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Families take heed

January 29, 2009 - Betsy Bethel
OK, what the heck is up with people killing off their families?

Maybe it's just because I recently set up my email to have all the family-related stories from the Associated Press wire service routed to my account, but I simply can't get over the prevalence lately of these murders and murder-suicides, the latest of which seem to be related to the father's despondency over money issues.

Yesterday, a man in the Columbus suburb of Whitehall apparently shot his daughters and wife before shooting himself. He left a suicide note, and he may recently have lost his job, according to reports.

On Monday afternoon, a Los Angeles father preparing the family for a road trip to a relative's in Kansas, shot his wife and his five children before turning the gun on himself. Police say he was awash in debt and at least one month behind on his mortgage.

Two other cases caught my attention, although they didn't have young children involved, and money has not been proven a motive. On Monday, a 49-year-old man apparently shot his 91-year-old father and 24-year-old son in San Antonio, Texas. Police have found no note or motive yet. Anyone want to bet on money?

And yesterday, a jury convicted a New York man of killing his parents and a brother in rural Pennsylvania, although the defense presented a case stating it was a third brother and his wife that likely had done the killing. Why? There was some issue of a family loan allegedly not being repaid. Money, again.

With the news of thousands more lost jobs around the country, including many local layoffs, this trend does not bode well for the American Family.

If so many of us weren't living paycheck to paycheck and up to our necks in debt, perhaps we wouldn't find the times so desperate. Yes, this recession is bad. Yes, things are tough all over. But hinging your family's happiness and survival on cold, hard cash is a big mistake. Putting your faith in money, as many are discovering, is risky business. Money is the root of all evil, the Bible says.

Heed the warnings, folks. If you're that desperate, turn yourself in before you harm the people you are supposed to love the most. And while no one seems to have had a clue that the L.A. man was going to kill off his family, friends and family members should be alert in these troubled times. Don't wait to take action if you think someone is about to become unglued!

Check the links for some local resources for families who are struggling financially.


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