It has happened again. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. Another deranged young man has entered a school, with the intent of killing a bunch of people and going out in infamy. It has become predictable, as has the news coverage and political rhetoric to do along with these events.
But wait; there wasn’t just one school shooting; there were two. Everyone is talking about the Santa Fe High School Shooting in Texas. But nobody is talking about the one that happened in Dixon, Illinois. Perhaps that’s because of the old newsroom adage, “if it bleeds, it leads;” although I wouldn’t be surprised to find that the reason the Dixon School shooting isn’t getting any press is because it doesn’t match the liberal narrative that the leftstream media loves to push.
The Dixon shooter didn’t manage to kill anyone. That’s because Mark Dallas, a 15-year veteran police officer, who was assigned to work as the school resource officer, was on hand. Reacting to the shooter properly, Dallas ran to the sound of shooting and stopped the shooter, by shooting him with his own service firearm.
In this, Mark Dallas did what resource officers and other police are supposed to do in an active shooter event, protect the people. In this case, he protected a lot of students, unlike the officer who didn’t respond to the shooter in the Parkland, Florida shooting which has gotten so much press.
But there’s no way the majority of the press is going to give Officer Dallas the kudos he deserves. The problem for them is that this story proves the point that the best defense against a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun, just like the Sutherland Springs church shooting and a number of other similar events proves. The only victim in this case was the shooter himself.
Simple Shooting Hacks That Lets YOU Hit Any Target
I suppose one could write off the press’ reaction to the Dixon shooting as not being newsworthy from the sense that “everything worked as it should have.” The perpetrator was stopped by the police and nobody other than the perpetrator was hurt. There’s nothing to shock anyone there. Just like there was nothing to shock anyone in the Forest High School shooting in Florida, one month beforehand. While there was one victim injured before the school resource officer could stop him, that injury wasn’t even life threatening. Just too boring for the news to bother covering.
In selecting the news that the public sees, the news media has incredible power. Even if they didn’t spin everything to their personal political slant, ignoring news stories about heroic acts by the police, which prevented these gunmen from accomplishing their nefarious goals, the news makes things sound worse than they actually are.
Reactions are Typical
You could just about write a script for the reactions to these events now, pre-planning the responses from the various interested parties, especially the press and politicians. Most of that is coming out of the political left, who are once again clamoring for gun control, as they always do.
As part of that, liberal talking heads are once again attacking a cherished American institution, the National Rifle Association; an organization which I have been a member of for years. Their claim that the NRA’s lobbying is responsible for causing mass shootings is preposterous. While the NRA does spend money on lobbying for laws that are in line with their organization’s goals, they have only spent $45.9 million in the last 20 years. That’s $2.3 million per year, a mere pittance in lobbying terms.
Yet the left continues to vilify the right, as they do in everything. The NRA is merely the biggest target in this particular arena, so they receive the most broadsides against them. Were leftists to really look into the NRA, they would find that it is made up of law-abiding citizens and that it was the NRA which proposed and lobbied for the current system of background checks. Before that, there was nothing.
But as anyone who really knows anything about guns knows, no gun control law will stop mass killings. Such events predate the invention of firearms and still exist in places where private ownership of firearms is prohibited. Criminals will use whatever means necessary to achieve their aims; and breaking laws to do so doesn’t mean a thing to them.
The recent Santa Fe shooting is a perfect case in point. The perpetrator was 17 years old, which meant that he could not legally own firearms. So he stole his father’s. His principle firearm was a sawed-off shotgun, which is illegal. He also carried a revolver, which he couldn’t own either. Finally, he was carrying a molotov cocktail, which is legally defined as a bomb and is therefore illegal. Since he broke so many laws already, what new laws could have stopped this?
But of course, the left goes after their usual boogeymen, the AR-15 sporting rifle, “high capacity” magazines, gun shows, and background checks. They don’t care what happens; nor do they care if their proposed new laws will actually change things for the better. They just care about getting rid of guns.
But will that solve anything? Sadly, no. There is ample evidence to prove that disarming the population doesn’t stop criminals from being criminals. All it does is ensure that there isn’t anyone like Stephen Willeford, who stopped the Sutherland Springs shooter with his AR-15, the same basic type of firearm the killer was using.
