In light of the shooting in Connecticut, I wanted to take a stand on the Constitutional Rights we enjoy and share an opinion. And, please realize this IS just that – an opinion, an editorial that does not necessarily reflect the position of the magazine or others who work for it.
We are a music magazine. We exist because of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. We report on all genres of music, including rap and hip hop which, at times, talks about killing the po-po, raping big-booty b***ches, etc. Do I support such lyrics, especially for children? No. HOWEVER, the artists who create those words have the RIGHT to say them.
Instead of banning songs with lyrics like that, we place explicit warnings on the labels, hoping that parents will take responsibility for their children and keep them from hearing those songs. Unfortunately, more often than not, parents do NOT take that responsibility and the songs end up influencing the attitudes and morals of the kids who listen to them.
When it comes to the Second Amendment, the right to bear arms, we again have to look at the sense of responsibility of the parents and individuals versus whether we need more gun laws and bans.
We have television programs, movies and video games that have multiple murders and killings in them for 30 minutes, 60 minutes, two hours, etc. Sandwiched in between those acts of violence are commercials which teach us to be as self-indulgent as we want. Is it any wonder, then, why today’s generation is learning to “do what they want” without any sense of responsibility?
In most of the mass-shootings that have occurred since Patrick Purdy picked up an AK-47 and killed some school children, the shooters have been age 25 or younger. Most mass-shootings have occurred since 1999 or later, meaning the shooters were the post-Vietnam generation. We don’t hear of baby-boomers picking up the guns. It’s our children and grand-children. The big question is, WHY?
Since the early 1980’s, the government has taken many rights of discipline and teaching our children away from us, instead placing it into the hands of schools and psychologists. More children today are on prescribed mood-altering drugs than ever before. Parents are arrested when they discipline their children, or try to teach them something other than what the socialized school systems tell us we must teach them.
Violent video games and television has evolved since the late 1990s, and – with it – violent acts like the school shooting in Newtown. Instead of keeping children from playing those games and viewing the television programs, many parents purchase them as birthday or Christmas presents for their kids. If a parent tries to keep their child from having access to such things, the kids have learned they can tell a school counselor they are being abused, who will then call the authorities, thus forcing the parents to comply with the child’s wishes out of fear of being falsely reported.
Gun control laws are not a deterrent to those who would commit such acts. Mexico has some of the most stringent gun laws in the world, and yet their violence rates rival many large U.S. cities. Sweden and Switzerland, on the other hand, require every household to have firearms – including military assault rifles – and their violence rates are almost non-existent.
Thomas Jefferson wrote that to give up freedoms in the name of safety make us neither safe nor free. Eradicating or eroding the Second Amendment is not the answer.
Once we remember that teaching responsibility and morality begins – AND ENDS – at home and not in the schools, and that children do not need to be medicated for every act of misbehavior, we might return to a nation of civilized behaviors. Until then…
*** Note – in over 2000+ responses via email, we received only ONE negative one… and it was from someone who did everything they could to remain anonymous. No name, mailed from an anonymous mail server with a noreply, etc. Whoever you are, YOU ARE THE PROBLEM! Thank you to everyone else who supported this editorial.
*** We have one correction – Sweden and Switzerland do not “require” firearm possession. However, Switzerland does have the highest militia “assault” weapon possession to individual ratio in the world. For more information, CLICK HERE
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