tragedy occurred. A gunman walked into a coffee shop just blocks from my university, just around the corner from a house I used to live and that I drive past when I visit my parents and opened fire "execution-style" on four police officers who were there to do paperwork before starting their shifts. All four officers were killed and as of the writing of this post, the gunman, though suspected who he is, has not been caught.
I have always believed that when a person targets those employed to stand in the line of fire on our behalf it is really an attack on all of us. It is an attack on the very laws and enforcement of those laws that keep our society a (relatively) civilized one. If a person is willing to go after armed and trained men and women, what would that person be willing to do to unarmed citizens? It takes a brave individual to put his or her life on the line on behalf of other men and women they don't even know.
Some say that the officers in our area are power-hungry and have abused their authority. I can't speak to this at all from any kind of personal experience. I do know this to be true:
Romans 13:3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you.
It is interesting to me as I have thought and prayed about this, how our area seems to have more than its share of these kind of tragedies: serial killers Ted Bundy and Gary Ridgway (GreenRiver Killer), the Washington DC sniper, the WTO riots just ten years ago this week, and other notorious killers I am certainly forgetting. It makes me wonder just what it is about our area that churns out these kind of tragedies. There is certainly a fierce independence that marks those in our area; a non-conformist attitude if you will. Certainly there is in our history a kind of creativity (Microsoft, Boeing, tons of dotcoms, etc.) flowing from this region. And also most definitely a kind of "frontiersman" and pioneering attitude in our history. Is this what leads to these kinds of events? Are we as a state considered lenient and easy on crime by criminals? Is there any tie to the fact that we are also the least churched state in the US? NOT that having churches is any kind of guarantee against this kind of thing...but, it at the very least points to a deficit that could make a difference in some of the lives in our area.
I don't know the answer, but I do know this....I am praying for revival in my city like never before and that the powers of darkness that seek to destroy would be overcome by the light. And, I am personally thanking every single police officer/patrolman I come across for choosing to stand in the line of fire on my behalf.