On Friday December 14, a mentally defective young man started his day by shooting his mother repeatedly and heading to an elementary school in Connecticut where he forced his way inside and massacred 20 young children and six adults before taking his own life.
Their little bodies weren't even cold before politicians, cable news hosts, Hollywierdos and others began calling for more gun control, gun bans, and even confiscation of guns from law-abiding citizens. They couldn't wait to use the blood of innocents to promote their political agendas and loudly proclaim their ignorance in front of the nearest camera, microphone or Twitter account.
It absolutely baffles me when this is the typical response to some deranged or mentally ill wacko going on a shooting spree. Guns are never the root cause for murder. And they never will be, no matter how hard people wish they were, or how many ignorant people think they are.
I've been on this Earth for over 40 years, and many things have changed in that time. However, one thing that has changed relatively little is government. Aside from a sustained, consistent effort to expand its powers and consequently, spend more of our money, government hasn't really changed a whole lot. We get idiots in office, then we get some good people, then more idiots, and on and on. Each push their agenda and do their thing. The pendulum is perpetually swinging back and forth.
The things that have changed over that time began at home. Every parent I know proudly proclaims that they are determined to make sure their kids have it better than they had it. While their intentions are good, many times their definition of "better" translates to "easier". "Easier" results in kids not learning life lessons early enough, and leads them to believe that it's normal that someone else will make sure they get what they want and need while protecting them from all things bad.
Society, too, has changed. When I was a kid, I ran the neighborhood unsupervised all evening, doing stuff kids do. We built rickety ill-designed ramps with scrap wood and jumped our bikes off them without a helmet. Sometimes we crashed, but we dusted ourselves off, learned from it, and made appropriate adjustments. Now, kids aren't allowed out of their parents' sight because the perception is that the world is a darker place than it once was...never mind that crime data shows otherwise. News has always been about sensationalism, and with the dawn of the 24-hour news cycle it seem all we hear about is murder and tragedy. We hear about it a lot more, but it isn't happening a lot more. In fact, according to FBI Uniform Crime Reporting data, the violent crime rate is lower nationally than it has been since 1973, and continues trending downward.
So many things prevalent in society today were unthinkable 30 years ago. Back then, we had Space Invaders, Donkey Kong, Duck Hunter, and pinball games. Today we have Grand Theft Auto which glamorizes assault, rape and murder...we have Ghost Recon and Call of Duty, featuring all the blood, guts and gore imaginable. When I was a kid, my parents were uncomfortable with me being exposed to the humor of Statler and Waldorf, the two grumpy old guys in the box seats from the Muppet Show. Now, kids can flip on the TV and see a transvestite space alien hitting on an underage boy on American Dad, and the never-ending sexual perversion including babies and animals being depicted on Family Guy.
In schools, leftists and militant athiests have ensured kids won't be hearing a peep about Christianity, God, or moral values, but kids can head on down to the library and pick up a copy of Heather Has Two Mommies for their summer reading list. If they're in San Francisco during the right time of year, they will likely run into gay men fellating each other on the street as their friends walk around wearing nothing but leather bondage gear during the Folsom Street Fair. Meanwhile, back at school, we're adjusting expectations by race and everyone is being told they are special. They're taught that fairness is when government confiscates the wealth of the earners and gives it to the takers. The wars in Korea, Vietnam and the Middle East are used in history class as examples of America being a big part of what's wrong with the world.
Kids don't have a positive male role model, such as a dad or another family member, around as much as they did 30 years ago. The nuclear family, once thought to be idyllic, is no longer the majority in our society and indeed, is no longer even a goal for most people. Kids are growing up with single mothers, and they might see their dad once a week for a day or two if even that. Many have never even met their fathers. And there is no longer a social stigma where single parenthood or absent fathers are concerned.
I'm not saying that playing Call of Duty caused this tragedy, and I'm not saying that prayer in schools would have prevented it. I'm also not saying it was caused by a kid reading a book about lesbians or that single helicopter parents are to blame.
What I'm saying is that sometimes, the sum is greater than its parts. Some parts of our society are better today than they once were. Some are worse, such as the political correctness that we're all forced to deal with these days. Merry Christmas, anyone? Other parts, that taught our kids about the realities of life...about personal responsibility, individual accountability, success and failure, the value of life...are not there at all like they once were.
Gun ownership has increased steadily over the last 30 years. Today the ratio of guns to people is approaching one-to-one, according to estimates. Yet, as I previously mentioned, the violent crime rate is decreasing. But as Rush Limbaugh noted on his show today, we have a lot of "low-information" people in this country (formerly known as morons and idiots). They applied about three nanoseconds of thought to the tragedy that happened last Friday in Connecticut and decided it was the fault of inanimate objects - guns. Sen. Dianne Feinstein of San Francisco has already authored a gun control bill for debate when Congress convenes again after the holidays.
The same government that thinks it is smarter than we are is blaming an inanimate object for the actions of a mentally ill person.
There is no better proof that government isn't the answer.
Government stepping in to restrict the rights, freedoms and liberties of people that didn't do anything wrong isn't the answer. It's not the answer to what happened in Connecticut, Colorado, or anywhere else a psycho picked up a gun and went on a shooting spree.
We the People are the answer.
If you have children, raise them to be right. If you don't know how to do that, find out. Ask your relatives, your friends, the church if you go, or any number of available resources for parents. Teach them the value of life. Teach them right from wrong...teach them to be responsible and accountable for their actions. Teach them to be independent...to dig deep when the going gets tough, rather than blaming others and looking to government for solutions. Teach them boundaries, and teach them kindness and respect for others. Don't allow video games or TV to be their babysitter for hours, days, months, years on end. Be a parent.
If your child is mentally ill, don't just do what you can for them and hope for the best, as this man's mother apparently did. It's your responsibility as a parent - and a member of society - to ensure they get the help and attention they need so they don't hurt others when they act out. If you aren't fully prepared to dedicate your entire life to your child, then you need to give them up to someone that would do ANYTHING to dedicate their lives to a child they can't have themselves.
The American way isn't to look to government for the solutions to our problems. More often than not, government isn't the answer.