Tag Archives: mass murder

Moral Decline in America:  Blame the Home and Church

Much has been said on the issue of school shootings.  Hopefully more dialogue will follow that will lead to common sense action.  However, a cry that echoes across this country as loud as the cries of outrage against the violence and the counter cries for 2nd Amendment protection is the mournful wail of concern for the moral decline of the nation.  After every shooting, social media erupts with cries of “this is what we get for taking prayer out of our schools.”  There is little disagreement this nation has experienced moral decline, but blaming schools for that decline, especially blame associated with school shootings is ludicrous.  The only role schools have had in school shootings is as a victim of adult apathy.  Schools have had nothing to do with cutting funding for mental health that has allowed sick murderers to roam the streets; schools have had nothing to do with the manufacture of weapons of war that are the weapon of choice by such murderers; and schools have had nothing to do with failure to legislate common sense gun control that would make it difficult for murderers to obtain assault weapons.  Despite what some may think, the presence or absence of prayer in schools has little, if anything, to do with school shootings or the moral decline of the nation.

“But,” the all-knowing seers of social media say, “if there was prayer in schools, we would not have all these shootings and evil problems.”  Contrary to widespread belief, there is prayer in schools.  As a former high school principal, one of the most powerful testaments to faith I ever witnessed was students holding hands and bowing their heads in prayer in the school cafeteria or gathering around the flag pole to pray for our nation.  A school employee cannot coerce, influence, or guide them, but children can and do pray at school.  The beauty is if they have been taught at home, they don’t need an adult to lead them in prayer. They are led by their faith, a faith instilled in them at home and in church, and that is how it should be.

The moral dilemma faced by this country is not the fault of schools.  If there is blame, and of course there is, it must be placed squarely on the shoulders of the home and to some degree, the church.  Those are the institutions established by God to instill moral responsibility into our lives, and if there is moral decay, that is where the root of the problem will be found.  If prayer is absent from the home, it will be absent from schools as well.  If our churches, which are the guiding light, where people gather to learn and practice their faith are half empty on Sunday, those empty pews will be reflected in the discipline and morality found in our schools and nation.  Schools cannot teach or reinforce discipline, morals, or faith that is not first taught and reinforced in the home and the church.

Unfortunately, too many Americans would rather believe in smokescreens than face the truth.  They would rather blame schools, a smokescreen for bigger problems, for issues of morality than call into question the sanctity of the home.  However, unlike times past, few families have time to talk, play, and pray together anymore, and where families once prayed at mealtime and bedtime, such time has been interrupted or replaced by television, ball practice and games, computers, cell phones, Snap Chat, and Facebook.  The acidic attitudes of disrespect, defiance, and anarchy in our society was not nurtured into existence by removal of prayer or the paddle from our schools.  Such attitudes were born out of the absence of prayer and discipline in the home.

The moral decline of our nation began with the removal of responsible adults from the home.   When parents stopped being the adult and became their child’s buddy, a role reversal occurred in the family unit, and the child became the unspoken dominant head of the household.  With parents and children on the same authoritarian level, discipline in the home declined.  Couple that with removal of a spanking by mom or dad, when needed, and you have the making of a little monster who grows to be an adult who respects no one, is accountable to no one, and takes responsibility for nothing.  Schools did not do that; mama and daddy did that.  As a result, the “not my fault” and “you can’t tell me what to do” generation that is choking the life out of the nation was born.

Our churches also have responsibility in the moral decline of the nation.  First, I give churches credit for trying to find ways to reach people.  Churches across the United States have tried valiantly to bring people into the fold.  They have turned to marketing themselves to compete with television, movies, and the Internet, but in the process, they have lost their identity.  Today’s church is an exciting place to be; in many cases, it is the entertainment and social mecca of the community.  Unfortunately, somewhere in all the lights and glitter, something has gone wrong – something is missing.  In a world that feeds on external stimulation, stimulation of the heart and soul has come up lacking.  The modern church is filled with teachings of the love of God, and that is good, but toning down preaching the wrath of God from the pulpit has desensitized congregations to the fear of God, especially younger generations.  Sometimes human beings need the hell scared of them to get their attention.  One of the biggest problems in our society today is few people have a healthy fear of God.  Today, church is about being entertained, socializing, and hearing about the love of God.  Too often, little is made of the consequences for denying or turning from that love.

Schools are not perfect and have many faults, but the moral decline of this nation is not one of those faults.  Schools are merely a reflection of the community and world in which they exist.  To counter the moral decline in this nation moms and dads must teach their children to pray, and our churches must continue to find ways to fill the pews while instilling both the love and fear of God into the people.  Anything less is morally wrong, and the results can be seen in the negative news headlines every day.

JL

©Jack Linton, February 26, 2018

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When It Comes to Children, My and Your Second Amendment Rights Don’t Mean Squat

[This is the shortest, but no doubt the most important blog I have written.  Many will not like what I say, but that is okay; it needs to be said. ]

 

The slaughter of innocents continues.  Seventeen lives – three teachers and fourteen children ages 14 to 18 – were killed on Valentine’s Day with an assault rifle in a cold-blooded premeditated massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.  For those who say it is a mental health issue, you are correct – only a cowardly sick psycho could do such a thing!  For those who say it is a gun control issue, you are correct – only a society with twisted priorities could allow such a thing to happen over and over again without legislating stricter gun control!

When children are being regularly slaughtered in our nation’s schools, it is against common sense and all that is sane to continue to use the Second Amendment and the asinine excuse high-powered assault rifles are only deadly in the hands of the mentally ill as a defense for the civilian ownership of such weapons.   Tighter gun control is not an attack on the Second Amendment, but even if it was, we should be worried more about the lives of our children than the guns in our closets.  I support the Second Amendment, and I do not advocate repeal of the amendment, but as a gun owner, I am in full support of tighter gun control legislation that will help keep assault rifles out of the hands of everyone but law enforcement and the military.

