The Roswell Shooting: The Cause and the Solution


We are learning more about the shooting this morning at Berrendo Middle School in Roswell. A twelve year old boy named by some sources but not confirmed by officials yet, shot two of his classmates Tuesday. The boy was arrested before any other students could be hurt.

At a press conference on Tuesday afternoon, New Mexico State Police Chief Pete Kasseta said the seventh grader opened fire on a group of students in the gymnasium before school started.

Police say students were in the gym because of bad weather when one of the students opened fire with a shotgun.

At least two students were injured. A 11-year-old boy and a 13-year-old girl were airlifted to University Medical Center in Lubbock, Texas. A staff member was also injured with minor injuries and did not seek medical attention.

john-mastersonDuring a press conference today Gov. Martinez said, “The shooter was quickly stopped by a staff member who walked right up to him and asked him to set down the firearm, which he did,”

That staff member is being identified as social studies teacher John Masterson. A state police lieutenant who was dropping his child off at the time of the incident also helped detain the shooting suspect. The principal was locking the door when she saw the lieutenant and asked for help, according to Gov. Martinez.

At the news conference, Superintendent Tom Burris announced Berrendo Middle School will be closed Wednesday. Berrendo Middle School is on the northern edge of Roswell. It is home to sixth, seventh and eighth graders.

We should be in prayer for the students and families of Berrendo Middle school and the governor is calling all New Mexicans to pray.

Roswell prayer vigil“I’m asking that all New Mexicans please put these children in your prayers,” Gov. Martinez said. “We have a 12-year-old and a 13-year-old who were shot by simply sitting in their gym waiting to go to class, and one of them is in surgery.”

A prayer vigil was held at Roswell Convention Center at 6 p.m. earlier tonight.

I have heard many opinions for why these shootings are occurring. While much of the nation has been rocked by school shootings in recent years, the last one in New Mexico was in 1999 in Deming.

There are many calling for more gun laws and other restrictions and regulations to put a stop this kind of violence in America.

There is a problem, however. You cannot understand the solution without understanding the cause. My high school social studies teacher, Mr Fred Gurule’ used to say, “You cannot legislate morality.”

We have removed God from the classroom and the teachings that made America the country we used to know. When children routinely used guns but never considered shooting up their local school. While a murder or mass shooting might still occur, they were less common.

Sinful humans still roam the world and commit violent acts. But as we devalue life and teach our children that we are little more than glorified animals, there is less restraint on children and adults to act on their violent thoughts and feelings.

Add to this the proliferation of legal and illegal pharmaceuticals to treat a host of psychological and behavioral conditions and I am surprised there are not more of these powder kegs blowing up.

The solution is not to enact more laws and regulations on firearms. The solution is a compound prescription.

First and foremost we need a heart change that can only be found in Jesus Christ. Our minds must be renewed. A biblical foundation will not eliminate the sin that produces the violence we see. Rather, a biblical foundation that includes teaching the golden rule and loving your neighbor as yourself will greatly reduce sinful behavior.

Second, teaching the value of human life from birth onward including the value of murder victims elevates the respect for life that causes a young person to think twice before taking life.

Third, we must as a country move away from our dependence on medicating our conditions by changing our mindset and using a bit more self control. Pharmaceuticals used for depression or ADHD are having devastating effects on people. Many of the last few shootings have included reports of the shooter using behavior altering drugs that caused them to hear voices and act out of character.

There are other causes that play a role in violent crimes but rarely will regulations or laws fix the problem. We should take a harder look at how we are raising our children and living as adults.


  1. My dad and I were discussing the recent polar vortex and violence the other day. We came to the conclusion that It seems that God is beginning to lift His hand of protection from this country. Our willingness to kill babies and now, the elderly and others who may not be able to stand up for themselves, support homosexuality, legalize illegal substances, etc., has shown where our hearts, as a nation, truly lie. This world is becoming darker and darker. My son has multiple food allergies and I have read numerous stories of children shoving peanut butter and jelly sandwiches down peanut-allergic children’s throats as a form of bullying, on school grounds. This, in my opinion, is attempted murder! Satan is using these children as instruments of evil and it’s heartbreaking. Heartbreaking that these children, including the shooter, are so lost that Satan easily infiltrates their mindset. As has been said here, I believe Christians need to stand up and be heard louder than ever before, in the sense that we need to be more aware of the legislation that’s happening in our state and country and act on it. It’s exhausting, but I believe there’ll be a judgment if we just sit back and watch what’s happening, doing nothing. I pray for the children who were injured, those who witnessed this tragedy, and for the shooter and his family. What a terrible situation and I pray that people would look to the Lord as their hope and truth in this time of sorrow.

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