Blogs and the web are abuzz with the horrors of the shootings in the Amish school yesterday.

I think SassyFemme stated it as succinctly as possible:

On top of that, I hate that the damn photographers covering the Amish shooting are showing pictures of the Amish on TV and online. They know how these people feel about pictures, it’s not a game. Haven’t they suffered enough already without having their pictures taken and blasted all over the place! How hard is it to have a little respect for people, especially people who are hurting?

As Denis Waitley said, “Bad news sells,” and, the more sensational the media can make it, the bigger the return is for them. Not only are these folks victimized when violence hits their community, but then they’re victimized by the media as well.

I’m going to go off on a rant now, that should bring all the rats and bugs out from under their rocks.

Anyone can buy a gun,for the most part. Oh, sure, if you want a handgun there’s the requisite waiting period while the conduct a “background” check on you, but for the most part, you can arm yourself to the teeth for this sort of massacre that sickened us all yesterday.

And what do we need guns for, really? Let’s look at the arguments.

  1. “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” No, people with guns kill people. It’s harder to kill a dozen schoolgirls with a knife. A gun take the killer away from the act and makes it purely mechanical. A knife, or a fist, makes it more personal. Guns make it easier for the cowards using them to hide themselves, avoid detection, and avoid having to see the consequence of their actions.
  2. “I need the gun to hunt.” Bullshit. Before the white man landed on this continent, the Indians sure as hell didn’t need guns to hunt, and they provided for their communities quite nicely using bows and arrows. If you want to hunt Bambi, do it with a bow and arrow, don’t hide behind a gun. There’s no sport in that.
  3. “I need the gun for security.” Bullshit. If there weren’t so many guns out there in the world, we wouldn’t need to defend ourselves from them. Oh, sure, you can argue that you need the gun to defend yourself in the event that drug-crazed hippies break into your house to steal your mother’s china and your father’s stamp collection but is your intent to use deadly force to keep those things from getting stolen? Why else would you have a gun for security, if not to use it to take a life?
  4. The Second Amendment. Sorry, but I think the spirit of the second amendment is outdated. That’s my opinion, now, and I certainly don’t advocate taking away any rights that are granted in the Constitution any more than I would advocate amending the constitution to discriminate. But let’s be realistic here. What militia does your average gun owner belong to? Statistically, only the lower percentage belong to the NRA, and that’s certainly not a militia, either. And let’s be realistic here when we look at the probability of a bunch of gun-totin’ folks trying to overthrow the government that has access to high-tech weapons, rockets, and nukes — as if your handgun will win that battle.

I still strongly advocate for some form of gun control. Why, for example, would anyone need an assault rifle? Home security? To shoot Bambi? Get real!

President George W. Bush instructed Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and Education Secretary Margaret Spellings to convene a meeting in Washington next week among educators and law enforcement officials to come up with ways to deal with school violence.

What are they going to do, figure out a new way to say “Tsk, tsk, that’s tragic?” This doesn’t take a mental giant to figure out. Making laws doesn’t stop the violence but taking the tools away from those who would march into a school heavily armed with the intent to kill WOULD go a long way toward stopping mass violence in our schools. Note I said mass violence. There’s no real answer to violence alone but taking away the resources with which to commit these types of horrendous acts is just the first step.

I don’t just blame guns. I blame parents as well. The greatest survival skill our kids have these days is how to deflect the blame for their own actions onto someone or something else. A large part of this is because many parents don’t know the first thing about teaching coping skills and responsibility/accountability to their kids. A lot of them don’t know the first thing about taking accountability for their own actions, let alone teaching their kids to. Here are some examples of people I’ve come across in my own life:

  1. A 15 year old boy tells a teacher to go fuck herself when she dismisses him from the classroom for repeated disruptions and a refusal to stop disrupting class. Ultimately, he is suspended from school. Mom and Dad blame the teacher for not being able to cope with being told to go fuck herself. This same boy is dismissed from the football team because, as the coach tells his parents, he’s “uncoachable.” Mom and Dad say it’s because the coach doesn’t know the first thing about working with kids.
  2. A 17 year old girl is given her mother’s old (2003) vehicle when mom gets a new one. She is told specifically by her parents that nobody else is to drive the vehicle, and her boyfriend is told, by the parents, that he’s not to drive it. The parents are called by a friend in the local police department to tell them that the boyfriend has just been detained after having left a known crack-house — in the girl’s vehicle. Dad says “NO MORE CAR,” and Mom says she has to have the car to drive to soccer practice, to her job, and back and forth to school, making “just this once” not only possible, but probable, and likely “just this once” will turn into full use of the vehicle once more.
  3. A 14 year old girl’s mother calls me to see if the girl is at my house. I tell her no. She indicates that the girl told her that she’d be spending the night at my house with my daughter. After frantic phone calls and searches by a lot of parents, I run into the girl at a local convenience store and tell her she should get her butt home. She’s grounded for two weeks but two days later her mother tells me that she took her off restriction because she didn’t want her daughter to hate her. I’m thinking the daughter counts on and uses this emotional blackmail a lot.
  4. A 19 year old boy buys a case of coke and tells his mother and younger siblings that they’re not to touch HIS pop. One of the younger siblings has a coke anyway and, when the 19 year old returns home and finds one pop gone, he tosses the entire contents of the refrigerator all over the kitchen, splattering walls, ceiling, floor, curtains and anything else in sight. His mother dismisses his behavior by saying that the younger sibling provoked it by drinking the older brother’s coke.
  5. After witnessing a 15 year old boy kick my then 8 year old son’s bike causing the bike to tip over and causing severe road rash on my son, asks his mother why she would listen to “…that old bitch” when I call her to tell her what her son has done. She simply says to me, “My son wouldn’t do something like that.”
  6. In Chicago, teenage girls douse underclassmen with urine, feces, pig intestines and other disgusting materials, while clubbing and beating them with buckets. One girl suffered a severe laceration on her head. The girls involved in the hazing were disqualified from the prom as punishment by the school. Their parents reacted by suing the school and putting on a prom of their own. One of the girls accused in the assault actually said “It’s not like anyone DIED or anything.” Oh, and, let’s not forget that parents supplied the alcohol at the event.

I could go on, but I think it’s clear that there is a generation of bad parents raising another generation of human beings that have no concept of human decency, common courtesy, and responsibility. They believe they owe their offspring a car, a cell phone, and a college education and do not ask that their offspring do anything toward earning or even helping out with these things that they are given.

These types of horrific crimes are just in their early stages. I think we’re going to see them more and more frequently and, as we do, we’ll be looking for everyone to blame BUT ourselves. And maybe it’s time that we all took a good look in the mirror and asked ourselves “What am I doing to help with this problem?” Sitting around bitching about it doesn’t do any good, nor does it solve anything. Blogging about it might raise awareness a bit here and there but, again, it doesn’t solve the problem. Writing to state and federal lawmakers about your concerns is the first positive step toward solving the problem.

We need laws in place that control the ownership and use of any type of gun. We need laws that govern the secure storage of guns in the home so that children cannot get to them thinking they’re a quick fix to their problems. We need to hold parents accountable for the actions of their children a lot more than we do. And we need to hold children accountable for their actions as well.

It seems to me that homosexuals getting married isn’t what this country has to worry about as far as what will undermine the very core of civilization. It’s guns and violence with guns that are truly what we should be worried about.

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