Editor’s note: The more The Daily Signal covers the debate over guns and school safety, the more we get thoughtful mail from our audience. Here’s another batch dominated by that topic. Don’t forget to write us at [email protected]—Ken McIntyre
Dear Daily Signal: Here is my 79-year observation of what I believe are the main keys to the self-destruction of today’s young people and why everything seems so out of control (“We Hear You: It Isn’t About Guns, It’s About …”). Students on the streets protesting school shootings and bullying issues and proposing the banning of guns need to understand that solving these problems goes both ways and the situation did not happen overnight.
The students (and their parents) need to take a hard look at themselves and see what they are doing to this generation and the generations to follow, and take responsibility for where the country is today.
Greedy producers of social media, violent video games and movies, distributors of illegal drugs, and sex and profanity on TV and in movies are certainly not helping to develop sound minds and bodies. And parents are not being parents when they allow their children to make the rules in their homes.
Children and teens are also observing and learning the good and bad traits of their parents. Parents on drugs and alcohol and who commit violent acts in front of or to their children are the worst and most damaging.
In the immature and vulnerable minds of children and teens, whatever they see in their homes and on social media, TV, movies, and music they believe it must be OK for them to do also. It’s that old saying, “monkey see, monkey do.” And then everyone wonders why there is so much bullying, teen violence, teen drugs, and teen pregnancy? They’re acting out what they see and hear.
It all begins at home, followed by antisocial surroundings and an education system run amok. To stop the bleeding, parents and children have got to stop inflicting the wounds on themselves and others.
What is being taught (or not taught) in our schools is warping or brainwashing the minds of children. Parents need to step in, monitor, and do something about it. If it’s bad teachers, bad curriculum, or lack of discipline, parents need to be involved. Schools and the government need to listen and act responsibly, and stop acting like bullies.
Parents’ responsibility for their children did not stop at birth or the day they entered school. Discipline must be reinstated at home and in our schools. Stop this coddling, catering, pandering, and enabling of out-of-control children and teens who think they know it all and can do it all with no consequences.
In many cases, it’s not the children causing the problems as much as it is the homes and lack of parenting they come from. They cannot learn responsibility, ethics, and principles on the streets and in gangs. But they can and do learn about the guns, drugs, fighting, and sex that is creating more irresponsible young parents and destroying the lives of young people.
Our schools have become social welfare centers for unruly and homeless children and their unstable homes and families. The underpaid and overwhelmed teachers were hired to teach, not to be social welfare workers, babysitters, disciplinarians, and substitutes for absent parents.
Too many high school teens cannot read, spell, write sentences, or follow simple rules, but the schools expect (demand) teachers to pass them. When a teacher calls a parent about an unruly child and the parent gets angry and says it’s the school and teachers’ responsibility, not theirs, that’s a breakdown in the home and the school.
These protesting teens demanding action from the government need to stop protesting long enough to stop and think about their part in all of this, and then clean up their acts and their schools before demanding the same from the government. Some schools are better than others, and too many are worse, but this public street goes both ways.
The open borders of a Third World invasion of nonassimilating, uneducated foreigners and questionable refugees also has brought more chaos and mayhem. Parents are responsible for their actions and the actions of their children, not the government, not the schools, and not the “villages.”
What part of this do protesting students, government in turmoil, and complacent Americans not understand?—Pat Kennedy, Midland, Texas
We Hear You: It Isn't About Guns, It's About …
— Tim Gradous (@tgradous) March 19, 2018
Dear Daily Signal: Some of the comments you’ve received from The Daily Signal’s audience are knocking on the door, but we need clear voices to speak up with great vigor on the culture of violence submerging our youth, which originates in the entertainment industry.
Think about it. Our kids routinely play video games that keep score according to how many people you kill. It comes fast and furious, with no regard for the consequences of such actions. Over and over, day after day. Desensitizing the conscience, giving the players a rush.
And if you turn on the TV to watch “CSI” or virtually any other crime show (and there are a lot of them), within the first five minutes we are gratuitously exposed to a very graphic scene of a grotesque body with various bullet holes, often contorted or decomposed, fallen in the street or half-buried. Then we get follow-up scenes of victims in the morgue being examined forensically in detail. More desensitization, as if these things are purely normal and common, everyday occurrences that belong in our home. And most of us are no longer disgusted by this.
Worse yet, in almost every instance, the conflict the drama presents is resolved at the end by some violent act, as if there is no other way.
It’s time the national debate figuratively takes aim at the perpetrators of this epic dissolution of conscience and restraint in our culture.
There are many other secondary discussions to be had, and are worthy to pursue. But this argument must come to the forefront.
We need to be prepared to demolish the counterarguments: “It’s only fantasy.” “It’s about free speech in dramatic performance.” “People don’t take these things seriously enough to repeat them for real.”
