Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Opinion- What can we do about school shootings?


By Darrell Mitchell

The culture behind our school shootings.  So far, this year of 2018, we have had over 20 school shooting in our United States. 
What is going on in our American culture and in our schools?  For one thing, we have cut back in our mental health services.  There are multiple reasons why our culture has produced more school shootings.  Let me share a few of my thoughts about our culture and our school shootings.

We have had a very long history of gun violence in our country.  Today, those in power are wanting to limit free speech and limiting our civil liberties.  I have a concern about what is happening.  For too many years, now, we have been making millions of dollars off of our many wars.  During World War II there was no military contractor that made any money off of that war.  What has happened since World War II? We have a culture that gives our politicians all kinds of money to keep the gun industry alive and healthy.  Pope Francis, in speaking to our U.S. Congress a couple of years ago, said this, “IT LAMENTS ME THE BLOOD MONEY THAT YOU MAKE OFF OF WAR PRODUCTS.” 

In the very last major school shooting, in Santa Fe, Texas, the shooter who shot up the school (did so) because he was rejected by a girl.

This comes from a culture soaking in the narratives of self-interest.  This comes from a culture of shame and the high expectation of wealth and even more wealth.  What is it teaching about our children?  Where is the value of love that is found in our families?  Where is the value of nonviolence?  Where is the value of empathy found in our public schools?  In the country of Denmark they are teaching “empathy” in their schools.  Wouldn’t it be nice to be teaching empathy in our public schools?  Would it not make a difference in bullying that goes on and on in many our schools?

Ours is a culture that starts at the top.  Why do we need to be spending so much of our tax money on 800 military bases in our world?

After the last national election, 44 percent of our American youth, that voted, stated we need a radical change in our culture and political system.  The students at Parkland High School, in Florida, where there was a major shootout, have organized a national movement, that will affect the midterm election that is coming up in November.  We, older Americans, need to listen to these youth leaders and change some of our gun laws here in America.  Let’s help them take away some of our fears about going to school and the fear of getting shot.  Our youth want to see some radical changes!  We must make some deep changes in our culture to make it safe for our children.  In closing, “BE THE CHANGE YOU WISH TO SEE IN OUR COUNTRY AND IN OUR WORLD.”

Darrell Mitchell is a former Joint Oversight Committee member for IPN and a retired United Methodist Church pastor.

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