We watched in horror as another school shooting unfolded, this time at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. This tragedy took the lives of 17 students and faculty February 14. In the immediate aftermath, the nation stood mesmerized as surviving students, articulate and determined, demanded that lawmakers not only take meaningful action to stop violence in our schools, but to address the real factors contributing to the decay of our society.
Those of us who grew up in the 1950s, when gun violence was virtually unheard of in our schools, are fed up and full of sorrow over the bloodshed that is costing innocent lives. Yes, gun laws need to be tightened, the FBI must preempt attacks by making use of robust databases and artificial intelligence, and police officers need to put the safety of children ahead of their own. And yes, our nation needs to do a much better job providing mental health care and screening to make sure mentally unstable individuals can’t use guns to wantonly destroy young lives.
But there is more to this problem than easy access to guns and inadequate mental health care.
Why is it that shooters, such as the 19-year-old who reportedly confessed to police in the Parkland shooting, are unable to control their violent impulses? Although each case is different, the common thread is that shooters, almost always young and male, devalue human life.
I believe much of the blame for that lies squarely with elements of American society that are polluting minds.
Media, politicians, and society have all failed to address these problems. The only way this will change is if a majority of the public demands it. Unfortunately, society at large seems to be in a race to the bottom when it comes to morals. So it is up to those who know the value of strong morals and care about our kids to take a stand and lead.
Our Constitution (1789) and Bill of Rights (1791) were written in an era that was vastly different from today. Yet we interpret the Second Amendment to allow virtually anyone to own almost any kind of weapon, and the First Amendment to protect as “free speech” the influences that damage the hearts and minds of our youth, no matter how vile. It’s time we come to an understanding of both that is in line with the realities we face today.
Our students are fed up with our elected officials’ years of inaction to reverse the trend of increasing violence and anti-social behavior. Most of us grandparents have been around long enough to see and understand the changes underlying this sad state of affairs – our society’s “anything goes” acceptance and embrace of crude, selfish, and denigrating behavior.
It’s time that we join the movement students have started and stand up to confront the root causes of our decaying values.
To make our point to the fools in media, entertainment, politics and business that have failed our children, please join me with a boycott of all TV, movies, games, and entertainers for one month, effective April 1st—April Fool’s Day.
If you’re fed up, stand up! Boycott the fools that glamorize and celebrate violence, indecency, and crude behavior.