We need to expose the lust for money that drives the production of these programs and games. The revenue they derive, especially in gaming, is unreal. And the body count continues to grow.
I hope The Daily Signal will think hard on this and originate a new, public countermovement to take on the virulent violence that has our culture in its grip, and take it down all the way to its roots.—Bob Marshall, Owens Cross Roads, Ala.
Why was the PROMISE program not uppermost in the minds of the people who contacted you? Do they know about it? Has it been covered on the news about the Parkland shooting? I have heard it no more than four times.
Now the news has moved on to other things. How many other schools are in this program? How many dozens of times was the shooter reported and nothing happened because of the Promise program? Who is the Broward County school superintendent, from Chicago, and what was his role in all of this? Why is no one looking into this?—Freida Stowman
Editor’s note: The Daily Signal’s Jarrett Stepman wrote about this program and its relevance to the Parkland shooting here.
There was a lot of interesting input to The Daily Signal surrounding the school shooting in Parkland, Florida. One thing not mentioned is that crime is a business in our country. Penalties are not severe enough.
Herein lies the problem. Seriously increase the penalties, and you harm the business model. Some in government will grandstand and blame the NRA every single time, but “protect” the business model. Their purposeful deflection is a vain attempt to show the folks the solution to the problem. Wrong on every level, and just how is that working?
Hardening schools is Job One. Arming teachers on a voluntary basis is a must. Removing all the gun-free zone signs is a must. Increasing security is a must. Even a mentally disturbed person understands this is no longer a soft target, and the probability of dying is 100 percent.
Discipline in the schools, and at home, is a required mindset change. Enough of this liberal/progressive garbage about everyone getting a trophy, and this nonsense about harming little Johnny’s self-esteem. There are consequences in life. There are winners and losers. Enough of this cookie-cutter dumbing down of our children. Enough of safe spaces. Success comes with education, dedication, hard work, and perseverance.
Get government out of the public square. Put God back in schools. We were founded as a Christian nation. Enough of the everyday attacks on Christianity. If you believe differently, fine, you are free to worship in your own way. But that does not mean infringing on me.
If you are unhappy, please go to where you will be happy. It’s way past time to get government out of our lives.—Robert Patrick, McCormick, S.C.
The shooting deaths at the high school in Parkland, Florida, were a tragedy. The fact that almost all mass shootings happen in a gun-free zone doesn’t seem to get mentioned much, but not having gun-free zones would be a great deterrent to any shooter.
What is even more puzzling is this: 17 people died in the Parkland shootings, but about 1,700 abortions occur each and every day, or 100 times that. Where is the outcry or protest for these lost lives, as they are or should be just as valuable?—Lawrence Andersen, Preston, Idaho
I’ll ask again: If we can’t trust our teachers with guns, why do we trust them with our children? A lone “school safety officer” was in close proximity to the gunman and was ready, willing, and able to take positive, corrective action (“Armed School Resource Officer Helps Stop Shooting at Maryland School”).
If, however, he’d been on the other side of the campus, in the restroom or otherwise not immediately available, then what? Who would have been ready, willing, and able to engage the shooter(s) as expeditiously? Sadly, we already know the answer.—John Besharian
Those in The Daily Signal’s audience make good points in the gun debate, but omit a few important ones:
First, absentee fathers and single moms is a dangerous way to raise boys. Casual, promiscuous sex outside marriage, and divorce, result in poor outcomes for kids caught in the middle.
Second, kids, especially boys, increasingly are put on prescription meds with known serious side effects of a suicidal and homicidal nature. Physicians and big pharma have to be held accountable.
Third, God isn’t welcome at school, which means no sound basis for morality, especially no recognition of the value and dignity of human life from conception to natural death.
Yes, I do mean abortion and euthanasia. These kids are taught in sex-ed classes, often under the auspices of Planned Parenthood, that abortion is an acceptable choice for any inconvenient pregnancy, even up to the time of delivery. The pro-abort agenda encourages abortion of children with Down syndrome and other “defects.” Euthanasia, killing of the elderly or infirm, is taught as merciful.
So how do you expect some young male who has no loving father at home, is put on psychoactive meds, is bullied in school, and taught that a human life can be snuffed out for “choice” to act when the stress is overwhelming? Wake up, America.—Barbara Margaret
The new, radical leftist movement to ban guns and free speech needs to be clearly labeled for what it is: The anti-civil rights movement.
