Chardon High School Shooting Sure To Reignite Same Old Gun Control Arguments
Full disclosure for anyone who does not know just exactly what I stand for: I am a constitutional conservative, a strong Second Amendment advocate and have not a single politically correct bone in my body. If you find that offensive, you may leave right now. Otherwise, please read on.
Another school shooting in America; more tragic loss of life and the gun control freaks of our society have, they think, one more ‘weapon’ in their arsenal to further the cause for stricter gun laws. Problem is, they don’t work. The gun laws, that is. A 2003 study from the Centers for Disease Control said there was no evidence to show that gun control legislation did anything to prevent violent crimes committed with guns. No kidding? The shooting on Monday at Chardon High School is every bit tragic. Three students have now died, at least four were wounded and the alleged shooter, 17 year-old T J Lane, whom the media is describing as a ‘bullied outcast’, will likely spend the rest of his life in a prison cell. Odds are, he will be tried as an adult. I see an insanity plea on the horizon for this fellow. I’m not yet sure where he got the gun. It really is not so relevant at this point. He did it and now he will pay a price for it.
There may have been warning signs. He posted a rambling tirade on Facebook back in December that now appears to have foretold of his intentions. Was this a premeditated act or an impulsive one? A jury or a judge will have the say on that matter. Accounts of what happened on Monday seem to indicate he was after specific people. Lots of us were bullied at one time or another. I was bullied in school. I never, and I mean never considered taking a gun to school and shooting someone. You cannot excuse what this young man did. I had my share of schoolyard fights and not one ever involved a gun or knife or even so much as a switch. Some fights I won, most I lost. And most of the guys became friends of mine as years went by. Yes, yes, I know. The world has changed. There are times when I honestly hate the 21st century. I have my own opinions about why the whole bullying issue is so out of hand. Schools don’t discipline anymore. They’re afraid to paddle little Johnny or Susie. Mommy and daddy might file a big, bad lawsuit and cost some administrator his or her pension. Spare the rod, right? I come from an era when the teachers had paddles in their rooms. Get out of hand, and it's a trip to the hallway. If you had to be sent to the principal, you were in very serious trouble. I don't think the venom spewed by some so-called musicians helps either. Have you tried to listen to rap lately? It’s filled with endless strings of sexual vulgarity, punctuated by repeated uses of the ‘N’-word and peppered with a healthy dose of just general hatred and dope-smoking, cheap liquor-drinking thugishness. “But Mike, all the kids are doing it!” Yes, I know. I have two teenagers in my house. My son is 14 and we clash over some of his choices. And, thanks to the internet, they can get it back about as fast as you can delete it. Parents are in a non-stop fight these days. But, our society, in general, has degraded. Too many of these kids are taking these messages to heart. The schools are afraid to re-take control, too many ‘parents’, quite frankly, know more about how to be a ‘buddy’ than a parent and the media is feeding the monsters left and right in the name of making a buck. And there are, no doubt, even deeper issues with the Chardon shooter that we may never fully know or understand. There are no simple answers.
But it's really no wonder so many of these kids have no self-respect or self-esteem. They are surrounded by a society that has given up control. Again, there is NO excuse for picking up a weapon and going to school and going John Dillinger on everyone, none whatsoever. A USA Today piece published late Monday said that as the teens sat in their locked-down classrooms they did what all teens do in such times; they texted, tweeted, Face-booked, yada-yada-yada. I’ve read three, maybe four articles thus far and not one said any of these kids prayed. Let me assure you, there are no atheists in foxholes or locked-down-waiting-for-the-gunfire-to-cease classrooms. Somebody and I’ll bet plenty of somebody’s were praying to God that they did not die. But the media at large tends to shy away from saying such things these days, I suppose. After all, it isn’t politically correct to say they ‘prayed’. Might offend someone.
But back to the issue of gun control. What impact would rigorous gun laws have had on Monday’s shooting? Not one thing. The shooter is a minor. It is against the law for him to buy or possess a firearm in Ohio. Did the laws stop him from taking up the weapon and opening fire? Nope. I am a law-abiding gun owner. And, like 99.9 percent of the other law-abiding gun owners in America, I did not commit a single gun crime today, or yesterday, or the day before. I have no intention to do so today, or tomorrow, or the next. Why do I have guns in my home? For protection, sport and hunting, that’s it. And that’s the case for the lion’s share of gun owners. More legislation does nothing to stop the ‘bad guys’. If someone, regardless of age, race, income, whatever, decides to pick up a weapon and harm or kill another person, they are going to do it. They will not go out and buy a gun and fill out all that pesky paperwork. They’ll steal it, borrow it, buy it in a dark alley, whatever it takes. And if it’s not a gun, it will be a knife, or a spoon, or piano wire, or a car or…you get the idea. I know it’s become a bit cliché, but it’s true: guns don’t kill people, people kill people. We have more gun laws on the books now that a room full of federal judges could even identify. Australia took all the guns away. Guess what? The bad guys still got 'em and still get 'em.
As for the bullying, well, there have always been and will always be bullies among us. There’s always going to be a percentage of our society that thinks they have a license to poke fun at the fat kid or the short kid or the disabled kid or the freckled kid and they will do it. Just as sure as the sun will rise tomorrow in the east, somewhere, a kid will be bullied. The responsibility to deal with that rests on you and I, the parents, the teachers, the principals and the students themselves to rectify. Yes, we need to bring back corporal punishment. Use it sparingly, but where needed and appropriately. We need to face the fact that there are major cultural issues in our society that need to be dealt with. There’s plenty of responsibility to go around for everyone. But far too many among of us live in a state of denial about just how bad it has gotten. But taking my guns away will not stop the next school shooting. This problem has more to do with attitudes and reactions and very little to do with the gun itself. That's truth. Deal with it.