Society's character sags

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The horror of another mass murder of innocent people has left Americans in shock again – not just those who heard of it in the news media, but those who were supposedly close to the suspect and saw him daily.

The big question of “How did he get away with it?” may never be answered to satisfaction, but the fact that it happened should cause everyone to stop and reflect on the culture of today that allowed it to happen. For instance, why in the world was a 6-year-old child, who was killed, in a theater showing a violence-filled movie at midnight?

The blame game already has begun in the media and the political arena. The cry is out either to have more gun control or on the opposite side, to arm every citizen with a weapon. The man’s picture and life story both before and after his awful deed is endlessly plastered on television, along with so-called experts’ varying opinions of his brilliance, mental stability, and reasons for his actions. It seems he is getting all the attention he craves to make him important, while his motives may never be understood no matter how many people dissect the case.

I think it’s time for all of us to reflect on the character of our current society that has repeatedly allowed this kind of tragedy to happen. Movies and television present shows full of violence, murder, gang wars and explicit sex. Children’s computer games are full of brutality and competitive actions that are unsuitable for shaping young people’s minds. Family values of nurturing and protecting young ones are being constantly challenged by the newest gadget that is hyped to promote instant gratification.

The fabric of the family is seriously eroded. Politicians’ constant posturing will have few results. Gun control can’t fix it, though completely erasing assault weapons would help. The media’s insatiable appetite for sensationalism will continue. The armchair psychiatrists will ponder insanity, personality disorder or calculated evil. The courts will do what they must with the evidence they are given, and then the cycle will begin again with the next horrendous act!

Is there anything we as individuals can do to ameliorate this awful situation? Take a few minutes each day to reflect about and share family values. Interact as a family unit. Protect young people from violent games, movies and TV shows. Hug your kids endlessly, play with them, teach them, tuck them in bed safely each night – and, most of all, show them your love. And for heaven’s sake, be sure, as adults, you behave like adults who have the obligation to raise a new generation of happy, healthy, productive people!

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specsta 07/31/12 - 01:09 am
Blame The Parents, Not Technology or Media

Ms. Gray wrote: "Protect young people from violent games, movies and TV shows. Hug your kids endlessly, play with them, teach them, tuck them in bed safely each night – and, most of all, show them your love."

Sounds good - on the surface.

But the problem is that this society worships children. Everything is done to "protect the children". Kids can't even be told that they are winners or losers in a competition, lest little Johnny gets his feelings hurt. So when little Johnny enters the real world and has to stand on his own two feet, he has no clue. Children are taught that the world revolves around them, and they become selfish little monsters, who grow up into selfish, grown adults.

It used to be that children were expected to respect adults - but nowadays, the children dictate what they are going to do and how they are going to do it - or they'll call child social services - themselves! Spineless parents ASK their children "what do you want to eat, do you want to play outside, are you ready for bed" - instead to telling the little monsters what the rules are and what the consequences are for breaking those rules.

So it's no surprise that we have a generation of kids and teens who are experts at manipulation and exhibiting controlling behaviors - because they were never parented by their parents, but befriended by their parents. Children need boundaries, period.

mikesaul 07/31/12 - 07:36 am
Yep, and things got SOOOO

Yep, and things got SOOOO much better with the banning of "cops and robbers", "cowboys and indians", keep away, tag, and such, didn't it?!? This all started when the public schools became the defacto center of authority in terms of the rearing of the children! We've simply given them (administrators and teachers) too much say in how the children are to be raised and (NOT) disciplined.
Give parenting responsibility back to the parents, and let them discipline their own children. And, yes, there is a difference between discipline and abuse! Just as there is a difference between freedom of and freedom FROM religion! When you eliminate discipline for fear of encountering abuse, you turn those who need the discipline into those applying the abuse!

Jane18 07/31/12 - 10:50 am
Molly's letter

Great comeback comments, spectsta and mikesaul. And so very true!!

Craig Spinks
Craig Spinks 07/31/12 - 04:59 pm
S. I. Hayakawa,

the late former President of San Francisco State University and U.S. Senator from California, summed up the situation pretty well: "The common trait of enduring civilizations is the ability of their members to delay gratification."

david jennings
david jennings 07/31/12 - 07:33 pm
All these problems and no

All these problems and no mention of God.

Bizkit 07/31/12 - 09:19 pm
Reminds me of that ole

Reminds me of that ole Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young song. "Beat" your children well. dah,dah,dah . hee,hee,hee. Oh my Bad. "Teach".

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