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Thoughts on a tragic day at SPU

Seattle Pacific University students and faculty pray together at First Free Methodist Church following a campus shooting that left one dead and multiple injured Thursday, June 5, 2014, near Seattle Pacific University in Seattle, Wash. (AP Photo/, Jordan Stead)

All my life, I have greatly admired Seattle Pacific University. It is a school that provides a great education with a tremendous student atmosphere. Tonight, I am in awe of the heroism of some amazing SPU Falcons.

We are learning the story of Jon Meis. A 22-year-old senior who was working as a security monitor when the shots rang out. As the gunman was reloading, Meis charged the gunman, pepper sprayed him, and tackled him.

Other students quickly jumped in as well. In a time when so many young people are accused of selfishness, we saw an incredible display of selflessness from Meis and his fellow students. The word “hero” is bandied about far too often, but they are the true embodiment of that word.

I am absolutely disgusted with the reaction to the tragedy. And I am talking about both ends of the spectrum. Within minutes of the shooting, the anti-gun crowd filled the comments on every news story mindlessly screaming about more gun laws or even gun bans. Politicians were battling for camera face-time so they could politicize the tragedy.

Also within minutes, the gun-rights crowd was equally mindless – gleefully posting about SPU being a “gun-free zone”. Suggesting that contributed to – or even caused – this shooting.

The truth is, there is zero evidence that either new gun restrictions or a fully-armed campus could prevent a tragedy like this. But there’s a time for that debate – it certainly wasn’t in the moments after this horrible crime. A 19-year-old kid was dead. Others fighting for their lives. Both sides of the gun debate looked perverse with their zeal to use this shooting for their cause.

How about putting that aside for now and saying a prayer of thanks for Jon Meis and the other heroes. A prayer of love and comfort for the families, friends and classmates of the victims. And a prayer for peace for a shattered SPU community.

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