More Mass Shootings?

Screen-Shot-2015-10-01-at-5.06.09-PM-800x449I have really been trying so hard to avoid writing this post but have decided that I must get these feeling out of me in some constructive way.

A few days ago we suffered yet another mass shooting in one of our educational institutions and as much as I try to avoid the negativity of this event it keeps coming back to haunt me. This is another event in the long string of events that have plagued our country in such a way that I have made a conscious decision to try to avoid area’s where young people gather.

There are so many who are pointing blame on so many things right now from gun rights to mental health programs, but as I think about the my own life as a youth and the lives of those who I knew growing up there seemed to be a common denominator that kept us all in check. It was simply fear. I feared getting my ass whooped by my father or someone else father if I should do something wrong. I feared the police and the thought of going to prison, and of course I feared God as I knew in my mind that doing something crazy like mass murder would lead me to an eternity of pain and damnation to hell.

Our youth today fear very little as it is the parents who actually fear going to jail for spanking their children when they do wrong. Even working in the Prison system I watched as many of America’s children celebrated the fact that they are doing State time and will be honored with making it to the next rank in the street gang they are a part of. Most of our children are growing up without the fear of God as most believe that is just a story told by a few old men thousands of years ago and it is just fiction. But even in a free society there have to be not only lows in place to protect the innocent, but also laws that are based upon a common level if fear if they are broken. This is the moral factor of any country and even dictatorships only manage to control there populations through the act of fear.

It seems that somehow we have elevated the reward system but taken away from the system of punishment. It is an has always been about pain and pleasure. People do the right things to feel pleasure and when they do the wrong things they know to expect the element of pain. When these rules are learned at an early age it sets guidelines in what we understand as the lines that can or cannot be crossed.

Too many children today spend far too much time unsupervised as parents scramble each day to spend 14 hours of their days trying to make a living. With a new fear of going outside to play they are driven to seek out other pleasures of things they find on the internet, music that teaches bad behavior and virtual reality games that become more reality to them than reality itself. But still we teach them that having a good eduction will help them to reach a happy level in life so they go off to our colleges and borrow more money than we did to purchase our first house only to graduate and not be able to find a job. The problem now is that it has become so prevalent that they know this fact even while they are still in school.

There are many people who will disagree with me with all of these things, but this is just my own personal opinion about what I see is really going on in our great country. I welcome all responses and idea’s whether you agree with me or not. The answer has to start somewhere or else our country will continue on the same path it has been recently going over the last decade.

About SimpleLivingOver50

At 53 years old I am starting to realize how life changes both physically and emotionally. I strive for a life of simplicity. I am winning the battle with type II diabetes, created a plan to have all debt paid off in 4 years including the house, taking advantage of every opportunity to live life to it's fullest through adventures in nature, hiking, biking, loving and learning.
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52 Responses to More Mass Shootings?

  1. I guess it’s a combination of things. I was raised to respect people and yes, I feared the consequences. I knew I would be in big trouble when I misbehaved. I although think that all the violent video games and violent movies must change a kids thinking. You have video game that make you steal cars or beat people up for the fun of it.

    Reading the comment section on sites like cnn or yahoo makes me shiver. Lots of hate and it’s easy to let it out when one is hiding behind a screen.

    I often watch parents and kids and wonder about the way the kids are raised today. I had to work for things, today they get everything served on a silver platter.

    I must sound like a very old person πŸ™‚

    • It really wasn’t too long ago when the world we new was a bit kinder. Our children are taught to be kind, but is it really a true kindness or something fabricated out of the many lessons of political correctness? Many religious beliefs are being replaced with science and psychology. America needs a miracle and it will never be found in the ways of man.

  2. dyoung82 says:

    This is a fantastic post, and I couldn’t agree more.

