Skip to comments.Guns, Mental Health And Our Children
Posted on 12/22/2012 8:28:29 AM PST by WXRGina
Most commentary on the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School seems to focus on either the gun issue or the mental health issue. The gun issue debates more government control, while the mental health issue debates more demands on our already over-taxed health care system (no pun intended). I read Liza Longs article, I Am Adam Lanzas Mother, in which she calls for a meaningful, nation-wide conversation about mental health.
I presume the purpose for such a conversation would be to find answers to why these things happen and to find out what we can do to prevent this kind of horror from recurring. But nothing we talk about will benefit public safety until all parties agree on what were talking about. Gun control is a political subject and mental health is a generalized area of health care.
I do not pretend to be an expert on the subject, but I have studied it enough to know that mental health covers a very wide range of disorders. Not all mental disorders involve violence or impact public safety. Therefore, any meaningful conversation we have about mental health should be limited to the treatment of disorders that specifically threaten public safety. We dont need to have a general conversation about mental health, which boiled down, is no more than a call for increased government spending. Mental health isnt the issue.
As far as guns go, if all firearms were off the street tomorrow, mass murderers would still have options: bombs, incendiary devices, chemical and biological weapons or just driving a car into a crowd of people. Anyone with access to a machine shop can manufacture his own firearms. Take all the guns off the street tomorrow and more will be smuggled in the next day. To think removal of firearms creates a safer environment is naive and does nothing more than create a false sense of security, leaving us more vulnerable than before. Gun control isnt really the issue.
Whenever we experience a disaster or a tragedy, our emotions impel us to look for a quick fix; an immediate and even drastic action that will make everything better. But wisdom tells us to be calm, fully assess the situation first, and only then, take action. I am not convinced that the answers to what caused the Sandy Hook massacre or how we may avert another such event will be found by exploring either the mental health issue or the gun issue. Gun ownership is a constitutional right. And when it comes to mental health, I do not trust the authority of so-called experts who over-diagnose mental disease and over-medicate children. Psychotropic drugs have actually caused psychosis in children (more information at http://whale.to/a/breggin_h.html). And those are legal drugs. Illicit drug use also destroys our young.
If were going to have a meaningful conversation, lets talk about God and what he expects from us. Increasingly, society has been accepting the removal of Gods influence on us. The ACLU continues to do everything it can to remove any reference to the God of the Bible from our government and public places. And they arent alone. Society in general is accepting more and more anti-Biblical values in our laws and practices homosexuality and abortion, to name just two. Please tell me how anyone can expect a godless nation to produce godly, upright citizens?
American society used to embrace the Christian consensus. Going to church and reading the Bible were generally seen as indicators of strong morals and good citizenship. The public (even non-Christians) recognized that people who read the Bible and went to church were being taught to be righteous and responsible not just as individuals, but as contributing members of their communities. They were part of the fabric of America, part of the character of America. Now, the religious among us are criticized as backward, bigoted, foolish and superstitious. Fewer and fewer Americans are even aware of what the Bible teaches.
For the record, the Bible teaches not to murder, but to love your neighbor even your enemy. The Bible teaches that God gives us the gift of self-control; that we dont have to be slaves to our base impulses. The Bible teaches that there is real evil in the world and that we are all prone to sin. But also, through the grace of God, Jesus has delivered us from sin if only we receive him. The Bible doesnt teach hate or intolerance or condemnation. It teaches forgiveness, mercy and redemption.
Now, instead of going to church on Sunday, and learning things like the Golden Rule, todays children are more likely to be sitting around playing video games with graphic representations of stabbing, shooting or blowing up a host of characters. Fantasy plays a bigger role in the lives of children than in the past. Fantasy used to be for the very young and it wasnt very violent, compared to contemporary fantasy. Now, older children and even young adults get very involved in violent roll-playing fantasy as a form of leisure and entertainment.
That self-absorbed acting out of fantasies is the product of our permissive society. Instead of training our children in self-restraint, based on respect for others, we train our children in self-esteem, based on the secular notion that nothing is more important than the self. Saying, No! or raising your voice to correct your child is seen as destructive. Spanking is seen as injurious. The net effect of this philosophy of letting your child fulfill his every desire is a lack of boundaries and a lack of discipline.
Children need boundaries in order to feel safe. As they grow in confidence, they will push their boundaries. Thats the normal process. But if they dont have boundaries or they are removed too soon, they can develop psychological problems. Todays permissiveness has removed many of the traditional boundaries. Now, kids pretty much have developed the idea that if you dont let them have what they want, theres something wrong with you. The not-so-pretty offshoot of this is that fewer and fewer young people respect their parents or adults in general.
