Where Are The Parents?

Another school shooting today, this time in Maryland. This time the “bad guy with a gun” was killed by a “good guy with a gun.” But, the bad guy was 17 years old, so even though there was someone there to put an end to it, I have to ask… Where are the parents?

No matter what side of the gun debate you fall on, the bottom-line here is not that the guy went out, used a gun, and shot a bunch of people. The issue is that this young man thought the solution to his problem was to go out and kill people.

“How does a person, a human who has been brought into this world and raised by an adult and a community, not know the value of human life.”

 This angry, disappointed teenager didn’t have the ability to control his rage because no one seems to have shown him how problems get solved.

Where are the parents?

Isn’t it the job of a parent to teach children how to deal with distress – how to explain their anger, but not take it out on others? Who is not teaching our children these lessons?

Some would argue it’s violent video games, or regular, strife-ridden evening news, or the ubiquitous media calling attention to every whack job trying to “make a name for himself”. (I might have said “herself” – but there aren’t many women going crazy with guns and killing innocents.) There will be choruses of people trying to explain that the kid was crazy, that his sugar level was low, that his feelings had been hurt – what-ever.

The NRA (and others) will rejoice in the presence of an armed “resource officer” at the school – but is that really what it takes?

Should we turn our schools into prisons in the name of “safety”.

Where are the parents?

My father had a pistol in the house. I knew where it was, but I knew it wasn’t a toy and I certainly knew it was an instrument of death. Isn’t that obvious? Why are “children” with access to these firearms not being taught that killing people is completely unacceptable?

17 kids died at Stoneman Douglass High School because an angry, orphaned teen who had been flagged by the system got his hands on an assault weapon and decided to kill innocents.

Can’t we, as a society, do better than this?

Instead, our government is decreasing school funding – no need for counselors, or extra teachers, or focused curricula. Instead, the lemmings in Washington have decided that social services are unnecessary, so if you need psychological counseling, you’ll just have to get it on the streets. Having these services unavailable makes being a parent even harder – no support, no medicine, no guidance.

And so, American families fall apart.

The good news, I believe, is that the majority of us have been raised to respect each other and to practice The Golden Rule.

Unfortunately, the examples being set by our leadership are angry and fearful – so as a result those behaviors are rising in our society.

If you’re a parent – please do your job. Teach your child from their earliest years that other people are entitled to their opinions. Teach them that they will be hurt by words, but that words are just words. Teach them that being kind is the best way to navigate their lives. Teach them to come to you with their problems, to talk things out, to get things off their chests.

To do these things, we have to communicate with our kids.

We have to find out why they’re sulking, we have to keep an eye on their friendships, and their interests, and their choices. Those things ARE our business.

We have to talk with (not too) our kids, so that one day, when someone asks “Where are the parents?” it will be to congratulate them on having done such a wonderful job.

Please please please….

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2 Responses to Where Are The Parents?

  1. Smccoy says:

    I wish more people thought this way… seems like a pretty easy solution!

    • It doesn’t seem complicated, does it? Yet, I’ve seen a couple of news stories about this shooting. Yes, he was a lovelorn teen (not hard to figure out), but why did he resort to gun violence and why aren’t isn’t the press asking about his upbringing? It’s frustrating. Thanks for your comment.

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