The left has been very successful at mislabeling conservatives, and they are winning the PR war. It is time for conservatives to start correctly labeling this dangerous leftist movement to ban the First and Second Amendments for what it is: The anti-civil rights movement
Today there are hundreds of anti-civil rights marches across the country, deceptively being called the “March for Our Lives. Please expose this extremely dangerous movement for what it is: The anti-civil rights movement.—John Birdsell
MSM doesn't want you to hear from these 6 young Americans. The solution isn't to disarm people, but hold gov't accountable.—@realJoelValdez https://t.co/X726jpSqKs via @KenMac55 @DailySignal #2A #NRA #IAmTheNRA #StandAndFight #2ADefenders #DefendTheSecond #MarchForOurLives
— Vikki ? #MAGA (@NRAVikki) March 26, 2018
6 Young Americans in Defense of Gun Rights
Dear Daily Signal: The proposals made by the students whose commentaries you published are well worth considering (“We Hear You: 6 Young Americans Whose School Safety Ideas Don’t Include Restricting Gun Rights”).
Two that I think are particularly good are revamping the background check system to make sure gun sellers know about the procedures and training and arming teachers and staff who want to participate.
If a potential shooter knows there will be guns against him, he will think before continuing the threat. It has been shown that neighborhoods with guns are the safest in the country. So if schools have guns, they will be safer too.
I remember an incident in a convenient store. Two men were in the store with open-carry weapons and the operator remarked, “Looks like we won’t be robbed today.”
Another thing to consider is working on the moral character of this country. It has gone Godless.—R. Corbert, New York
Crime in our country is a business. The penalties for crime are not severe enough. We don’t/won’t make penalties more severe because it harms the business model.
Signs for gun-free zones should all be removed. School security must be hardened. Not TSA, but certainly obvious steps should be taken. Teachers should be trained in use of a firearm that may be carried in an out-of-sight position. This would be on a voluntary basis.
Make the penalties severe enough, and the crime rate will drop. Build the wall. Why are we permitting criminals to sneak into the country? Guns and drugs are pouring in.
Stop this political correctness garbage. This narrative is harmful to society as a whole. Blaming the NRA, President Trump, the Second Amendment, and gun manufacturers is a cop-out. Face the real problems.
Tighten the rules for purchasing a firearm. But confiscation of guns means just one thing: Only criminals will have guns.—Robert Patrick
Slavery happened because some people had no guns with which to protect themselves. Just thinking.—Charles Vuncannon
What should be the main point of the whole gun debate is either being missed or swept under the rug. Numerous pieces on the internet attribute the cause of over 175 shooting incidents worldwide to the improper prescription, inappropriate or unmonitored use, individual overdose, or discontinuation of prescription medications.
Most of the time, the medicinal history of the perpetrator is released only long after the incident has faded from public and press interest, so it goes ignored.
It seems to me that casual prescription of drugs and failure to prescribe within FDA guidelines [e.g. constantly giving refills for prescriptions approved only for short-term use] should bring some scrutiny to both the medical and pharmaceutical communities.—Bill Lewis, Willow Spring, N.C.
The Daily Signal should have a weekly article about how good people with a gun prevent bad people with a gun from doing bad things. You recently had an article about good people with a gun, but the spread of dates may cause one to think these kind of events happen only yearly.
I believe it occurs much more that the socialists want us to know, and you all need to get the word out. Along this line of thought, the NRA has a monthly article on this subject called “Armed Citizen.” I’m sure they would be most helpful in providing solid material for such an article in The Daily Signal.—Chuck O’Reilly, Larkspur, Colo.
— DEPLORABLE Big O (@os4185) April 19, 2018
Kyle Kashuv and David Hogg
Dear Daily Signal: While I enjoyed Ginny Montalbano’s report, and a debate between two teens on guns might be a great way to expose young people to the idea that there are civil ways to resolve issues, it wouldn’t change any minds (“Media Darling David Hogg Ducks Debate With Gun Rights Backer Kyle Kashuv”).
First and foremost, the Second Amendment is set in stone for both parties. Because young minds are still absorbing knowledge, they might be influenced by a political debate between these two teenagers, Kyle Kashuv and David Hogg.
But I hope someone will very sternly inform Hogg that his limited English skills should not necessarily include potty-mouth language reserved for drunken sailors and others. It’s entirely possible he could make a drunken sailor blush.—Brannen Edwards, Savannah, Ga.
I loved Ginny Montalbano’s article; it was balanced with both sides’ opinions. I really wish she would keep the pressure on to allow young people and adults to hear both sides of an argument with these young people, instead of some political rhetoric that we have been listening to for far too long, and misguided fake news.
Public forums are great as long as they can protect this young man, Kyle Kashuv. Make no mistake: Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, and George Soros have in mind to make us part of the New World Order; they are afraid of President Donald Trump and these types of debates, and this makes them very dangerous people.—Claude Pugh
Of course David Hogg won’t debate Kyle Kashuv. The entire game the media is playing vicariously through Hogg is one of moral authority and emotionalism. He’s trying to bully people with their own guilt.—Steve Johnson
My prediction: David Hogg not only will lose any “debate” he enters because of his general lack of knowledge of the subject of school safety and mass shootings, but his crude ideas of how to solve the school shooting crisis will ultimately fail as well.—Joseph Pow, Haymarket, Va.
