"We Must Again Mourn" - Adventist Community Responds to San Bernardino Tragedy

A day after two shooters identified by law enforcement as Syed Rizwan Farook, 28 and his partner Tashfeen Malik, 27 went on a shooting rampage at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, California, the Seventh-day Adventist community has responded to the violence at its doorstep.

The Adventist Review published a story about Amanda Gaspard, a Seventh-day Adventist who was in charge of the event at the Inland Regional Center where the shooting took place. Gaspard was injured, but her injuries were not life-threatening, which the Review called miraculous.

On Wendesday, Loma Linda University Medical Center, an Adventist Level 1 trauma center, received and treated five who were injured in the violence according to hospital spokesperson Briana Pastorino. In total, officials confirmed 14 dead and at least 21 wounded in the shooting spree.

I spent Wednesday to Loma Linda as shooting victims were transported to the LLUMC emergency room. See my story here.

On Thursday morning, I joined national and international media at the corner of Center Street and Center Place in Redlands, California in front of the residence where Farook and Malik were said to have prepared their deadly attack. Local and federal officials recovered a large cache of ammunition and bomb-making devices from that Redlands town home.

Residents near the home where shooters Farook and Malik lived return home Thursday afternoon.

FBI agents remove evidence from a black Lexus in front of the two shooters' Redlands, CA residence.

FBI Evidence Response Team photographs the black Lexus associated with the two shooters.

I witnessed FBI Evidence Response Team agents setting up a tent and tables in front of the residence for processing evidence. Investigators were seen in white suits with blue gloves closely, methodically examining a black Lexus parked in front of the house. Local police had the area cordoned off, allowing only local residents in and out of the secured perimeter.

ADVENTIST SCHOOLS IN VICINITY

Only a couple of blocks away from the scene of that investigation, Redlands Adventist Academy was closed for the day. I spoke with RAA Vice Principal Adam Weeks as he was leaving the campus Thursday afternoon. Weeks said that on Wednesday, while the San Bernardino shooting, subsequent police chase, and officer-involved shooting unfolded nearby, the K-12 school was placed on a “modified lockdown.”

“We kept kids in place, we made sure that all the doors were locked, and that exits and entryways were all monitored by security--the school’s maintenance worker--to make sure that no one was coming in or coming out,” Weeks said.

The school sent text message alerts to parents to update them on the situation throughout the day, until students could be picked up and taken home.

While other area schools remained open on Thursday, Weeks told me that RAA administration made the call around 9:00pm Wednesday night to cancel school on Thursday. Classes were set to resume on Friday, with counseling services being made available as needed, Weeks said. He also noted that while not directly related to Wednesday’s violence, RAA has invested some $70K in a new fence that will span the front of the campus, moving the existing fence to the back of the campus. The school will also create a $500K administration building at the front of campus, all in an effort to make the campus safer when incidents like this occur.

RAA Vice Principal Adam Weeks stands where a new $70K security fence will soon be installed.

I drove past Loma Linda Academy, located approximately 2.5 miles away from the Inland Regional Center shooting. The school was open for classes on Thursday, and I saw students at recess on the elementary side of campus, playing in the field and playground facing Anderson Street in Loma Linda.

Loma Linda University, just across the railroad tracks from the academy, resumed classes Thursday after having canceled afternoon classes on Wednesday.

ADVENTIST LEADERS RESPOND

Sandra Roberts, President of the Southeastern California Conference of Seventh-day Adventists (title image above), the territory in which Redlands, Loma Linda and San Bernardino are located, issued a statement Wednesday in response to the violence.

“The Southeastern California Conference is shocked and saddened by the tragic mass shooting that occurred yesterday, December 2, in San Bernardino, a major city within our territory,” Roberts said. “It is difficult to express the feelings that such a heinous and violent crime have left us with. We struggle that in our country and in our own backyard we must yet again mourn the loss of the lives of God’s children.”

Roberts called for an “open conversation as to how hatred and violence can be ended.” Denouncing acts of violence, Roberts said, “It is time for our churches and our members to become advocates for love and peace.”