  3. Tony R says:

    I agree with much of what your post says. I am on the fence with the fear issue but I do understand. I’m just not sure that it has to come from a spanking. I was raised in a family that believed in spanking and yes it did work for me but I found that with my son it was not necessary to spank him. Through a series of situations that I want get into spanking was not an option but it forced me to find another way. I found that I could teach him to fear disappointing me far better than I ever feared my Dad’s belt. Not only did it work better but it is something that teaches him till this day and he is 24 years old. Now I don’t know about others but there was an age at which my Dad could no longer spank me (although I respected him) I would not be spanked but that is not the case when the child is taught to please the parents.
    I said all of that to say that the problem with our children is that they no longer believe in anything and they learn that being grown means that they don’t have any feelings. I know that they are still there but they berry them so deep that they are never to be seen again.
    We have to learn to nurture our children again with love and start serving the one and only God instead of the idles that are set up for us by our country and its society ie (more money, bigger houses, expensive clothes, and fancy cars). All of these things are pushing us to live at work and lose site of the things at home that really matter.
    Thanks for the post. I don’t think that we are the only ones left out here that care. I think that one of the problems is that there aren’t more of us speaking up.

    Tony R

    • You are right Tony. Although I did spend my children, it was only a few times and it I didn’t bring about pain. It was the act that created a fear in them that I was both angry and disappointed in them that set the stage in their hearts that they don’t want to do anything that will upset or disappoint dad. On the other side I provided them with all of the love I could and praised them and let them know how much I love them and how much pride I have for them when they are doing the right things. Thanks for your input. Billy

  4. Very true!!! We need God and we need to bring up our children to be responsible people who wish to do good. The Bible talks about disciplining your children. We must hold them accountable and confront them when they do wrong. We have to balance the discipline with love of course. I live in Canada but what is true is true. And the truth will set us free! I am so sad about what happened in Oregon.

  5. This is an important issue that demands attention of the society. However, this is also a complex issue. There could be diverse reasons underlying such disturbing acts. It can come from biological, psychological and sociological factors. Hence, parenting is just one of the factors

    • This is true as most ill behavior can be tracked back to childhood, but many times it is not always the parents who are responsible for such bad behavior. There are so many other factors which tend to misguide our children in so many different directions.

    • Tony R says:

      You are exactly right. Thanks for that thought. Often times we jump to conclusions when we don’t have all of the facts ourselves and it is always good that someone such as yourself points out that there are other factors to be considered.
      Tony R

  6. This is difficult for me as I have rarely seen anyone with a gun except for hunters. I feel sick when I see a policeman here in France with a gun and automatically feel scared. Many years ago I visited DC to meet someone and I could not understand why she carried a knife in her bag on a night out. I guess I feel safe in that having a gun or weapon in the UK or France is not easy. I don’t know what the answer is….I guess it’s too easy to say that people shouldn’t be able to carry a weapon. I’m sure it would take years for people, who’ve always seen it as a right, to change. So sad for all the people affected. I wholeheartedly agree that we must nurture our children to be the happiest they can be.

    • Even in a wonderful country like France there is always the threat of terrorism. It is becoming a very scary world to live in. I don’t know what the solution is, but what I am coming to understand there are many unhappy and unbalanced youths here in America.

    • Tony R says:

      There are unbalanced people everywhere and sometimes we must respect that fear as it will keep us from venturing into a bad part of town or somewhere else that would put us in danger but at the same time we must not allow that fear to keep us from living our lives to the fullest and/or standing for what we know is right. That fear paralysis is one of the reasons that some of these things are happening now. Good people that are just too afraid to stand up for what they know to be right. I speak as someone that is as guilty as anyone of keeping quiet at times when I should not. I am trying to overcome this because I do believe what I just said to be true.
      Tony R

      • Totally agree. So difficult to find a solution especially as these incidents seem to be in quiet towns not cities. People here are naturally nosy but in the UK many communities keep themselves to themselves. We are all guilty of turning a blind eye…. The modern way is to not get involved and I understand that too as you don’t know if someone has something to harm you with. And yes, I think we should to take the trouble to report something that is wrong. Unfortunately, I think these tragedies will continue.