Of course, as with previous school shootings, such legislation is not likely to happen.  As a nation we cry out in horror against school violence for maybe a week, two at the most, after it happens, and as we have for all the other countless shootings, after about three weeks, we forget it ever happened and return to our nonchalant lives of Facebook and shopping at Walmart.  It is not that we don’t care, most Americans care greatly, but the only solace we have is our prayers and the relief the tragedy did not happen in our community school.  For now that is all we have, our nation’s leaders have left its citizens to shoulder this grave dilemma on our own.  Our leaders at both the state and national levels are either unable or unwilling to tackle this issue; they keep hoping it will simply go away.

However, if we do nothing once again, communities across the nation need to stock their school supply closets with body bags because the school shootings will continue.  School lock down drills and intruder red codes may make us feel better, but they have proven to be of little help in an actual school shooter situation.  God forgive me for saying this, but if the legislatures, both state and national, cannot come together on this issue, then for Heaven’s sake, please arm the teachers and administrators, so schools at least have a fighting chance if confronted with a shooter.  We can’t seem to address this issue with common sense, so why not return to the six-gun toting days of the Old West?  That would at least appease the gun lobbyists, and isn’t that who so many of our state and national leaders would rather appease?

I am not concerned in the least if there are people who disagree with me.  I am concerned – NO, SCARED TO DEATH – the schools my grandchildren attend could be next.  My and your Second Amendment rights don’t mean squat when it comes to the safety of my grandchildren, and I believe most people feel the same as I do.

JL

©Jack Linton, February 17, 2018

American Gun Control:  The Lottery that Kills

There are those who say events such as the mass murder in Las Vegas this past week are random acts of violence carried out by sick individuals cloaked in evil.  They say there is no way to stop such violence or predict when or where such horrific events will take place since it is governed by the haphazardness of diabolical thinking.  It is like predicting a lottery – impossible.  As in Shirley Jackson’s short story, “The Lottery,” these tragic events have become a recurrence in our lives where the only winning ticket is a losing ticket.  The crazies hold that losing ticket, and the only defense decent people have is to pray the crazies strike somewhere far away from them and their loved ones.

In the “The Lottery,” Shirley Jackson dramatizes the permissiveness of society to permit pointless violence and cruelty.  In her story, she portrays the people of a small community as blind followers in the inhumane stoning of a fellow villager.  They demonstrate little regard for consequences as long as they are not the one stoned.  The same permissiveness could just as well be written about our society’s response to the pointless violence and inhumanity we have seen in such places as Columbine, Sandy Hook, Aurora, and Las Vegas.  As a nation, we cringe at the horror, but like the villagers in “The Lottery,” we are reluctant to do anything about it.  Truly saddened for those who lost their lives or loved ones, we pray for the victims, then turn away thankful it did not happen to us or our loved ones, and go back to leading our lives as if it could never happen to us.  Across the country, we condemn the act, but speak cautiously of corrective actions for fear of offending those who think differently about the issue.  Our inability to address the issue is the very permissiveness Jackson speaks to in her short story.

As a nation, we loathe the violence, but we are politically and helplessly insecure to stop it.  Politicians reside in the pockets of the stone lobbyists, they keep quiet for fear of political consequences at the poles, or like so many of the citizens they represent, they embrace a non-wavering interpretation of an amendment never intended to put Americans in jeopardy.  Many citizens stand opposed to common sense solutions out of personal insecurities that the government can’t protect them, and criminals will have all the stones and they will not.  As a result, the nation lives in constant dread of mass violence, not knowing which city, town, or village might be its next victim.  The bottom line is too many Americans ignore the connection between their continued inaction and inability to address the mass violence issue and the body count of those ungodly attacks on America.

Too many oppose removing the tools of carnage.  They shy away from taking the stone from the assassin’s hand reasoning he will simply replace it with a stick or gravel, and the carnage will continue.   They ignore that the stone allows the killer to maximize casualties, which is the very reason mass killers choose stones to carry out their attacks and not gravel or sticks.  Their argument always disintegrates to stones don’t kill people, people kill people, and they have a point, so in the name of humanity, the aim of society should be to rid itself of both stones and killers and not quibble about which is eradicated first.  Granted, a citizenry without stones will not cure the crazy problem, but it will serve to make the madness less deadly.

Having been raised in the South, I grew up with guns, and I believe strongly in my Second Amendment right to own firearms for sport and protection.  However, I do not believe there is any common-sense reason why any citizen should possess military style weaponry designed for one purpose – to kill people.  Those weapons belong only in the capable hands of the military and law enforcement.  If all citizens were blessed with common-sense, a sense of morality, and a sane mind, I might think otherwise, but that is not the case.  At present, it is far too easy for the crazies to get their hands on high powered military style weapons, and that needs to change immediately.

Unfortunately, right now, we are at the mercy of a killing lottery run by the crazies and condoned by our inaction.  They control when, where, and the extent of the bloodshed they inflict.  In the name of common-sense, the loved ones who have been massacred, and those who will be slaughtered unless we do something to drastically reduce the ability of maniacs to wage war on innocent men, women, and children, it is time we placed lives above politics, money, and personal insecurities.  In an interview, Shirley Jackson said, “I hoped to shock the story’s readers with a graphic dramatization of the pointless violence and general inhumanity in their own lives.”  I wonder what graphic dramatization of pointless violence and inhumanity it will take to shock our nation.  It does not appear the bloodshed at Columbine, Aurora, Sandy Hook, or Las Vegas has been horrific enough to put an end to the insane bloody lottery game we are playing.

JL

©Jack Linton, October 8, 2017