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Friday, May 27, 2022 

Tragedy in Uvalde, Texas is the result of a sick culture lenient on violence

This past week saw a horrifying gun assault on a school in Uvalde, Texas, and as explained by Elle Reynolds, a culture ignorant of the ramifications of violence has to shoulder some blame:
Crimes committed by evil people are nothing new, of course, and schools in particular had experienced shootings and violence before these. In the 19th and 20th centuries, there were records of shooting deaths at schools caused by personal feuds, accidental shootings when guns were thought to be unloaded, arguments gone wrong, or disgruntled students or administrators seeking revenge on authorities.

But until the late 1980s, the concept of a mass shooter walking into a school and arbitrarily targeting people was incredibly rare, if not completely unheard of. In 1988, a 19-year-old shooter fatally shot two 8-year-olds and wounded nine other people at Oakland Elementary School in Greenwood, South Carolina. In the same year, a woman fired on an elementary school classroom in Illinois as part of a bizarre crime spree. In 1989, a gunman killed five children at Cleveland Elementary School in California. And in 1994, a 37-year-old walked into Wickliffe Middle School and killed custodian Peter Christopher.
One of the worst such tragedies that came later was in Columbine, Colorado. Yet today, nobody seems serious or convincing about recognizing that bad education has to take some blame for leading to these horrors. And then, as Reynolds notes:
While humanity has been fallen since Eden, the past 50 years have seen countless indicators of exponential cultural decline, not the least of which have been falling marriage rates and skyrocketing numbers of children who are denied the chance to live with both their mother and father. We’re also seeing a pandemic of mental illness, which the years of mental angst and isolation caused by Covid school closures will certainly only worsen.

Americans are losing interest in the purpose and community that faith and church offer, losing respect for the sanctity of human life, and losing sight of the notion that a higher moral good exists than immediate self-gratification. Instead, we live under a cultural ethic that idolizes the indulgence of selfish desires even up to the point of taking the life of another.

Meanwhile, our politicians and academics pit Americans against each other based on the color of their skin, while the media machine grants notoriety to cowardly killers whose names deserve to be forgotten. Add to that our social media-crazed culture’s obsession with a few seconds of fame at any expense, and it’s clear that the gun market isn’t what’s radically changed. We need to address the rot we’ve sown for our children to grow up in, and no amount of blaming firearms for our culture’s depravity is going to change that.
One way to deal with this crisis is simply not to raise children on the kind of violent mayhem in movies that's become a particularly sad staple of recent, having noticed that horror movies have been on the rise again. Is this truly what we need? Absolutely not. And all the while, comedy, romance and sex have been marginalized in Hollywood, which makes it worse. Any parent who allows their children to watch graphically violent media has only perpetuated a serious problem that's gotten worse, particularly since the turn of the century when Columbine occurred. The time's come to wean children off such monstrosities as Hollywood's foisting on everyone, and find the most tasteful of books to read instead. And maybe to play board games like Monopoly and Risk, which my family played with during my childhood. That's what makes for positive upbringing, not horror movies.

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