      • I remember as a child that when there was someone in our neighborhood that wasn’t supposed to be there phone calls were made and soon a dozen or so dad’s would show up with baseball bats to question the individual. There was a show of force that made people think about doing something stupid, where today, as you stated most people choose to not get involved even when their own children may be in harms way.

  7. New Journey says:

    Good morning, well my heart aches for those who are left without their loved ones, and for the students that must go back to a place that once was thought as a safe haven…I find myself avoiding movie theaters, and other gathering areas of the younger generation as well, and I find that maddening that I would do that…but I do…I – like you, lived with fear of punishment from my parents…God didn’t play a huge part in my youth as it does now, my children started out being raised with the fear of spanking, then the school system said we couldn’t spank our children or punish them in anyway…my children even brought home literature from the school explaining that we as the parents have no rights and the children can call 911 if they feel they are being threatened in any way…in fact they encouraged the kids to call…I understand this was to help the kids that were in abusive homes, but it certainly tied the hands of us who were trying to do the right thing by our kids…I remember some of us parents saying our parents surely would of been arrested for some of our spankings… daughter came home one day and she was in trouble, I never had to spank my daughter but out of the mouth of babes came, if you hit me I will call the police, I think she was in 3rd grade….I handed her the phone and said call them its, sad that you think I abuse you….and I walked away….she apologized and that was that…my son was a different story….stubborn as a mule that one…LOL …but it is so sad that the young folk of today has such twisted views of themselves and others….I like your thoughts on this Billy….I sit here shaking my head and can’t come up with any sort of logical thought to what the answer will be to stop all this…. as much as I hate to think it, my mind keeps coming back to the internet,…social media and how its warped the minds of some….I grew up using a phone attached to the kitchen wall and a timer to set when I was on it parents said you saw these kids all day long you do not need to be on the phone for hours talking to them…they were right of course…but today, we have cell phones, Facebook, Skype, face time, and whatever else I don’t know about….a constant stream of noise coming at them…from who knows where…terrorist using the web to lure the young to help there cause….so sad….I hear gun control being screamed out of mouths….I read he purchased all his guns legally…unless you have a former diagnosis of mental illness, and even then if they take the time to check, you can buy guns…again I am rambling, and shaking my head at the same time….I don’t know what the answer is…we can raise our children to be the best they can be, but once they reach that certain golden age of adulthood, we can no longer be held responsible for their decisions….even if they are deemed ill….good post….makes us all think, and I agree with you 100%…..sad day for Roseburg…..and I have been there many times its a lovely quiet community….my heart goes out to them…Kathy

  8. Christopher says:

    People with guns kill a lot of people in a short period of time.

    There are lots of potential reasons and causes as to why people decide that’s it’s a good idea to take a gun or two and high capacity magazines and decide to kill other people and then, sometimes, themselves.

    The simplest thing to do is to make it more difficult for people to get guns.

    What legitimate need does someone have for high capacity ammunition magazines? Why do people need armor piecing shells? Same goes for sniper rifles.

    Let’s cut down on the 10-12,000 people a year who die in the USA as a result of gun violence.

  9. felicitykiwi says:

    You raise some really interesting thought-provoking points. I think teenage angst and similar concepts are very common and like you say, it is probably rooted in the lack of faith and hope. I (as a youth) believe in God but also have a strong conscience- but not many young people like to consider morals or consequences- there is nothing wrong with being liberal but I think it’s got to a point where it has become oppressing to others. I hope and pray that young people become more stimulated by good than by damaging thrills

