Another mass shooting, more innocent lives lost and more communities shattered.
America struggles to understand why the violence continues. What are we missing?
As our nation mourns for the victims of Friday’s school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas, communities across the nation are realizing they must work quickly to find answers.
But the stark, sad reality is that, though there are some stopgap security measures that can be taken, it will most likely take many more years to turn the tide of school violence.
America has failed miserably in how it treats those with mental illness and violent tendencies. Several layers of law enforcement and social programs often also fail to do their jobs, such as in the case of Nikolas Cruz, who gunned down 17 students and faculty in Parkland, Florida.
We now know that the FBI flubbed tips, that local agencies had been called to his home more than 40 times, and that school and social services recommendations for mental health were ignored or lost in the bureaucracy — all while his mother repeatedly begged for someone to help her with her son.
The failures of our society to provide real help to the mentally ill, the fact that even law enforcement agencies sometimes place being politically correct above public safety, and the continued increase in violence on children by children, all point to a larger overarching problem.
We live in a decadent, “progressive” pop culture that glorifies violence, ignores God and has all but destroyed the nuclear family. Exactly where do we teach that life has meaning and purpose?
The Rev. Brad Drake of Dayspring Church in Santa Fe, who lost a congregant in Friday’s shooting, hit the nail on the head: “We have created a culture that does not value life, that does not honor God, that does not respect authority. We are reaping the consequences of those actions, and that’s not going to be reversed by a security guard or a metal detector.”
Those who demand federal action must realize that Washington, D.C., and its massive bureaucracy cannot solve the problem of school violence.
Every school district across this vast land is unique and faces their own challenges. Local solutions must be formed through school boards, parents, community leaders, and law enforcement officials working together.
And they must include clergy and faith based organizations in the process or they will fail.
While communities move as swiftly as possible to develop common sense solutions, we also need to fall on our knees and beg God to heal our nation.
The vitriol spewed nearly every hour by mass media at our duly elected president and vice president is causing more angst and more anger than a nation can handle.
The cultural rot constantly pumped out of Hollywood has warped impressionable minds so badly that we now have an entire generation of young adults who often can’t distinguish right from wrong.
Our schools spend so much time degrading our young people with pornographic sex education, revisionist history and bogus science that most don’t ever learn how to think critically. How could they when they are forced to simply memorize and regurgitate? What happened to beautiful and inspiring education that challenges boys and girls to be visionary, to rise to the occasion, and to become good citizens?
With more than half of all children living in a family with only one parent, America is a sea of broken hearts, with millions of sons and daughters adrift void of the parental guidance and interaction they crave.
What do the school shooters all have in common? They seem to think they are isolated and invisible in their families, communities and schools — that they are unknown and unloved.
The link between the nation’s incredibly high teen suicide rate and the increase in school shootings is all but completely ignored. Only when the suicidal take others down with them do we seem to care.
Could it be that we have over-institutionalized our kids? That many schools and classrooms are so large that students feel as if they are lost in the mind-numbing milieu? That they are nameless, faceless bodies being churned through a daily grind and spit out on a conveyer belt when their “educational” sentences have been served?
Those who call for gun control as an easy “solution” are failing to ask the tough societal questions. Hatred, violence and loneliness are conditions of the heart, mind and soul.
Until America returns to her foundation as a nation where faith in God is practiced, where individual lives are treasured and where families are restored, we can only expect more tragedy.
• Rebecca Hagelin
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