human heart and it wasn’t very flattering. He wrote, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it” (Jer 17:9)? Only God knows how deep and dark our hearts are, but God gives us a new heart and we become a new creation in Christ (2 Cor 5:17), and now God sees us as He sees His own Son, Jesus Christ (2 Cor 5:21). Jesus is the only hope we have in this world. We can go back to the Garden of Eden and see where man chose for himself what he thinks is good and evil, but mankind’s not in a position to know that! It didn’t matter because man choose to do what he wanted to do anyway, and we’ve been reaping the consequences of that decision ever since. If you have pets, you know dogs will act like dogs and cats will act like cats. How would you expect them to act, so in the same way, we are like our father the Devil, at least until God’s Spirit quickens us and the scales fall from our eyes. Just like the Apostle Paul’s conversion, we’re only bent on destruction until God miraculously intervenes. Jesus knows what the human heart is like. It is a deep well of the vilest of things, like “evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness” (Mark 7:21-22). These things come from within the man (Mark 7:20).

History of School Shootings

School shootings have been around for as long as schools have, and they’re not only happening in America, but they’ve been happening around the world since there have been schools, so it’s nothing new. Here are a few historical reports to show you that school shootings are not new. One of the earliest was the Pontiac’s Rebellion school massacre on July 26, 1764, where four Lenape American Indians entered the schoolhouse near present-day Greencastle, Pennsylvania and shot and killed schoolmaster Enoch Brown, and nine or ten children (reports vary). In 1927, a farmer who was outraged about the property taxes he was paying for schools and used a bomb to blow up the school, killing 45 people; 38 of which were children, so history shows that mass shootings or killings at schools are not a recent phenomenon, and some of the worst shootings haven’t happened recently, but actually happened long ago.

More Recent School Shootings

Virginia Tech: Student Seung Hui Cho killed 32 people on the Blacksburg, Virginia university campus in 2007.

Sandy Hook: In 2012, Adam Lanza fatally shot 20 elementary school children, six school employees, his mother and himself in his rampage at the Newtown, Connecticut school.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School: In 2018, in Parkland Florida, 17 died while 14 were injured. The perpetrator was 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz.

University of Texas at Austin: In 1966, 17 died and 31 were injured when a former student and former Marine (Charles Whitman, 25) climbed atop an observation tower at the University of Texas at Austin, and fired on students during a 96-minute rampage.

Columbine: In 1999, teenagers Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed 13 people at their high school, and then they killed themselves.

Oikos: In 2012, at a small Christian college in Oakland, California, a former student, One Goh, killed seven people and injured three more.

Red Lake: In 2005, Minnesota high school student Jeff Weise killed his grandfather and another person at his home, then went to his school and killed a security guard, a teacher, five students and himself.


As you’ve read, school shootings have been around for a very long time, and most of the deadliest came early in our history, but the problem is not guns but the human heart. For as long as there’ve been human hearts without the Spirit of God, there has been violence. It is in our nature or at least our old nature if we’ve been saved. Now, instead of trying to get even with our enemies, we do what Jesus said, and that is to “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you” (Luke 6:27-28). The Holy Spirit is the only hope of mankind, and certainly the only hope for the human heart. Until God’s Spirit regenerates the heart, it is fully bend on doing evil continually…just like in Noah’s day, and just like in ours.

Here is some related reading for you: Is Increasing Violence a Sign of the End Times?

Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), Crossway Bibles. (2007). ESV: Study Bible : English standard version. Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

How to turn your sermon into clips

Share the truth

Previous post:

Next post: