THE GUN PROBLEM

Feb. 23, 2018

Reducing violence

 

Listening to the discourse over the last weeks, months, years I am amazed no-one has even mentioned the underlying problem with many of these shootings and/or bombings.

For any who didn’t notice Cruz is a “grown man”.  He is repeatedly referred to as a boy or a teenager. Boy, yes he has the right physical equipment and teenager yes he is in his teens. BUT he is a young adult and should have been treated as one.

Everyone asks,”How did he fall through the cracks”.  The fact Is he was destined to be overlooked because we have begun viewing adults as children and making excuses for their actions. Just listen to how we refer to juniors and seniors in high school. The term “Kiddo” has become the accepted term and relays to them that we don’t expect mature behavior from them.

I can remember when, in my state, if you were 16 and failing school you were ushered out the door so you didn’t contaminate the rest of the school and had to grow up and act your age.  I served with many Marines who were 17 and up; try calling one of them a “kid”. Many of these went into combat with me and proved they weren’t “Kiddos”. Nobody excused a man or a woman for their mistakes due to their age and 18-19 was almost the expected age to get married and raise a family.

When we stop, as a society, avoiding our own failures as parents and social partners and are willing to make these adults act their age we will find there are far fewer people “falling through the cracks”. Friends, neighbors, teachers, and adults who had contact with Cruz all share in the results just as they did in the other instances of “Kids” shooting fellow students.

Easy access to guns isn’t the only problem. The fact that there are “adults” obtaining those guns who society refuses to accept as adults and hold them accountable for all of their actions is the problem.  Back when these problems were unheard of there were things we don’t even want to discuss. Teen agers were “kicked out” of school. Teen agers were locked up for crimes, teen agers knew they might face a “shotgun” marriage. But most importantly they knew as they entered their teens their peers and every  adult would hold them accountable. Use vulgarity and find out you couldn’t get a date. Shoplift and find yourself in Juvenile Hall for thirty days. Get a hideous tattoo or haircut etc. and again forget dating the largest percentage of young ladies. AND, shoot someone you knew you would face “old sparky”. 

Mental illness is a real problem but how often are we exacerbating the problem by failing to set the guidelines throughout our society for the young to use in establishing their ethical conduct.  

Lawrence Ward (Grumpy)