We Need to Get to the Root of the Problem
Information is already coming out about the Santa Fe High School shooter. Like so many of the others in whose footsteps he walks, this shooter was a very troubled young man, who couldn’t cope with life’s problems. Rather than dealing with those problems, he decided to punish those he felt were responsible: his classmates, teachers and a girl who turned him down for a date.
It is already clear that the shooter had been planning this horrific event for some time, another thing that is typical in these cases. Yet for some reason, it appears at this time, that nobody seemed to notice. This differs from the Parkland shooting, in that law-enforcement authorities in the Parkland case had been warned about that shooter multiple times. That tragedy was more a failure of law-enforcement, than anything else.
But in both cases, as in many others, there is a more basic failure that took place; a fault in parenting. Where are the parents of these young men? Why are they not seeing what is going on in the lives of their children and recognizing the danger they are to their classmates and society in general?
I’ve had children. They’re grown up now and managed to make it through the trials of their teen years without shooting anyone. That’s in a home where guns are the norm, where I carry concealed and where all of my children know how to shoot. While I am sure that they all had things happen in their lives which might have caused the thought of picking up a firearm to protect themselves or to exact revenge, I’m also sure that they wouldn’t have allowed that thought to stay in their heads.
As a responsible parent, I intruded in my children’s lives. I barged into their bedrooms. I looked in their dressers. My wife and I got on their social media accounts to see what they were posting and who they were following. We knew our children’s friends, and became surrogate parents for them as well.
My oldest daughter worked for Chick-Fil-A while in high school. Of the 50 or so teens working there, I was the only parent who took the time to get to know the other kids that my daughter worked with. I’d stop to talk to them, learned at least some of their names, answered their questions and asked some of my own. When they would try to give me free food, I’d turn it down, providing them with a good example of being a responsible adult. At times, I even acted as a counselor for them in their problems. I was involved.
Where were the involved parents in the lives of these young men and so many others like them? For that matter, where are parents in the lives of countless other children and youths, who struggle with life’s problems on their own, because they don’t have an adult they feel that they can talk to?
The sheriff’s department in the county I live in tells me that there are 87 known criminal gangs in this county. Those gangs exist because the young people who create them and join them are trying to form a family for themselves, because they feel like they don’t have one. Ask any psychologist who has studied gangs, that’s what they’ll tell you.
I understand that young people are troubled; they all are. I understand how hard it is, when you aren’t accepted; I was there too. I understand the feeling of hopelessness that drives our youth to suicide; especially those who are socially marginalized. I can even understand the desire to lash out at those who seem to be the source of your problem. I felt that a time or two myself. But that doesn’t excuse anyone. An important part of maturity is the ability to control our emotions, rather than allowing our emotions to control us.
What I can’t excuse, is parents who allow their children to get to this point, and don’t do anything about it. Parenting is hard; it requires work; it requires time. If someone isn’t willing to put that effort into their children’s lives, maybe they should avoid becoming parents.
It doesn’t really take all that much effort to see that something is troubling your child. All it takes is interest in them. Yet I see cases of children all around me, whose parents don’t have enough interest in their lives to see what is going on. Only a miniscule percentage of those children will grow up to be mass killers, but even that small an amount is unacceptable, especially when it is preventable.
My oldest daughter just gave birth to her firstborn, a little girl. I’m not worried about her becoming a mass killer or even a gang member, because I know that my daughter and son-in-law are going to be involved in her life. Not only that, but she’s got two sets of grandparents who will be there for her as well. She will receive the love and attention she needs to get through the tough times in her life.
Sadly, she is probably in the minority in the area where we live. While there are many wonderful people around here, there are far too many who are just too busy with their own lives, to invest in the lives of their children as they should.
Even sadder than that, are the countless single mothers who are trying to make it on their own, being both mom and dad to their kids, while working two or three jobs to feed them and buy them clothing. Many of those children won’t have the least idea of the sacrifices their mother is making for them until it is too late. By then, she will have spent her life for her children and not been able to be enough.
