A survivor of the 2018 massacre on Valentine’s Day at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, and now enrolled at Harvard, student gun control activist David Hogg has become a sought-after speaker at colleges and universities, and the odds are off the chart that he’ll be given a prime-time slot at the Democratic National Convention in August. While I fully support his right to protest things he thinks are wrong, I respectfully disagree with his belief that school carnage will end if semi-automatic rifles are banned.
When I was in high school in the early 1960s, there were no mass school shootings. The only times I remember seeing a police officer at school was once a year to give a talk about obeying the law. Only occasionally were policemen summoned to schools to deal with violent students. After the profound cultural changes our society has undergone since the 1960s, threatening behavior by troubled students is commonplace — Nikolas Cruz, who used an AR-15 to murder seventeen people at Stoneman Douglas High, was threatening teachers and other students with violence long before he did the unthinkable.
The dramatic increase in violent behavior by students is why most schools in America now have at least one full-time police officer. Some schools have more, many more. Like its counterparts in other large cities, the public school system in Detroit has its own police department, which employees hundreds of administrators, investigators, campus police officers, security personnel and a K-9 unit. Why is it necessary for so many school districts to have their own police department? The answer is a national tragedy: schools in our largest cities and counties have become dangerous places where lawless behavior by students is so prevalent that police must be close at hand. Prior to the anything goes ‘sex, drugs and rock & roll’ cultural decay that generally began in 1968, school systems that had their own police department were virtually non-existent.
If, as I believe, banning semiautomatic rifles will not put a dent in school shootings, what will? Here’s my answer. Most school shootings are carried out by severely disturbed young white males whose thought processes went haywire due to acute mental illness (bad genes, drugs) or a dysfunctional childhood (bad parenting) — or both, as was the case with Nikolas Cruz. Another reason for school shootings can be laid squarely at the feet of the corrosive cultural decline of the society in which these deranged mass murderers developed their upside down sense of right and wrong.
The anything-goes progressive culture that permeates virtually every facet our society teaches these young madmen the politically correct concept of moral relativism, the idea that moral judgments are values that can vary, depending on the viewpoints of differing cultural norms. In other words, there is no clear-cut right and wrong. If some people believe it’s O.K. to throw gay men from rooftops — an approved practice in some Muslim countries — who’s to say that’s wrong? It’s what their native culture believes. In contemporary America, troubled young minds receive mixed messages about what’s permissible and, far more important, what’s totally off limits.
When I was David’s age, kids had ready access to guns, but not to violent imagery. Young people of today are bombarded with gratuitously violent movies and video games that make the act of pumping bullets into human beings seem almost hip. Some studies show little connection between such viewing and mass shootings, but how can a constant stream of bloody visual carnage not have a profoundly negative impact on troubled young minds? The simulated violence that blurs the distinction between fantasy and reality is knowingly mainlined into the consciousness of today’s youth by the entertainment industry and its anything-goes progressive values.
Progressive curriculums in our schools and colleges teach budding white male mass murderers to be ashamed not only of their country, but their skin color, as well. Their already-confused minds are methodically indoctrinated with the concept of white privilege, a political narrative designed to create racial guilt and self-loathing among white people. Militant feminism further erodes the self-worth of young white males by stereotyping them with the invented malady known as toxic masculinity. Message: They’re not only white and male, God forbid, they’re also wildly cruel to women. The constant assault on their gender and skin color turns some of them into emotionally damaged young men who withdraw into isolation and anger.
Our society’s progressive-dominated culture teaches mentally troubled young white males to loathe themselves, that right and wrong are malleable concepts, and that viewing simulated images of gory violence is a cool way to have fun. No wonder some of them become mass murderers. Through its relentless indoctrination in political correctness, multiculturalism, racial politics and feminist victimization, progressivism further screws up the already screwed-up minds of future school shooters. The dramatic cultural upheaval since I was in school coincides almost perfectly with the sharp increase in self-inflicted deaths by young people: the Journal of the American Medical Association reports that in 2017 the suicide rate among young people reached its highest point since the government began collecting such statistics in 1960.
Would David also ban knives and automobiles?
I read that four times more people are stabbed to death than are killed by rifles, including semi-automatics, such as AR-15s. I’m not sure if that ratio is entirely accurate, because the FBI’s crime statistics breakdown of the specific kind of gun used to commit murder is somewhat ambiguous. In any event, a lot of people are killed by knives each year. I’m sure David would agree that those deaths are just as tragic as the ones taken by Nikolas Cruz, yet no sane person would call for banning knives.
Left at rest, a loaded gun is incapable of spontaneously discharging. The only way a gun can kill is if a human picks it up and fires it. Making guns the scapegoat for school shootings and other mass killings is no different than blaming DUI manslaughters on cars and trucks. I have never been arrested and have no history of mental illness. Other than to home invaders and anarchists, my AR-15 poses a threat to no one. Taking such weapons away from responsible people like me wouldn’t stop a single school shooting. The battle we face is not against inanimate objects used by deranged people to kill. The battle is against the mental illnesses, drug addictions and cultural depravity that cause disturbed people to do horrible things.
©John Edison. All rights reserved.