Dooger Rants about school shootings
In the aftermath of another tragic school shooting in Florida, many have opinions on how to eliminate the threat. Some claim that the government should enact stricter gun control laws. Others say that we should arm our teachers and other responsible school officials in order to protect our kids. Some claim violent video games and movies are the cause. Neither of these solutions addresses the root problem.
My opinion is that kids do not go on killing rampages simply because they have easy access to guns or video games. I also believe armed teachers would not discourage suicidal and homicidal kids. I think the root cause of the recent school violence is the result of our culture. Society is sending a message to our kids that life is meaningless and hopeless.
Consider “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao“, a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel that my older son recently studied in public school. The main character is a young Dominican boy growing up without a father in New Jersey. His main goal in life is to play video games, read comics, and find a girlfriend. He turns to alcohol, falls in love with a prostitute and attempts suicide multiple times. In the end, jealous goons of Oscar’s prostitute girlfriend beat him to death.
This story no matter how well written does not convey a very hopeful message to our youth. Many kids can relate to Oscar’s home life. Some like Oscar turn to sex, drugs, and alcohol as an escape from this hopeless life. When that doesn’t work, some turn to suicide and violence. We must present all kids with an alternate message. I find it disturbing that Oscar Wao is the type of story our society would consider Pulitzer Prize worthy. Even more disturbing is that this is the message our society would want to teach young impressionable kids in public school.
Compare this novel to “Ishmael” and “Self Raised” by EDEN Southworth which we recently read with our homeschool children. Southworth chronicles the life of Ishmael who like Oscar was raised without a father, and in very meager circumstances. The difference in the two characters is that Ishmael was presented with a story of hope from a very young age and Oscar was taught that his life was cursed. Those who influenced his life instilled integrity, loyalty, and determination. His aunt taught him that despite his pathetic situation, his life was valuable, and he could rise above his circumstances.
We tell kids that they’re monkeys, and there is no meaning to life other than to feed their selfish desires. We back this message up with broken homes where dad’s care more about sex drugs and alcohol than they do about their wife and kids. Mom’s have to work full-time jobs to feed the kids. Deadbeat parents allow television, a perverse culture, and an apathetic school system to raise their kids. It should not be shocking that this is the system that breeds mass murderers who do not value their own lives or the lives of their schoolmates.
In the not too distant past, before school shootings were common, our public school teachers talked about God without the fear of losing their job. They were allowed to teach that humans are wonderfully made in the image of their Creator and not in the image of monkeys. Teachers taught that everybody is equal. Professors showed through words and actions that all lives matter. They encouraged students to pray in school just because they were thankful and not because their lives were in danger. If we really want an end to school shootings, we will once again teach our kids the true meaning of life and give them a message of love and hope.