Mass Shootings are A Cultural Problem We Created

 

OPINION — I prayed and cried for the victims of the Florida school mass shooting on Valentine’s Day. And I knew before the smoke had settled, and the school halls were cleared, liberal politicians and media pundits would be heaping blame on the National Rifle Association and a gun culture glorified and gone unchecked by good old boys like me.

I’ve had enough.

There have been mass shootings in the United States since Europeans landed on these shores brandishing blunder busses, but not to the extent and magnitude since the 24-hour news cycle began in the 1980s with CNN. Today everything in that news cycle is exaggerated with the forced breakdown of the nuclear family, forced upon our society by leftist policies and social programs, and the creation and promotion of social media. In short, we created this mess. And we can fix it.

Until we admit we are a violent society, school shootings with mass casualties will continue.

Until we admit that children from single-family homes are at risk from everything from drug use to promiscuity to violent tendencies, the deadly violence will continue.

We must admit that  in the U.S. we have created a welfare system that devalues the nuclear family, where the father and mother are married and employed and work hard to afford a home for their children. Instead, we reward and encourage women and men to have multiple children outside marriage, and what follows is single parent homes that fail children. Our new system of co-dependency overwhelmingly encourages children to play violent video games and watch sex-filled violent movies. Until we can admit this, this country will continue to see crazed, lone wolf maniacs use guns, cars, explosives or rocks dropped from overpasses onto unsuspecting drivers.

And we in the media are complicit. If it bleeds it leads.

Make no mistake. The media did not create this problem. We just made it worse.

And politicians will say the same thing. We didn’t create this problem. And movie producers and video game developers will echo the same message; we didn’t do this! We are just providing what our customers want, what they will pay for, what they need.

B.S.

That’s the same argument made by big tobacco two decades ago. It’s not our fault customers and consumers are abusing our product. Public opinion turned and so did the tide of legislative measures. Big tobacco was sued and fined and is now slowly going out of business.

Guns are not the problem in mass shootings. Even at Columbine, the evil teenaged perpetrators had propane bombs with them. Taliban and ISIS fighters have begun to use vehicles to mow down innocent people on sidewalks.

Even if we ban them, bad guys with killing and mayhem on their minds, will come up with a way to carry out their crimes without guns.

I believe private citizens with guns prevent and stop more of these evil acts than ever are reported. The liberal left agenda doesn’t want to acknowledge or let you know that in cities where more citizens are armed, there are fewer of these cowardly acts.

Technology is more to blame than people who lawfully own guns.

Violent video games didn’t exist three decades ago. Kiddos from single parent homes, who go home and spend time alone after school until an adult gets home, have hours and hours to spend watching violent television and cable shows. Kids are free to continuously play violent video games where using a gun to shoot people as a distraction from a hard home life.

Yes, I am placing a lot of the blame for school shootings on violent video games. But it is big business.

How in the world do teenagers know how to get hold of firearms and explosives to quell their raging hormones when bombarded by unrealistic social media demands (cyber bullying)? If he can’t handle it, he’ll grab a gun and start shooting, just like he would in that first-person shooter video game.

Except in the video game, as opposed to in real life, there are no consequences.

We created this s***storm. We turned our backs on children from broken homes by throwing money at their single parents. We are promoting a welfare system where they only matter as long as they increase the need for more welfare spending.

The cycle continues; we have to spend more on welfare because we’ve created an environment where single parents are rewarded financially to have more children out of wedlock. Then we ignore those children by setting them in front of a TV with a video game where the object is to kill as many people as they can over and over again without consequences. Why do we wonder why every once in a while one of those neglected kids goes off the rails and actually kills other people at a most familiar environment: a public school?

All the blame lies with us.

Guns are not the problem. We are the problem. And until we face the ugly truth that we enable troubled individuals to commit mass killings by turning a blind eye to a social environment we created, and continue to support and perpetuate, we will again and again witness these senseless, heartbreaking tragedies.

Subscribe to the LIVE! Daily

The LIVE! Daily is the "newspaper to your email" for San Angelo. Each content-packed edition has weather, the popular Top of the Email opinion and rumor mill column, news around the state of Texas, news around west Texas, the latest news stories from San Angelo LIVE!, events, and the most recent obituaries. The bottom of the email contains the most recent rants and comments. The LIVE! daily is emailed 5 days per week. On Sundays, subscribers receive the West Texas Real Estate LIVE! email.

Required

Most Recent Videos

Comments

let's start with the obvious and get the guns out of the crazies and make it a bit harder for them to acquire. If that means the majority of non-crazy gun owners have to wait an additional week due to a background check or put their name in a database, so be it. Don't give me any "but then the government know's who to go after for their guns". They can do that already dolts and if privacy is so important to you, start by throwing away your cell phone, alexa dot, echo, gps, etc, etc.

Let's invest in our miserable mental health institutions. It's unacceptable that as the greatest country in the world we collectively shrug our shoulders on how to better care for and address this problem.

Culturally invest in the family and your community. Start by quit acting like because your neighbor voted for someone else they are the devil incarnate.