  10. OK, this is a really complicated issue and I think that some of what you have written in your post has merit, but the problem is much bigger than parenting and installing fear and respect in our children. Good parenting can be overwhelmed by other forces in our society, and we are raising the kids in a culture that glamorizes violence, disrespect for authority, and teaches that making money is more important than many other things. I live in a state that has had several horrific mass shooting (Colorado) but has a law on the books that makes it illegal to maintain a registry of guns/gun owners. There is an active movement that suggests that guns/violence should be employed if the courts/government/election doesn’t go the way a particular block of voters thinks it should. There is a lot of contributing factors to the gun violence that we all are horrified by. Instead of trying to decide what is happening, it makes sense to collect data on gun violence in America so that we can make informed decisions and perhaps even enact policies and laws that would address the issues at hand. Here are some links that might be useful.

    I was a high school teacher: I have been involved in 4 gun incidents and was a first responder at a shooting. It is easy to see the impact of guns and violence in our kids, but it is a much bigger and pervasive problem than that.

    • My heart goes out to all school teachers. They are currently working very dangerous jobs. I feel that I was safer working in a maximum security prison.

      • and they are under attack for not producing high test scores in their students. It hasn’t occurred to the general public that the dropping test scores are linked to the growing violence/disrespect problem that we can seen in our society. In addition, when the salary/jobs of adults is linked to the test scores of students who have no consequence for poor performance you have handed all the power to the children. Good grief!

      • The whole country is wrapped up in a legalistic political nightmare.

  11. I agree with you. One factor recently mentioned -can’t remember where 😦 – was societal expectations of accomplishment by certain ages and how in a fractured society, some young men feel emasculated when those expectations do not materialize. Add to that mental health issues and availability of weapons, we get a recipe for disaster. So sad!

  12. Better gun control, thorough background screenings and mental health care. Why are the NRA and gun lobbyists so crazed? I don’t get it.

  13. webbermd says:

    This was a very good post. I am afraid the answer to the cultural problem is no longer politically correct or acceptable to society. I teach high school and it is an obvious difference between the parents that teach morality, manners, and proper discipline and those who decide to have their child learn from “natural” consequences instead of mentoring their children. My wife and I have also vowed never to buy a game system for our child. I have seen too many technology addicted children at the school I teach who can’t socially respond to people in the real world. Society is becoming even more disconnected

    • I just love getting responses from teachers like yourself as you are the expert observers of our youths. I remember my high school year were pretty confusing with everyone scrambling to try to figure our where they fit into certain social groups. I can’t even imagine what it is like today with added distractions like social media, the internet and virtual reality games as you mentioned. It has to be insane. Thank you for doing what you do.

  14. Here in Australia, after ONE mass killing, they changed the gun laws and had a mass buy-back. We have been free of such terror ever since.

  15. Madoc says:

    I am reminded why I love your blog. Kids in today’s America are stuck in a thoroughly toxic system. Public education that is nothing more than a daycare-prison, pills for everything, and all or most of their free time spend plugged into some sort of a device, whether it’s a TV, a computer, or their phone. Then, what an amazing future they have to look forward to: student debt. Not to mention the culture of consumerism and debt, combined with the rather crappy condition of the US economy and job market right now. Honestly, I’m not surprised that most of these things happen at colleges. I went to college and have the degree to prove it. It’s just an extended adolescence, except they have more freedom and money.

    I am reminded of Clarence Darrow’s speech at the trial of Leopold and Loeb. Basically, his two biggest points were that they had been taught Nietzsche as teenagers- from educated people that they respected- and that violent crime always increase in the aftermath of war (this having happened not long after WWI.

    So, the college students and young adults of today have been raised in a USA that’s been at war since 2001, raised with Ritalin and violent video games, raised by Hollywood and a rapidly degenerating excuse for a culture.

    This is what infuriates me about the calls for further gun control when these things happen: it’s basically putting a Band-Aid on a gunshot wound, pun intended. They want to solve the problem by tightening gun laws- which I’m not saying couldn’t possibly help- but they never stop and think that the desire to shoot people is abnormal. In other words, amidst all the calls for gun control or increased attention to mental health (the latter of which is SEVERELY needed anyway, without taking these incidents into account), nobody is willing to challenge and condemn the degenerate culture, probably because most of these people like and prefer it.