North American Division President Daniel R. Jackson also issued a statement calling for prayers for victims of the violence, including the 6-month-old child of the two shooters. In strong language, Jackson called for an end to gun violence, saying, “This type of senseless violence has no place in this country or in this world. It is tragic that once again we mourn the lives of 14 innocent people who did not need to die. This is the highest number of people killed in a mass shooting since the Sandy Hook massacre, which claimed the lives of 20 children and six adults. Both tragedies were carried out with assault weapons. “Along with our heartfelt prayers, it is time that something is done to address the pandemic of gun violence," Jackson said. "It is time that we say no to these tragic massacres that have become commonplace in the United States. It is time that we do something to find solutions to put an end to this pervasive problem. We pray for the day when children and adults can live their lives without fear. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God” Matthew 5:9 (NIV).

Ted N. C. Wilson, president of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, expressed condolences through a post on Facebook. Wilson said, “Our hearts go out to the families who have lost loved ones in the tragic shooting in San Bernardino, California. I have personally prayed for these families, for San Bernardino, for the wounded, including Amanda Gaspard, a church member, and for Loma Linda University Health, where a number of the wounded have been treated.”

President Wilson tied the shooting event to his anticipation of the “End Times” saying, “These events and other developments tell us that the biblical, prophetic understanding of the great controversy theme is being fulfilled. As Seventh-day Adventists, let us be fully committed to our complete need of Christ and His righteousness as we lean on Him for our every need. Let us boldly and happily proclaim the powerful good news of Christ’s salvation, the three angels’ messages centered in Christ’s righteousness and our Lord’s soon second coming. What a message of current and future hope we have to share with people living in a world that increasingly appears to be disintegrating.”

Jared Wright is Managing Editor of SpectrumMagazine.org.

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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/7216
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Wise words from Dan Jackson. Amen.

My heart goes out to all those affected by this terrible tragedy.

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“How long, Oh, Lord, will you forget me?..Still I trust in your faithfulness.”

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it’s just weird that these mass shootings generally only happen in the u.s…there’s got to be something in the mindset that promotes it…

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As a Social Worker, I used to take clients there to advocate for services for them.

I used to live in the complex where they lived.

It is very surreal to me.

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Jeremy, from abroad we see it as weird that the citizens of the u.s. would value the second amendment over the lives of their neighbours.

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I wonder what will be said in the Adventist churches of Loma Linda, San Bernadino and Redlands this coming Sabbath?

God wants to catch our attention! Are we listening!! God has not forgotten us! We May have forgotten him.

And God has now given Adventists a window of opportunity to speak peacemaking to our world! Will we take it?

The following inspired prediction comes to mind, in light of the recent acceleration of such tragedies. Speaking of the world before the Flood, Ellen White declares:

“The land was filled with violence. War, crime, murder, was the order of the day. Just so it will be before Christ’s second coming” ((1BC 1090).

The blended message of peacemaking and prophetic hope is indeed the banner God’s church must raise before our suffering world.

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This particular gun violence was imported from the middle east. The man was in pakistan, Saudi Arabia, obtained his “bride” from pakistan. Became Muslim terrorists at some point.
They chose a Christmas Party to do their carnage.
It was well planned out.
It was not a “drive by” shooting
It is too bad the adults at the party didnt have shoulder holsters to defend themselves with.
Fewer lives would have been lost.

Andreas ---- like any device. One has to practice on some type of routine basis. In this case Target Practice at a Range.
Convenience Stores are “gun free”. That is why they are helpless when one comes in with a gun.
Guess our Middle Ga community is more violent than the rest of the U.S.

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A senseless tragic event. headline news world wide. but I recall my 16 months as a medic with the 108 Clearing company attached to the 40th Infantry Division. in three assault action in the South Pacific. this was a daily occurance. Four surgeons, one dentist, one shrink, no RN’s Wounded would arrive shortly after breakfast and we would close the last wound about 2 AM. I was variously assigned–Triage, autoclave, finally surgical assistant. We are now in a different kind of war. But blood and tears remain the same. Enough of Revelation,now is the time for the 23 Ps. tom Z

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Nice responses from all those church officials.

