As the week winds down marking 7 days from the unimaginable horror of the Newtown, tempers are understandably up and opinions all over the map as cause and effect are debated. What makes this tragedy so heinous is the age of victims, plain and simple, and the pure evil and brutality in the method of their murders. Youth, the future of this country. 20 children, and 6 adults besides.
Let's look at another city, Chicago. At this time for 2012 there have been about 2,600 people shot and well over 500 homicides. In the majority of deaths, no arrests. This is in a city with some of the toughest gun laws in the country.
How about looking past the weapons used and look at the perpetrators? When are we as a country going to open up to the fact there is something wrong with larger and larger numbers of our youth? Violence, especially death, is glorified in the media. TV, movies, video games. Weekly TV shows compete to find the strangest, most bizarre ways to kill off their fictitious "victims" to draw in viewers. Video games with more killing methods than any human will ever have real access to, increasingly lifelike graphics and death throes.
Rap music has been the subject of debate for a few years due to the inherent violence in the lyrics. Kids spend countless hours with headphones on or ear buds in their ears. How many adults have taken the time to read any of the lyrics to the songs being pumped into their children's brains? It used to be bands like Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, and Judas Priest were considered bad influences on youth. How tame those bands are by today's standards. Death, suicide, violence, sexual immorality, and despair are the main themes of many "shock" bands today. Repetition has been used in schools for decades to learn and reinforce ideas, why would the effect of music lyrics be any different when the same message is heard over and over? Social media with no-holds barred entices our children into dark and sinister pursuits. Broken families aggravate the situation.
Granted, 99.99% of children and young adults know this stuff is fiction and wrong. But for the other .01%, it could be the catalyst to push them over the top, especially if there are mental problems. We have a nation with troubled children totally desensitized to the concept of death to themselves or others. The children are soulless and numb. And their numbers are growing. What do people think the end result will be?
Free speech is a right granted by our constitution. Is this being carried too far? It's nearly impossible for parents to discipline their children. Social media is difficult to limit without "infringing" on the rights of a minor. The liberal left does everything they can to prevent instilling children with morals and a sense of right and wrong. Whatever feels good, do it. Political correctness run amok. The forcible removal of the concept of God from children's lives, which in itself is disturbing- pushing for free speech except where the speech expresses a concept of goodwill towards men. Hollywood and video game developers will fight tooth and nail against any possible restriction on their "right" to potentially corrupt innocent children's minds. Is this a free speech argument, or driven by greed- TV ratings, movie ticket, and video game sales?
Before we put a band-aid on the problem and trample on the constitutional rights of millions of law abiding citizens, we need to look at the moral compass of the country. We have gun laws. Although greatly unreported by design in the mainstream media, large numbers of crimes are prevented annually by law abiding citizens with guns, and the majority of time the weapons aren't even fired. Many people just don't want to hear it because it counters the anti-gun argument. Some reform to gun laws may help, but enforcing existing laws is the place to start.
There are calls for all forms of regulation (or elimination) of the inanimate objects used as the weapons of destruction. After the magnitude of the events in Newtown, this is understandable, and my heart goes out to the victim's family's. But when will this country wake up to the fact there is an underlying root cause for the increasing violence? People that want to kill will find a way. Isn't it time to put at least as much, if not more, effort into nurturing healthy minds and instilling quality values in our children? Let's work at preventing the root cause for the rampage first, restrictions of tools is secondary. Once the child's or young adults mind is poisoned to the point of being able to commit murder without conscience, they will find a weapon, gun or otherwise. We will save more people treating the root cause, not just the potential victims, but the potential perpetrator too. Every life is valuable.