America has a problem. And it’s not the AR-15.
Hyannis, Massachusetts, resident Justin Moreira, 29, was arrested on Saturday after threatening to shoot up a school in a Facebook post, according to WFXT-TV Boston.
It should come as no surprise that police found Moreira the first place they looked – in a basement bedroom of his mother’s home.
According to WFXT, at a Tuesday hearing, the prosecutor told the court that a woman had alerted the police about Moreira’s post which read: “I hate you all so much. If you see me on the news for a school shooting, 57 students and teachers injured, or one pops up and never becomes solved, don’t be surprised.” It ended with a smiley face emoji.
Upon their arrival at Moreira’s home, police were led to “his locked basement bedroom” by his mother and a family member unlocked the door, the report said.
The prosecutor said a struggle ensued before Moreira “was taken to the ground and put in cuffs.”
“A firearm silencer and a bullet casing” were found after a search of the bedroom, “but no firearms,” according to the report.
He said that as Moreira was being led to the police cruiser following his arrest, he allegedly asked the officers, “Is this my post about shooting up a school?”
As he was being placed into the cruiser, he allegedly told police “he just wants to scare people and it was a mistake. He said he had no intention of shooting up a school.”
Moreira’s defense attorney told the court his client struggles with drug and alcohol problems and said “he’s been trying to find a job but does not have a job,” WFXT reported.
The attorney argued: “When you look at what it is that’s posted, I would suggest that it’s consistent with someone who is dealing with their own demons – drinking, drugging – sitting at the desk and posting something. He doesn’t say kill, he says injured.”
The prosecutor noted in court that Moreira’s criminal history includes “a federal conviction and prison time for an ATF case related to possession of a firearm and a suppressor.”
Bail was set at $100,000. The judge ordered GPS tracking for the defendant and banned him from the internet “while the case is pending.” Moreira will return to court in late June.
We’ll never know if Moreira did or did not intend to shoot up a school, but police reacted to this threat appropriately. After nearly every school shooting, an examination of the shooters’ social media posts provides clues about their future plans.
His lifestyle fits the profile of a would-be school shooter perfectly. The commonalities between these young men cannot be dismissed. They are aimless and drifting through life. Many are loners. They can’t find a job, can’t live on their own, are missing or simply uninterested in important life milestones. And many of them have turned to drugs and alcohol in order to cope. They’re also attracted to websites that promote violence and killing.
Death is celebrated in our movies, music and politics. Death in the form of abortion is glorified and defended viciously at the highest levels of our government. What does this glorification of death do to these young men who are angry at the world?
We’re a society that has drifted away from God, and the distance shows.
These sullen, withdrawn young men who place no value on life are the most extreme manifestation of that distance. But they are not the only ones to blame.
Americans are losing their faith in greater numbers than ever before. Numerous polls have found this trend has accelerated over the past couple of decades.
A widely cited poll released by the Pew Research Center in December 2021 found that 63 percent of Americans identified as Christians, down from 75 percent a decade ago. Similar results have been echoed by many other pollsters. The trend is real.
A piece in The Atlantic makes the case that Americans are not just moving away from Christianity; religious fervor is being replaced by political fervor. The article cites a Gallup poll that showed that church membership in the U.S. in 1998 was at 70 percent. Two decades later, it was at 50 percent.
According to the article, “As religious faith has declined, ideological intensity has risen. … As Christianity’s hold, in particular, has weakened, ideological intensity and fragmentation have risen. American faith, it turns out, is as fervent as ever; it’s just that what was once religious belief has now been channeled into political belief.”
This has deepened divisions between Americans.
Is it any wonder that American society is starting to feel the effects of this spiritual drift?
Democrats can confiscate every last AR-15 in the U.S., but it won’t stop the epidemic of school shootings.
For that, Americans need to reclaim their Christian roots and return to God.
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