I also “loved” the answer to the shooting given by the Congress yesterday, as the Republican Senate made sure that terrorist’s freedom to buy weapons remains assured in the US, so that they can kill more of us.

Since only one Republican Senator opposed to the decision, the NRA changed it’s slogan from,

NO REPUBLICAN SENATOR LEFT BEHIND

to

ONLY ONE REPUBLICAN SENATOR LEFT BEHIND

I wonder when will Congress convene to approve financial resources for training the terrorists on using the weapons they can buy freely in a more effective way.
Stay tuned…

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Dear Steve,
Christmas party with gun in holster as new form of celebrating the helpless baby born in Bethlehem? Interesting and very unusual thought for anybody outside the US.

Just a quick google search…





And probably easiest to understand:

Thanks

Ps… When it comes to terrorism in the US: https://www.facebook.com/GOODHQ/videos/10153156440363059/?fref=nf

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Brother Daniel Jackson, a modest man, a good man, a kind heart of Ace Pluses from a humble beginning. A man who understands never argues at the dinner table, for the one who is not hungry always gets the best. I was a young immigrant lost in America. The boy whom I called Dan then was in his Third or Fourth Year in Theology at CUC , radiantly a savant more than ready full of Jesus 12 Disciples promising put together from Lacombe, Alberta, a Christian soldier an eager General to face the world serving the Lord. He spoke to me like a big brother to a child. I was a boy. He was a boy. You are only 7 days fresh in God’s country. Stand there, let the Chinook thaw your “Home Sickness” your pants. Have faith. What is faith I asked? To a young immigrant lost in paradise who did not speak understand much of foolish English let alone the idiosyncrasy to Alberta’s frigid winter humour? What is faith? Brother Jackson put his warm hand on my heart. That, that, is that thing you hold on inside until help arrives. America is safe with Daniel R. Jackson’s Adventism. The sharp employ the sharp.

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Training is THE KEY. People who want to own firearms, especially hand guns, should be involved in mandatory training at least once a year, if not once every six months, in order to lawfully carry a weapon. This is, in fact, suggested in the second amendment to the U.S. Constitution. A well regulated (trained and orderly) militia. People’s individual rights to bare arms was for the purpose of being utilized in common units called regulated militia. Thus, individual rights to own and have weapons is protected so as to have well regulated militias.

There is absolutely nothing that threatens the second amendment in comprehensive back ground checks for those that want weapons, but owning such should have some manner of training in the use of those weapons for either personal protection or for hunting game, even if only used for recreational target purposes. But letting people loose with hand guns unregulated and unregistered is leading to these crazies running around shooting innocent, defenseless, citizens.

I am all for ownership of weapons if one wants them, but they should be well regulated, without loop holes for background checks and registration, and the requirement for regular training.

[quote]They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain,
For the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD
As the waters cover the sea.[/quote]

Seems that this may not only be a promise of hope for the stricken but also the guarantee of elimination for the striker. Thus I can’t see that anyone willing to destroy will find their way to the pearly gates. They certainly aren’t called to enter therein.

Practice the Presence of God.

So, Radical Islamic Terrorism has finally and officially reached our shores, there’s no way to frame this as workplace violence, like all the other incidents have been. We were warned, but we didn’t listen. It’s time that we ditch the legislation and the culture that helps to create victims.

Every piece of gun control legislation that gun control advocates have been advocating for the country are in place in California. Did they do anything to stop this terrorist attack? Do they do anything stop the many acts of violence in California every day?

Are we so arrogant to think that we can legislate evil out of the hearts of evil men and women?

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It seems like ‘gun violence’ is getting worse and worse in the U.S., while apparently the truth is the opposite.

Will NAD church leaders issue a statement recognizing this story?

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This is a terror attack. I would venture that gun control does not have relevance in this situation, for the terrorists. Furthermore, if someone in the facility had had a gun to stand up to the terrorists, perhaps, there would have been less fatalities and wounded . . . and the lives of neighbors, friends and family would have been preserved.

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