Mothers can’t be both mom and dad. Regardless of what the political correctness of our time says, men and women are different. We look at things differently. We react to them differently. We have different strengths and weaknesses. We even discipline our children differently.
I applaud those single mothers who are trying to do right by their children. Some even succeed. But the reality is that our prisons are filled with inmates who are there because they didn’t have a father figure to teach them how to be a man. That’s not the mother’s fault, that’s the father’s.
How can a boy learn to be a man, by watching his mother? He needs a godly example of a man; one who will stand up for what is right and at least try to do the right thing. But with the high rate of absentee fathers in our country today, the only example of a man that many boys have is sports stars and rap singers. Not hard-working men who obey the law and take care of their families.
If we want to fix the problem of school shootings and other mass shootings, we have to start at the roots of the problem. Those are the breakdown of the family and the breakdown of morality in our country. No law is going to fix that. No amount of gun control can make a change. We’re dealing with hearts here, and the only thing that can do a work on a human heart, is another human heart filled with love.
I’m not talking about the kind of love that gives the child everything they want either. That’s merely a substitute for real love. No, the kind of love I’m talking about is the one which invests time and interest in the child, through all stages of their life. It’s the kind of love that caused Derek Redmond’s father to run out on the track and help his son finish the race, when he was injured during the 400 meter race at 1992 Barcelona Olympics.
But Redmond’s father wasn’t just there to help his son across the finish line. He was there every day of his life. Redmond attributes a lot of his success to his parents, who cheered for him, supported him, and most importantly, gave him the discipline to become a winner.
This is what most children are missing today. If we are ever going to see an end to these tragic murders, it’s not going to come from disarming law-abiding citizens. It’s going to come from raising the next generation to be law-abiding as well. That can only happen, when parents return to fulfilling their god-given role of raising their children, disciplining them and teaching them enduring values.
Stephen Metzger | May 22, 2018
The parenting crisis began in earnest at least three decades ago, when the incidence of divorce began to grow exponentially. In divorce proceedings mothers were overwhelmingly favored, given custody and child support. It quickly became another welfare system, thus adding to the incentive for divorce. It was clear then what this trend would lead to–all manner of dysfunctionality among growing children: drugs, poor grades, violence and so on. Yet, society rather than take fruitful action chose to raise up single mothers, as some sort of paragons of virtue, struggling through undeserved hardships. We are paying price of this policy with dead bodies from one end of the country to another.
Oldshooter | May 22, 2018
It might be helpful if new parents changed their objectives from the, common today, one of “I want to raise a happy kid” to an older objective of, “I want to create a responsible, moral adult.”
dave yale | May 22, 2018
Don’t forget abuse by MD’s et al overprescribing drugs for alleged ADHD and related questionable diagnoses.
Steve Schimpf | May 22, 2018
In today’s PC world, many parents are fearful of getting arrested for just looking at their children the wrong way. Been there. Arrested for slapping my 19 year old for throwing the F bomb repeatedly in my face while scolding her when I found out that she was doing drugs. The only time I ever laid a hand on my children. She was arrested 2 weeks later for possession. The rest? THey do not want the responsibility of properly raising their kids. It’s been said too many times, you need a license to drive, but……
pelagiaeast | May 22, 2018
Very good article, Bill. Wish you would also address these terrible video games that so many kids spend endless hours playing. And we thought cartoons were bad for our kids! These videos where the whole point is to eliminate some creature, humanoid or not, prepares these impressionable kids to do the same thing, and have no idea of the consequences. the REAL consequences.
I see this with my grandsons. My single mom daughter is very concerned. The single dad – shared custody – makes the excuse that EVERYONE is playing these games. She fights the battle alone, and is the “bad” parent because of it. Lord, have mercy!
How can these games NOT be part of the problem? And of course, if parents were really paying attention and cared, somehow these things would not be being planted in the hearts of the kids. Desensitizing them. Giving them a very sick “norm.” Between the video games and the liberal public schools and colleges……
Pete | May 22, 2018
Excellent piece of writing, Bill. Always glad to see we are on the same page, as I say Amen to all of the above. I know you are writing for everyone, but God’s role in bringing about a willing spirit on the part of the parents is not to be overlooked, and those who lack it, need to look to God as its proper source.. Malachi 4:5-6.
