Following the horrific and truly heartbreaking mass shooting at Santa Fe High School in Texas last Friday, it is no surprise that gun control advocates and the political left have once again mobilized to advance increased gun control measures. Sadly, this phenomenon is in itself almost a big yawn, in that we’ve heard the tired, misguided rhetoric too many times.
Some people would argue that we’ve witnessed scenes like the aftermath of the Santa Fe High School shooting, in which 10 people were killed and 10 others wounded, too many times as well.
I would have to concur with those people; we have indeed seen this sort of thing too many times. Regardless of what side of the gun control issue on which one happens to reside, the question remains the same: What is to be done about it?
This is now being asked with more and more purpose across the political continuum, primarily because Americans are growing sick of seeing young people murdered in their own schools. The declaration that parents should be able to send their child off to school without being terrified that they’ll get that phone call is being echoed in homes and on media venues across the nation.
There are certainly practical solutions to this problem, but before we look at these, it would be wise to examine the causes and conditions that brought it about.
Liberals hold that it’s the availability of firearms that leads to these mass murders, but this is arrant garbage rooted in their convoluted logic and agenda-driven ideology. People don’t kill large numbers of other people in public places with firearms because they can easily acquire them any more than they abuse drugs because they can easily acquire drugs. People engage in these antisocial acts because they are profoundly dysfunctional.
In recent years – certainly over the last 40 years or so – young people like Santa Fe High School shooter Dimitrios Pagourtzis have been exposed to conditions that breed marked dysfunction, among them a culture of narcissism in which interpersonal relationships in general have eroded into superficial, self-seeking and even predatory ones. This often includes self-involved, career-focused parents and gave rise to what was once called the “latch-key kid” syndrome. It is widely believed that this factored prominently in the 1999 Columbine High School massacre in Colorado.
Young people have also been exposed to more pernicious forms of bullying. The phenomenon of cyberbullying presents a whole new level of widespread humiliation for victims and anonymity for aggressors and has even led to suicides. With indoctrination into pop psychology, liberal responses to bullying has necessarily given rise to a cognitive dissonance among teens.
Once upon a time, if a kid was bullied, he or she might have responded as follows:
- Pound the bully. Even if they got beaten up, they earned the respect of the bully and others, and were seldom bothered again.
- Enlist a bigger kid to help pound the bully. In this case, they were regarded as smart and tough, and were seldom bothered again.
- Enroll school authorities in addressing the bully.
These days, kids in school (and at home, if raised by liberal parents) are taught that violence is not an acceptable response to aggression. If a physical altercation occurs, children are punished equally, even if one was the aggressor. Thus, normal responses are suppressed, frustration and resentment build and cognitive dissonance escalates. If a student approaches a teacher or an administrator for help in dealing with a bully, he is often faced with authority figures who don’t care, are ineffectual, or are more frightened than the student is of the bully.
Boys in particular have been subjected to notions that their normal aggressive tendencies (as compared to girls) are wrong, and even given psychotropic drugs to attenuate their emotions.
Factor in the increased incidence of divorce and broken families, absent fathers, an imposed paradigm of gender confusion and the alacrity with which we medicate our children, and one begins to wonder why there isn’t an even higher occurrence of mass shootings in schools.
Excepting the rainbows-and-unicorns fix – which rank-and-file liberals believe will ensure the safety of all, where police kick in the doors of every household in America, confiscate all firearms and melt them down – there are viable remedies to ensure the safety of students from spree killers.
Ironically – and much to the dismay of liberals – one of the most practical and proven solutions involves more firearms in the hands of responsible people on school campuses. For some strange reason, the presence of armed responders in a given location tends to discourage those who are disposed to commit violent acts. This would mean arming those teachers and administrators who are willing to be armed and who have received combat pistol training.
Increased police presence would also be warranted, and it does not have to be an overbearing measure. In my local public school district, there is always one police officer on school campuses at all times. Often, they dress in civilian clothing, but they are armed. Students know these officers by name, and the officers know all of the students.
While our society definitely needs the equivalent of an ideological colonic to flush out the poison of progressive thought and politically correct policies, these are probably the most sensible short-term fixes for safety in our schools. As with the solutions to so many contentious issues however, the question lies in whether or not we will have the fortitude to implement them.