    • There a still a few who blame the top 1% earners in America. The big corporate entities who have forgotten the importance of sharing their profits by providing decent paying jobs here in America to those who need it. Since they slowly moved their factories to a foreign country to reap the benefits of cheap labor so many of our young people find themselves lost and without hope. Many Americans who were not as intelligent as others still benefited from working a simple factory job and were able to provide a decent living for their families. This is now gone and everyone is being pushed into colleges even though it is not where they should be. I love your response and you bring up so many important points.

  16. synergynow66 says:

    Good stuff!!

  17. Lori Carlson says:

    I think we have an even deeper problem in the world with our youth than just here in the US. I think a lot of it comes from not being taught morals, the nutrition that our kids are receiving, as well as the need to regulate things that are harmful to all of us, from dangerous foods, substances, and yes, even guns, social media, and exposure to violence on tv and in video games.

    I’ve seen a lot of people blaming the fact that God was taken out of schools, but I have to disagree. God/or spiritual matters should not even be taught in school. It should be taught by the parents and the religious/spiritual institutions. That is just not happening anymore, or it is happening in excess. There is no balance. If someone is raised religiously or spiritually, they carry that with them where ever they are – home, school, work, etc. I am a practicing Buddhist. I do not stop being a Buddhist just because I enter a learning institution or a grocery store. What is wrong, is that parents are not teaching their children and there is a decline in religious and spiritual institutions. So what IS teaching our children? Television, smart phones, social media, and video games. And why? because parents are so busy making a living, they don’t have time to teach their children. Instead, we rely on others to do the teaching for us.

    Another of my big concerns is the nutrition, or lack thereof, that our children are receiving. Parents, because they are so busy, rely on quick processed meals, take-out, and school lunches. All of that sugar, starch and highly processed foods are affecting the brains of our children. If you have too much glucose in your body, cells and nerves stop functioning correctly. Is it any wonder kids as young as pre-teen are falling into depression, are overweight, and then go on rampages?

    We have some serious problems in our societies and it is not just in the US. We have to stop allowing corporations to set laws and policies, and we need to start taking control of our own moral and nutritional guidelines. There is no one quick fix. It has to be on an international level, saying enough is enough. Our children need guidance and proper nutrition. And that is just not happening.

  18. clarkandthem says:

    one of the most interesting questions being asked is, despite many countries having similar population densities, and similar demographics is appears that this country is the only one experiencing this ‘phenomenon’. With very few exceptions, the US seems to be the home of the single-gunman mass killing practice.
    even odder (or perhaps, more disturbing, there was not a single story in our area newspaper on the shootings. It kinda made me think of the archetypical behavior of spouses (and children of abusive parents), ‘we all agree that there is no reason to talk about their…. (drinking/violence)’

  19. we need mental health care, diligence, compassion and a society in which parents dont have to work 14 hours a day to support their famillies..

  20. Elisabeth P says:

    Fear is not the solution, I believe, even if it has worked in the past. Mental health as well as young people’s behaviours are strongly connected with lack of proper education and respect in general. Also, lack of purpose and fulfillment and the consequent boredom, seem to drive to extreme and criminal acts.

    • Self discipline is learned through trial and error and fear is the one factor that prevents us from crossing certain lines. If you touch a hot stove and get burned you certainly wouldn’t touch it again for fear of getting burned once again. These things you mention are all a part of growing up and learning but there are innate behaviors that need to be addressed, of course in a loving manner that aren’t being addressed. Fear is a harsh word, but pain is also the opposite of pleasure. Our brains are geared towards survival bases on seeking pleasure and avoiding pain. We all have to understand and experience both in our lives to learn.

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