Diane | May 22, 2018
America is suffering a mental health problem. People hold up other countries to show why mental health isn’t the issue. What these same people don’t realize is that the US has the highest number of mentally ill people, throughout the entire world.
Patti | May 22, 2018
I have long believed that these junior killers are like rudderless ships–so many parents gush and dawdle over the sweet, precious newborn! The phase may last up to a year but, likely, less. Within months of the eagerly anticipated, blessed arrival, the precious one becomes a weight. A weight of obligation and a source of tremendous financial distress to the once beaming couple now is attached to a daycare program that would strain the finances of 80% of families. Have you seen these fees??? The monthly payments often exceed a typical mortgage payment, easily!
Daycares are expected to keep baby/child safe, fed, begin education and,most importantly, develop social skills. Wait, though–there are three toddlers at the daycare who watch in fear as daddy beats up mommy or who aren’t allowed to cry or, who recieve violence for a myriad of reasons…perceptions are transformed from precious to annoying…the elephant in the room; the “reason we can’t get ahead/buy a home/ have any fun because fun costs money and wer CAN’T afford a sitter!!”. Ahh, yes, the financial strain, distress and desperation begin.
The child, meanwhile, begins to develop a vocabulary based upon the parent(s). At a young age, they can interpret the hushed or screamed “daycare is killing our budget/ STOP CRYING I’LL BE THERE IN A MINUTE!!”
Precious has realized that the fights are because of him/.her. The child is learning that everything sobbed and angrily argued stems from the daycare bill and its all because of the “kid”. Ramen noodles and mac and cheese dominate the menu. Groceries aren’t in the budget, if one exists, at all. The burden of occupying an increasingly demanding / distressed youngster begins to wreak havoc on the parent(s). Then, the sacred day arrives!! Kindergarten!!! The “kid” will now learn and begin the fast track process of maturation and, most importantly, NO MORE daycare bills!! Now, junior’s needing / demanding more attention, stimulation and growth promoting, meaningful interactions with parents! It’s so hard. I’m so exhausted and we’re still broke!
Video games and cheesy sing song programming on the cable channel mesmerize junior! As long as it’s keeping him placated, leave it alone. “Junior, get off the game, it’s time for bed!”
Over the next 11 years, junior’s being disregarded, placated, led to feel he’s a burden and may be bullied at school for his weirdness and maladjusted social skills by the kids who have either overly entitled lives or, he may be invisible to the happily, well developed kids who have nice things and clothes.. why are they so fn happy anyway?
The anger begins. Within a couple of years, it’s out of control and everyone’s wondering why junior’s such a rotten kid. More boost to self confidence? Nope. Threw school is supposed to be making him into a great person!
I could go on, but I hope this is getting through to any thick headed gun grabbers. The tragedy of children with no nurturing, parental attention, loving home and sense of value is sickening.
It’s psychological, physiological, emotional and spiritual chaos. It’s crying out for attention and acting out gets me noticed, at least…
Why are these kids so mean to my? I’m a freak. I’m sick of it all. No answers. No problem. I’ll solve the problem. .I don’t matter, anyway, so I might as well be dead….i’ll take the goofy happy ones with me…
Mike Halter | May 22, 2018
Excellent article, Bill, although this issue of lack of parenting is not a new issue. As a former teacher, I have been talking about these same issues for a couple of decades, however, I must concede that these problems continue to get worse as time passes. Unfortunately, I am not at all sure that this parenting problem is correctable, at this point, as it has gone on far too long and has become such a gigantic issue, since it now involves a generation or two that were raised with poor or non-exist parental supervision, and these new adults continue to perpetuate this problem, as it is all they know and adolescent society now considers this behavior to be cool. However, we can not afford to give up or give in to this type of behavior, as good morals, respect (when deserved), and common decency are the foundations to any successfully thriving civilization.
luckieboy | May 22, 2018
i couldn’t agree with you more. one of the glaring problems is how do we teach,for lack of a better word, adults who have taken the road to bring children into this world and lack the skills to be parents for lack of never being loved and guided as a child them selves.
