Another school shooting occurred today… this one about 40 minutes from my residence. If you want the details, you can go here.
Timeline: How the deadly shooting at Santa Fe High School unfolded – ABC, 2018/05/18
Whenever one of these events happen, discussions often head towards gun safety and gun control. Maybe, mental illness is included in the discussion. I think we are missing the prime reason these occurrences continue happening… they are children.
For those of you old enough to remember, how much were you exposed to adult situations? Most parents back then protected their children from what situations, and what information they took in. Why? Because they were children – and they didn’t have the maturity to process adult situations. Generally speaking, we didn’t see R-rated movies. We weren’t exposed to non-stop sex. We weren’t exposed to information on making a bomb or an assault rifle.
Today with social media, cable television, and other entertainment, kids have access to everything at their fingertips. Let me rephrase that. Children now have access to the adult world at their fingertips… and guess what? They still don’t have the maturity to deal with adult situations. They don’t understand the weight of their actions. The best and most frequent example that occurs are when teens have sex and get pregnant. The culture hypes up all kind of sexual activity through music, television, movies, and pornography. Kids have access to this material. They can see it on television every day. I remember during the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal that middle schoolers began engaging in oral sex. That’s how influential this type of exposure can be. The problem is that they don’t have the maturity to understand the ramifications of becoming pregnant and having a child. The truth is that they are not supposed to understand… because they are children.
Kids don’t understand the weight of ending someone’s life. They don’t understand the pain that the family and surrounding community incurs. Like sex, violence is easily accessible for children. In many movies or television shows, violence is the means to problem solving. In real life, kids are exposed to real life violent situations, and it shapes how they think and how they solve problems. So now when kids are bullied in school, what’s the solution? More and more often, it’s violence.
When we see violence on television, or in a movie, or in a video game – we see the act, and then it’s over. The mess is cleaned up in an hour long TV drama, or a two hour movie. We don’t see the grief that follows for years from the family. We don’t see the life altering injuries of the survivors. We don’t see the months of rehab just to put one foot in front of the other. And that’s not even considering the associated medical costs. Kids have no idea of any of these real life adult issues.
So I expect the shootings to continue, because kids are still being exposed to adult situations which they can’t properly process. If you try and limit the exposure through regulations, there will be cries of censorship. The only answer is with the parents. Parents should control and monitor what their kids take in – especially when they are young. It should start on day 1 of their life. If you want to start getting control of the next generation… if you want to start preventing school violence, it’s not the guns – it’s their minds and spirits that must be cleaned up – and it starts at home.