Demand pragmatic, collaborative solutions from our representatives. There is no silver bullet solution, but there are immediate steps we can take if someone with some ba**s gets to work.

Until then, you know what you can do with your worthless thoughts and prayers.

There's a reason Yantis is not allowed to write for real newspapers anymore.

Seriously, tho - no mention of Deep State FBI MK-Ultra mind control?

At least Alex Jones is occasionally entertaining, when he's not choking on male vitality bone broth.

One of the few times you and I agree. You will get the rabid anti-gun people telling you that it is the guns causing the mass shootings, which again, takes all accountability away from the humans that pull the trigger. The guns are not the problem. It is the participation trophy, don't hurt my feelings, my child is an angel people who have created this. But they are the ones who will continue to perpetuate this culture because it is easier than correcting their children and making them responsible for their own actions.

btw Yantis - video games and their popularity is not a uniquely American phenomenon, while we seem to have a few more of these shootings than elsewhere. I wonder what the variable is.......

American culture/morals have changed for the worst over past few decades and now sheople look at the news and say OH MY how did this happen. So sad in all directions.

Thank you, Yantis Green! You have hit the nail right on the head and hammered it in in one blow! Since the breakdown of the American family, since removing God from schools, since shaming people into not using corporal punishment for children, you can go back and look at the statistics. 30 years ago, we did not have this problem. Then, along came more welfare, less need for a 2 parent family, more need for "electronic babysitters," less discipline, more "bribing" children to do what we want, less personal responsibility as parents and failure to instill that personal responsibility in the children, more of parents turning over education of children to the State, less parents taking time to instruct and guide their children, more "feel good about yourself" society and less God.

Obviously guns are a problem if someone who can't legally walk into a store and buy a 6 pack of beer can walk into a gun shop and purchase an AR 15. What could a 19 year old possibly need that type of gun for? Blaming welfare, poverty, video games and single parents for these horrific crimes is ridiculous! Behind every cocky, "I'm better than you" person is a sociopath family member. Be careful what you speak on, just because you aren't on welfare or happen to have 2 parents doesn't mean your child/family can't have anger issues and feel the need to shoot up a place just because the guns are there. I bet half of you agreeing with this fool have guns in your own homes where your children stay! It should not be this easy to purchase a gun! I bet if something like this happened to you or your kids life was taken by someone with a gun, you wouldn't be so quick to say gun laws aren't a problem. You would all be singing a different tune! This whole article was unnecessary gibberish.

Dear Lord, common sense at last!
Mentally deranged people want their five minutes of fame so now you wonder how many he encouraged to run up a higher body count. Heinlein said that an armed society is a polite society and we're simply seeing the other side of how gun free zones are kill-me-first zones.
Another option for the gun haters is to get VERY serious about non lethal methods of handling an active shooter besides locking the doors and hiding. Getting hit with a bean bag round or rubber slug come to mind. I once saw a fella hit by a tennis ball launcher which completely knocked him off his feet.
Deny those five minutes of fame at all cost because the cost is too high.

Wow, that's rich, a lecture on morals from a thief and ex con. Can you even own a gun Yantis?

Good article to start the discussion. Think a deeper look at the evidence is needed. You are correct that guns, in themselves, are not the source of the problems. Mass murder and random killing don't need guns. For example https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Happy_Land_fire . 87 people killed with $1 worth of gas.

Looking around the world, there are several countries with the same addiction to violent media and video games and yet the number of shooting sprees doesn't track the popularity of the games, media, etc.. One item that does seem to track the violence is the rate of legal use of mood altering drugs. We in the USA are the largest market for antidepressants. We push powerful drugs like Ritalin and Aderall to calm them down in class. Drugs that are often forced on students by school officials with little to no training. One place to start finding answers are well researched books such as https://www.amazon.com/Anatomy-Epidemic-Psychiatric-Astonishing-inAmeri…

What we have is an American gun fetish problem.

Manifests itself in entertainment and the 'ever terrible' video game; empowers our under-trained police force; and culturally creates a group of mental gymnasts who continually leap over the obvious and tumble to ridiculous straw-man examples. It's idiotic to respond to the topic of gun control with "well the crazy will just find another weapon, like a knife or a bomb" to kill you with so what can you do, or "let's arm everyone, problem solved".

There is a level of control that takes the ability of bad people from getting weapons that make it easy for them to do a lot of damage in a small amount of time - that does not mean ripping guns from every law abiding citizen. It's not an either-or solution but a nuanced and difficult one that we should be demanding from our representatives because it involves hard, bi-partisan work and tough decisions.

But we wont.

We'll be distracted by a tweet or a celebrity pregnancy or a new chicken place opening.

And it'll happen again.

