However, I will say that I think the problems we face are bigger than gun ownership and, as a result, the problems of school shootings are not going to go away with a single solution. The problem we have created is a cultural one that has left our youth growing up in a mean, poisonous and toxic environment.
Let’s begin with our entertainment industry, specifically motion pictures. Many Hollywood performers have come out over the past few weeks strongly in favor of gun control, and in some cases gun confiscation.
It’s a little hard to take their beliefs seriously when so many movies and television shows portray gun violence in a positive and sometimes even a humorous light.
For example, I was watching NBC News and, naturally, the school shooting in Parkland was the top story. Then they went to a break. The first commercial was for “Good Girls,” a new comedy-drama about three women who are having a difficult time making ends meet.
So how do the characters of “Good Girls” resolve their issues? They pick up guns and rob a supermarket.
Countless films and television shows from Hollywood show the heroes picking up guns, big ones, to resolve conflict and mete out justice and punishment to the bad guys.
Remember “John Wick,” the action film starring Keanu Reeves as a hitman seeking vengeance on bad guys who killed his dog? There’s a scene in the middle of that film where the hero mows his way through a nightclub, brutally killing a few dozen people with his gun.
Over the course of two hours, John Wick kills 84 people. So naturally, they filmed a sequel where he kills even more.
Outside of films and television, many stars in music glorify the gun culture, writing songs about killing people, some even writing songs about killing police.
And most dangerous of all are video games where the player acts as the shooter, using larger and larger guns to kill their opponents in order to win the game.
Keep in mind that our media was outraged when clip art of targets were used in a political ad right before a mentally deranged man shot Congresswoman Gabby Giffords. They had no difficulties making the connection between clip art and the violent acts of a lunatic.
How can they not make the obvious connection between the violent culture we are spoon-feeding our youth from the time they are old enough to watch television and the rise in violent crimes among young people?
Or are they turning a blind eye towards that connection because to expose it would be dangerous to their bottom line?
Now, let’s take a quick step back and look at our schools. Over the past few years I have heard several stories, from friends and local parents, about their children being picked on or bullied at school. And bullying is worse today than it was when we were kids.
When we were young, we got a respite from the abuse from classmates by going home. These days, the bullying never stops, continuing after-hours over social media. And time and again what I hear from parents is that they feel powerless to help their children.
Well, if the parents feel helpless, how do the students feel? And when the students look to escape the abuse, where do they go? Right into the violent comforting arms of movies, music, and video games. And then we act surprised when there’s an increase in horrific school violence.
The theaters will likely be packed this weekend for the remake of “Death Wish,” the vigilante action film starring Bruce Willis.
Sadly, many of our great churches in Woodhaven will be quite empty this same weekend.
Parents have a choice to make for their children. For their sake, I hope they start making better choices.