Mass killings, John Adams and the Constitution


“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” – John Adams.

I do not like starting with a disclaimer, but so everyone knows my thoughts and background with weapons before I start. I served over four years in the U.S. Army. After the military, I had a 22-year career with the U.S. Department of Justice; specifically, as a correctional officer. I was there for the three Federal executions. I have guns in my home, and I have no problem using them if the safety of my family is in question.

Now with all that said, please re-read the quote from President Adams.

Have we become so immoral that our Constitution is no longer adequate?

As soon as anyone walks into a store, church, school, theater, night club, anyplace, and starts shooting up the place; immediately the arguments about gun control and mental health start flying. Why is no one arguing that morals might be the problem?

To answer my own question, most of us think it unimaginable to do this type of violence ourselves. However, people tend to look for a reason, someone, or something to blame. Hence, mental health issues and guns are quick and easy to receive pointed fingers.

In my law enforcement experience, one thing we always looked for is change. Is an inmate associating with people or groups he never hung out with before? Are rival gangs speaking to each other on the rec yard? This type of thing. Small changes alerted us that something big may be on the horizon.

When we are caught by surprise by a big thing happening, look back to notice the small changes leading up to the big event, to get a better idea of what caused it.

Each mass killing is a huge event in and of itself, and the reasons for each one varies, but mass killings, in general, are also a considerable change. It did not use to be this way – something has changed.

Gun laws are stricter, and the experts say the advances in the care of the mentally ill has dramatically improved in the last 50 years. Yes, gun laws could be made more aggressive, and there is still much room for mental health to develop. My point is — if improving one or both areas is the answer to stopping mass killings shouldn’t the number of these horrific events be going down instead of up?

Why is no one arguing that morals might be the problem? As mentioned, most of us would never think of walking into anyplace and start randomly killing people. However, to admit our nation’s lack of morals may be the answer, we also must acknowledge God is right and we are wrong. America’s current spiritual condition is unwilling to do that.

Morals come from God; that is why Adams included “religion” in his statement. We have removed the Bible from schools and courtrooms. Individual families have removed the family altar and church attendance from their schedules. The Bible and the ten commandments are the cornerstones of moral behavior. If we do not have them in our homes and interwoven throughout society, as Adams’ time did, how can we expect widespread adherence to the morals they provide?

I must remind you here of the question, “Why the change?” If it is okay to use the Bible and the ten commandments in courtrooms, schools, and town halls, then what happened to change things to where it is no longer allowed?

The nation, has moved away from God.

The solution to the mass killings is a spiritual revival. Before the water tower shootings in 1966, we never heard of a mass shooting. 1966 was on the cusp of the sexual revolution of the late 60s early 70s. At the time, people, in general, considered sex outside of marriage as living in sin. Now the terms boyfriend & girlfriend are synonyms with “my current sex partner.” Back then, homosexuality was a huge no-no, as it is in God’s list of morals (Romans 1:24-32), now it is triumphant. On and on, we can go about the decline in morals.

The conservative’s argument that people kill people; it’s not the guns, backs up Adam’s statement. We don’t let 10-year-olds drive a car because the vast majority of them cannot handle it.

If Adams is correct, then logic tells us we either need a spiritual revival or a new way to govern our wickedness. Because, like a ten-year-old and a car, we are not responsible enough to handle the freedom.

May we keep our Constitution. May God send a revival.

By Timothy Johnson

Preacher’s Point

Preacher Johnson is pastor of Countryside Baptist Church in Parke County Indiana. Email: [email protected]. Website: E-book: If you email, inform me where you have seen Preacher’s Point. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.

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