But there isn't a good answer. All the meme's are right, also. What changed? The culture. When I went to High School, there were lots of guns in the parking lot, many of them in a rack in the back window. A little of each and every point made has added to the decline of values and morals that allow the country to be what it is today. I could have carried the same gun used in Florida through the halls of the same school around the same students for every day since the school has been open and the gun would not have shot anyone! While it's hard to be exact, there are somewhere over 300 million guns owned by Americans. Over 100 million of them are rifles. Conservative estimates say four to six million of those are AR-15 style rifles. If even 500 of them had been used for a mass shooting, that would be .0001% of that style gun or less than .000002% of all guns! If the weapon was the problem, we'd know. The reason a young, or old, person should have a rifle such as this is because my Constitution says, "...shall not be infringed" and that part of my country has not changed! I am positive that the problem is not that Americans can purchase and own guns, but exactly which Americans do so! If I had the answer, I'd give it to you, but I don't believe any that I've heard yet are that answer.

Last night before I went to bed I checked on all my guns to make sure they were locked up and not misbehaving. This morning I checked again including my AR and guess what .... they were still locked up and did nothing bad all night. Its not the gun people , the gun is a tool. This argument is getting old. Mental health should be what we are talking about. Yantis nailed it when he said broken homes, no discipline and electronic babysitters have ruined our youth. We have lost our way and its our own fault. 30 years ago this would have never happened because kids had respect for others (adults, coaches, teachers, law enforcement and most importantly GOD.)

Z Z, Sat, 02/17/2018 - 08:19

I have read several articles and it mentioned he lived with a member of a family because his parents were both deceased.

That naturally made me wonder what his parents died from.

Also the part where the wife's sister tried to take him on. I guess she was having trouble handling him and had called the sherrif several times to speak with the kid. That tells me she had volunteered to take on something but couldn't admit it may have been more than she could handle.

I thought that because there are some things you can try to take on or handle that you aren't capable of.

She might have sent him to a boys home or something when she realized he wasn't behaving. Truth known, the sister was probably scared of him too.

Psychopathy is not formulaic, nor curable by banning video games, adding a parent or shoving Jesus down every school kid's throat.

By your logic, Mr. Green, the mere visual of a gun and it's suggested use (for killing) on a video game, is enough to throw any moron off his hinges and send him firing into a public place. Kids have always enjoyed games of role play, be they "cops n'n robbers'' or the handful of violent video games I used to own, well over 30 years ago. Absolutely none of my peers (many from single parent households) became mass murderers.

I'm all for gun ownership, but how is someone's gun rack any less of a threat to a teen than playing XBOX? Furthermore, why do you see nothing wrong with Big Brother going after software companies and the film industry, yet want as little to do with them as possible, when it comes to private citizens owning firearms? I'm with you on the gun issue, I just didn't think your stance on the video games and movies was consistent with your argument on the topic.

As for the issues of drug usage and promiscuity, well again you'd be forced to accept the facts as they are, taken into context: MOST drug users and promiscuous people are not mass murders, and there are no psychological or social sciences definitively linking the aforementioned with gun violence.

We've nurtured a collective generation of ingrates with inflated senses of self-worth. Keep telling them how special they are and that anything short of celebrating their divinity is "bullying". Keep glorifying our culture of professional victims and keep a straight face when your teenage boy insists you relate to him as the "bi-curious woman'' he insists he is. This is the kind of social grooming conducive to a breeding ground for mentally fragile time bombs.

Mr. Green, I get that you don't approve of the "sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll'' lifestyle, but a person bent on murder is going to be so, with or without these things.

I can't help but think that things might've gone completely different Wednesday, had the alleged shooter just stayed home and smoked a joint, while playing video games with a woman of ill repute.

Z Z, Sun, 02/18/2018 - 10:38

The sister trying to raise him was 68 years old. Child protective services tried to charge her with a crime because the kid was cutting himself or something and showing it on the internet. When the sister tried to show him some form of discipline, he was beating her with the vacuum cleaner hose.

I can recall when dad felt it was safe for me to go from a bb gun to a single shot .22. The main thing going on there was real strict discipline and rules. I knew good and well dad was granting me a privilege based on trust and if I violated that trust, I would have to answer to him.

Now days they just give some city kid with no discipline a gun and that is a disaster waiting to happen. If it isn't taken care of at home, society ends up having to deal with it.

oh well throw common sense out the window I guess.

Assault weapons are a problem. Society is a problem. GMO's that affect behavior are a problem. Steroids in foods that affect behavior are a problem. It doesn't take folks holding hands and praying to your gawd of choice to make people not shoot other people.

Children get killed all the time by cars. Teenagers drive and also manage to obtain alcohol.
Should we do away with cars and alcohol?
Why is it we protect our banks, jewelry stores, and movie stars better than our children?
Why is it that were are willing to spend money busing kids halfway across the state to play football but not to
protect them?
These kids on TV demanding the government to do more gun control should be asking: why has government the
failed to protect them?
Which is really more important, a half dozen assistant football coaches or 1 armed police officer at every school?
Maybe if children grew up with daily interaction with a police officer they knew was there to protect them,
we would not have the problem of so many officers being killed on the job.
We can debate why we think these kind of things happen, the real question is why we allow our children to be easy
targets instead of protecting them?

Post a comment to this article here:

X Close