Fredh | May 22, 2018
Most of the comments are right on, the problem started 55 years ago, with the Civil Rights Bill of 1964. This bill was supposed to help the blacks, but one hour before the Bill was pass, the word sex was added to the Bill. Women were given minority status, and since 1964 Congress has passed over 400 laws to empower women, 0 laws for men. 1971 Congress told mothers, you are too valuable to stay home and rear children. 1972, mothers burnt their bras and started staying in the workforce. The average family owned one vehicle, this all change with mothers out of the home. The workforce in 1970 was 70 million people (80%men), with mothers staying in the workforce, it jump to 135 million people by 1983. The inflation rate in 1970 was 2 percent, after mothers staying in the workforce it jump to 15 percent. Congress in 1972 pass laws like affirmative action and quotas, men and fathers were forced to compete with a mother for a job. In 1972 you could buy a Ford or Chevy pickup for 1800 dollars, car were under 2900 dollars on average. gasoline was 30 cents a gallon and the average home cost 6 to 18,000 dollars. Now with mothers working everything skyrocketed. Congress pass another law in 1974, forcing the banks to allow the husband and wife on the mortgage, buy 1980 the homes went up to 48, 000 dollars, the same home that sold for 6,000 dollars. In 1975, the words “Latch Key Children ” became normal. Children came home from school to an empty house. Mothers stop being mothers because her vehicle was more important. The democrats did a good job destroying the family’ Remember Carl Marx and the communist were anti-family, anti-religion, and anti-private property. Lenin said HATE was the basis of communism. The democrats also hate religion, family, and private property.
Steven S Schimpf | May 22, 2018
That’s a whole different take on this subject that I seriously doubt any has considered. Many would say that this is a very old fashioned way of thinking (for lack of a better term). This thinking does have some merit. With the changing times, I believe the women or mothers getting out of the house and away from their children has to have a negative effect.
Shannon | May 22, 2018
While I agree with a lot of what you are saying, my cousin has one of those troubled kids and can’t get him the help that he needs. They were in an abusive relationship with a husband/ dad in the military who was absent physically at times yet actively controlling their every move (not allowed to have contact with other people etc…. not allowed to go to church, work, school, etc. where the abuse would be detected). They were not allowed to speak to blood relatives and feared him enough to not. Eventually (once the oldest was 14 or so), she left for good. Her sons learned anger issues from their dad. She recognizes this in her son and his potential to be “one of those kids” that would do something incredibly stupid to others. And, yes, mom cant be both parents and bread winner to three adolescent boys on her own.. For this reason she moved close to her brother, sisters, and their families. Even still, she feels like there are systems that should be in place for kids like him and he is being completely failed by them in terms of support and counseling.
My point being that even despite the best efforts by parents, resources are not always available to get these kids help. Also, sometimes getting the kid away from a parent is a good thing for a more positive role model.
Nikie | May 23, 2018
I think many people don’t realize that “ parent” is a verb as well as a noun.
Dave | May 23, 2018
It almost scares me to think that this is the only place I have seen a reasonable, root cause discussed. What the heck is happened to the country? Ostriches with their heads stuck in holes in the ground???? We all pay way too much for government that is so far off the mark.
Fredh | May 23, 2018
There is one way to support the family. Eliminate “NO FAUGHT DIVORCE. Democrats created the problem, Democrats love slavery, they created the KKK, and a hole lot more.
Dean | May 24, 2018
Good article but the root of all this is evil, We are all born into sin and we live in a culture that nurtures it. This has been around since adam and eve, so has bad parenting. A father chose’s to come home from WW2 and shut down, hes providing but hes not there (society calls him a good man). He grows up being raised that a job and providing is man hood, he gets married is a failure as a husband and a father, they get divorced. His son grows up in a broken home thinking Dad failed and he tried hard ill live for myself. Then his son… and so it continues generation after generation untill one day a descendant realizes to be a man is to be humble, God fearing, loyal. He provides more than money for his family he build of the corner stone of Jesus in his house, he shows his kids how to work, how to love and sacrifice. He loves his wife the way Jesus loves the Church. Willing to not just die for her but to be beaten, falsy accused, belitled and broken in defense of her. His Children grow with purpose and strength and break the cycle. Knowing the world has no answers.