The left is careful to avoid anyone who wants to have a fact-based discussion. They prefer to be in a situation where they can answer questions that have not been asked and they can shout inane talking points when others make cogent points.—Miriam Margaret
Why would Hogg agree to a debate? He would surely lose. That is not the left’s way; they would much prefer to shut down debate and difference of opinion. They only believe in free speech if the speech agrees with them.—Sylvia Larson, Pensacola, Fla.
Great idea in Utah reported by Rachel del Guidice (“Utah Attorney General Credits School Safety App for Intercepting 86 ‘Credible’ Threats”). It could be duplicated anywhere, if funded.—Millie Eifler
This app does not fit the Democrats’ agenda of gun seizure, so it would only work in red states unfortunately.—Pete Dudenhefer
— The Daily Signal (@DailySignal) March 19, 2018
Dear Daily Signal: What strikes me in reading the commentary by John Malcolm and Amy Swearer is that U.S. citizens have the right to bear arms, but they also have the right to an abortion (“6 Reasons Gun Control Will Not Solve Mass Killings”).
Abortion rights have been abridged, regulated, and restricted because of the sanctity of life. But gun rights have not. Wonder why?—Michael S. Ellegood, Prescott, Ariz.
If 18-year-olds can’t be trusted with a gun, they probably shouldn’t be trusted with a ballot.—Chip Hicks
How about getting rid of gun-free zones and allowing folks with concealed carry permits to carry?—Bob Knapp
Gun control laws will never control evil.—Doug O’Connor
Regarding John Malcolm and Amy Swearer’s commentary, the axiom “Guns don’t kill people; people kill people” defines both the cause and solution (“Here Are 8 Stubborn Facts on Gun Violence in America”). It’s about anger, hate, and frustration. And it’s personal, inside the perpetrator.
It can also be a mental health issue gone awry. Difficult to diagnose and “treat.” News media reports of gun violence may exacerbate the anger and hate and initiate the violence.—Jim Chett, Bernville, Pa.
I have had a carry permit for 15 years and have never had to use the weapon. But I would never voluntarily give it up, because it gives me confidence to go anywhere I want with the ability to protect myself and loved ones.—Bill Boyd, Lake Mary, Fla.
The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.—Bud Bliss, Sacramento, Calif.
About Amy Swearer’s commentary: Just because the anti-gun people are the loudest doesn’t mean they are the majority (“8 Times Law-Abiding Citizens Saved Lives With an AR-15”). So long as gun owners are allowed to vote, guns are not going anywhere.—Bob Smith
— joseph wysocki (@rumrot) March 28, 2018
This and That
Dear Daily Signal: Thanks for Klon Kitchen’s analysis of the charges against the Iranians in the computer cases (“Iranian Hackers Attacked U.S. Systems. Here Are 3 Steps for Countering Them”). Yet this is just the tip of the iceberg.
As he must know, hackings, security breaches, identify theft, and so on are regular occurrences these days. Our high-tech leaders are focused on the next iPhone and app instead of making computers and technology secure and safe.
As a health care professional, I fear the latest Apple alliance with 13 health care organizations. Our high-tech companies have not yet earned health care’s business. We should force these tech leaders to clean up their industry and start making it secure.
Thanks to Klon Kitchen for doing his part to get the important message of security across to the appropriate leaders who can make the difference.—Kathleen Goryl
With regard to Eric Teetsel’s commentary on pushback in Kansas against transgenderism (“Kansas Republicans Are Standing Up to Transgender Lies, Protecting Kids From Harm”), constituents in Oklahoma are asking state lawmakers to add language to the Oklahoma child abuse statutes.
This amendment would classify adult enabling of child transgenderism through cross-dressing, drug therapy, surgery, etc., as emotional or physical child abuse. Physician-assisted child transgenderism should be made illegal and categorized as medical malpractice.—V.M. Pendleton, Broken Arrow, Okla.
Voter fraud needs to be addressed again, and very soon. Before the 2018 midterm elections and the 2020 presidential election.
Otherwise, it won’t matter if 100 percent of conservatives and Republicans turn out to vote. The Republicans will lose. The Conor Lamb-Rick Saccone election, among others, is an example.
The Democrats will go all out to cheat, smear, lie, and promote illegal voting to gain control of the White House, House, and Senate. Legal voting is a core to our democracy and elections are not to be won by fraud.—J.K. Ng
Chrissy Clark helped to compile this column.