Like everyone else I’ve watched as mass shootings – like the most recent awful event at Parkland High School – have occurred with sickening regularity over the past 20 years, and like everyone else I’ve struggled to understand how anyone could do such a terrible thing.
Literally everyone on the Left side of this argument immediately calls for “stronger gun-control measures” which is really just a euphemistic phrase meaning “gun confiscation.”
And everyone on the Right vehemently opposes any legislation that infringes on their 2nd amendment right “to keep and bear arms.”
The Left lays claim to the “moral high ground” believing that the elimination of the 2nd amendment and the confiscation of firearms means the end of gun violence – and anyone opposed to it must by necessity “support gun violence” and has “the blood of children on their hands.”
Can you say “argumentum ad passiones?”
Their position neglects to mention that the vast, vast majority of gun crimes are committed by individuals illegally in possession of firearms – otherwise known as criminals.
For law-abiding citizens who own guns, the statistics are much different.
Everyone, regardless of their political leanings, is devastated every time one of these events occurs. The loss of life and grieving of the survivors and their families unites us all in shared sadness.
Unfortunately, that is the end of our mutual connection.
What America has is a societal problem – not a gun problem.
Young people today grow up in an environment wildly different than the one I grew up in back in the 1970’s and 80’s.
Here are a few examples of then and now and I’ll leave it to the reader to decide whether we’ve “progressed” or not:
1) My friends and I used to walk or ride our bikes around the neighborhood (unchaperoned) when we were 6, 7, 8 years old etc..sometimes alone. When we rode our bikes we didn’t wear helmets and kneepads. Every adult in the neighborhood, whether they knew you or your parents, watched out for you and made sure nothing happened to you.
Today, a parent wouldn’t dream of letting their kids wander the neighborhood unattended. For example:
The most importance sentence in this article is the last: “If this happened 20 years ago, we wouldn’t be here,” her attorney said. “There wouldn’t be a criminal case filed.”
2) Video games didn’t arrive on the scene and in the home until the mid-70’s and were entirely harmless – “Pong anyone?”
When they evolved into arcade games we played Pac-Man, Galaxian, Asteroids, Space-Invader etc..even the shooter games only involved ducks or targets or bloodless western shoot-outs.
Today, 10 year old kids play Call of Duty, Halo etc..alone or with friends via the Internet where they use realistic weapons and sound effects to kill other heavily armed combatants. The graphic, bloody realism of these games is stunning – and sick. If they want to play something more “adult” they can always opt for Grand Theft Auto where they can steal cars, pimp women and murder rivals.
3) There used to be an understanding between the networks – before Cable TV (and for a period after) – when all “adult-themed” programming occurred after 10pm. It was understood that most children would be in bed by this time and thus not exposed to entertainment unsuited to their youth.
Today, a kid can wake up in the morning, or come home from school, or watch on their phone or the Internet, any number of raunchy programs featuring graphic sex (or sexual innuendo), people literally fighting one another, cursing at one another using the most vulgar language (bleeped out, although it doesn’t require a genius to infer their words) and generally behaving badly. The Kardashians have literally built an empire atop a pile of steaming, banal waste.
4) Every boy knew where to find the Playboy magazine his dad had stashed. (right fella’s?) We’d look at it with wide-eyed amazement although we didn’t really understand what we were looking at – until we got older of course. Our understanding of sex involved whispers of carnal episodes heard in Middle School or High School hallways. Sex was THE GREAT MYSTERY every boy couldn’t wait to solve.
Today, the mystery is no more. A boy of 8 or 9 or 10 can mis-key a Google search and in a matter of seconds find himself exposed to graphic sexual images and/or videos. With a couple more curiosity-driven clicks of the mouse he can witness in five minutes what it took my friends and I years to figure out.
5) In 1979 a band called The Knack
released a song called “Good Girls Don’t.” A stanza in the song made my friends and I laugh, although we didn’t really understand why:
“And it’s a teenage sadness
Everyone has got to taste.
An in-between age madness
That you know you can’t erase
Til she’s sitting on your face.”
This was the outer-limits of Rock and Roll vulgarity when I was a teenager.
Today, this is what kids, teenagers and young adults are listening to:
“I used to love her, too bad I had to put a slug through her/Dumped her body in the trash like I never knew her/Blood runnin down the gutter into the sewer/Her body stunk for weeks like horse manure”
“We Got Bitches”
“Spit on a bitch, punch on a bitch/After I eat some steak, have her tug on my dick”
Apparently, this lyrical garbage is what passes for “music” these days. I could go on and on and on with examples but I don’t want to. It’s gross and utterly devoid of value.
I don’t really know what any of this means, but if feels as though the “Adults” have forsaken their moral, ethical and social contracts – and left today’s youth to fend for themselves in a world without boundaries.
**Originally Posted on 21 Feb 2018**