The facebook page of the last school shooter had an upside down pentagram… i guess just a coincidence
jakeintransit | May 25, 2018
It’s a morality problem. Period when people live like there is no God or worse they are God then you get what we got. Our founders warned if it, the scripture warns if it, and we are living in the judgement of God. The judgement where God says you want it you got it. And anyone who would deny this is why we are under the judgement as a nation. Unless there is a great repentance and turning from evil then it will only get worse….the judgement is not coming it has already begun. You will answer for you. Raise your children in the instructions of Jesus and live the gospel of Jesus everyday. And teach as many as you can that Jesus is the only way. The Kingdom of Heaven is near, Repent and Believe the Good News. That Yeshua has paid the price of your sin to redeem you.
Richard | May 28, 2018
Great article! You are 100% right. It’s all too easy to point out what’s wrong with society, what lead us here, etc… and blame others for what’s happening. Regardless of what caused our current situation the choice to be a loving, engaged and interested parent is each parent’s first decision to make on a daily basis. The second decision fathers must make is to be role models for their boys by being worthy of being modeled.
Meledie Knopf | May 29, 2018
Wow! Excellent article along with good responses. My take on this subject? It takes God-loving parents to raise children. There has been an onslaught of real communist ideals permeating our country since the 1960’s when “free love” at Woodstock seemingly embraced such idealogy. They are now the great-grandparents who have two or three generations of brainwashing in schools and universities. Have you heard the insidious rhetoric coming from our institutions of so-called higher learning lately? That has tumbled down into our lesser educational systems, as well. It’s all been devoid of God, white is evil, the white man is really evil, and government has all the answers. Environmental issues are to be considered a religion, gun CONFISCATION is a must, mothers are the ONLY parent a child needs, give her welfare and food stamps to enslave her, and the latest is that blacks should be given the marijuana industry as reparations. It’s a sick, perverse way of controlling lives. It’s the “Progressive” movement, further left than liberals, but both being Democraps. I would like to believe the movement that put Donald J. Trump in the White House is a movement away from the Left and why so many swing voters and even Democrats voted for him. I’m praying our country is returning to God, the whole family, and common sense law abiding individuals. Let us all help each other as well as pick up the pieces and help those who are limping along get on the right side of life! Together we can return to one nation truly under God!
Fredh | May 30, 2018
Antonio Gramsci essay called “Attack on the Family,” he writes we
are not going to take over America the same way we took over
Russia. In Russia the people mostly peasants had no land or gun
rights, the communist use guns, and intimidation. He writes to take
over America, First, Take over the courts, Second, Remove the
father from the home. Washington DC, follow his writing to a tee, 1st,
the Civil Rights Bill of 1964 gave all women minority status, since
then Congress has passed over 400 laws to empower women,O laws
for men. 2nd, Congress passed laws to force men and fathers to
compete with women for a job, like AFFIRMATIVE ACTION and
QUOTAS. Then in 1972 government told women, you are to
valuable to stay home and rear children, so mothers started staying
in the workforce, the workforce double from 70 million people (80%
men,20% women)1970 to 135 million people by 1983. These are the
main reasons manufacturing and corporations started moving their
operation overseas, they could no ‘longer the best employees. Now
in 2012 women outnumber men in the workforce. During this period
of time(1970 to 1983) divorce skyrocketed, the price of home, vehicles, and gasoline went up 10 times for the reason women
started to buy their own vehicles. And the worse part, since no one
was home rearing children, government assumed that job, and have
been brainwashing them ever since.
Bob L. | June 24, 2018
“parents” are failing to be parents in many cases today by not taking the time to be parents, but also failing to take their children to church for moral guidance training, which many parents also need. .Parents as well as children are getting the wrong kind of influence in their lives today. Violent and sinful entertainment of all kinds are the norm whereas 50 years ago, it was almost unheard of. The only thing that will save civilization and our nation will have to be a turning away from the bad influences and going back to church.
I have the simplest cell phone I could find. It has no games on it and I don’t text, I only use it as a phone. It cost about $30.00 to buy and that much per month for service.