Add this element of non-restraint to someone who is already emotionally unstable and anything can happen. Is that just a mental health problem? I think it has more to do with the character of a people a godless character. Thats the conversation we really need to engage in. We need to let God back in the public square. We need to teach the Bible in our public schools. We need to stop catering to homosexuals and other special interests whose main focus is their own pleasure. Responsible and compassionate citizenship is a matter of national character. Thats the issue.
Some other statistics no one is bothering to mention is how many schools there are, how many shootings have been in those schools and how many of those were mass shootings.
Seems to me that this “crisis” is way overblown.
Consider taking your children out of this horrible public school environment. At the very least, before you drop them off at the same place on monday morning as you did last Friday, pressure your schools to tell you exactly what they are doing to ensure the safety of the children entrusted to their care. Do not accept their half-assed answers of “locking the front doors” and requiring badge access. Everyone knows now that doesn’t work. If they are not doing anything, they should be held responsible for why not. Shouldn’t the administrators of Sandy Hook have done more after what they knew about Columbine? What is wrong with them? Don’t they care?
No one will care for and protect your children like you will.
Weren’t the Lanza’s “believers”?
The so-called "progressive" agenda has, for decades, sought to replace the founding concept of Creator-endowed individual rights, liberty and laws to protect them with their own false concept of imperfect persons in government assuming the role of the "Supreme Being."
The electorate must become educated to these competing ideas and rediscover America's Founding principles, which can enable them to recognize which are true ideas of liberty, and which are counterfeit ideas of tyranny. That is not easy.
In 2008, Michael Ledeen, on another subject altogether, wrote of the degree to which Americans have been "dumbed down" on some basic ideas underlying our freedom:
Ledeen said, "Our educational system has long since banished religion from its texts, and an amazing number of Americans are intellectually unprepared for a discussion in which religion is the central organizing principle."
In the Pope's speech in Germany a few years ago, he observed:
"A reason which is deaf to the divine and which relegates religion into the realm of subcultures is incapable of entering into the dialogue of cultures."
Ledeen put his finger on a problem that stifles meaningful dialogue and debate in America on a number of subjects--as is now exhibited in the discussion on the causes and solutions to acts of violence such as that in Newtown. Censors [disguised as "protectors" (the Radical Left's ACLU, NEA, education bureaucracies, etc., etc.)] have imposed their limited understanding of liberty upon generations of school children.
From America's founding to the 1950's, ideas derived from religious literature were included in textbooks, through the poetry and prose used to teach children to read and to identify with their world and their country.
Suddenly, those ideas began to disappear from textbooks, until now, faceless, mindless copy editors sit in cubicles in the nation's textbook publishing companies, instructed by their supervisors to remove mere words that refer to family, to the Divine, and to any of the ancient ideas that have sustained intelligent discourse for centuries.
Now, it is the ACLU which accuses middle Americans of "censorship" if they object to books, films, etc., that offend their sensibilities and undermine the character training of their young. Sadly, many of those books and films are themselves products of the minds that have been robbed of exposure to wisdom literature in the nation's schools and universities.
Back in 1876, a Black Minister and Ohio State Legislator, Rev. Benjamin W. Arnett, delivered the "Centennial Thanksgiving Sermon," celebrating the Declaration of Independence, at St. Paul A.M.E. Church in Urbana, Ohio. The Sermon can be read online at the American Memory Section of the LOC, in the African-American Collection. Below is a small excerpt from that Sermon's conclusion. In it Rev. Arnett warned about a movement among "liberals" to remove the ideas underlying America's founding documents. See if you don't recognize those ideas from what you have observed in recent years:
"The Danger to our Country.
"Now that our national glory and grandeur is principally derived from the position the fathers took on the great questions of right and wrong, and the career of this nation has been unparalleled in the history of the past, now there are those who are demanding the tearing down the strength of our national fabric. They may not intend to tear it down, but just as sure as they have their way, just that sure will they undermine our superstructure and cause the greatest calamity of the age. What are the demands of this party of men? Just look at it and examine it for yourselves, and see if you are willing that they shall have their way; or will you still assist in keeping the ship of state in the hands of the same crew and run her by the old gospel chart! But ye men who think there is no danger listen to the demands of the Liberals as they choose to call themselves:
"'Organize! Liberals of America! The hour for action has arrived. The cause of freedom calls upon us to combine our strength, our zeal, our efforts. These are The Demands of Liberalism:
"'1. We demand that churches and other ecclesiastical property shall no longer be exempt from just taxation.
"'2. We demand that the employment of chaplains in Congress, in State Legislatures, in the navy and militia, and in prisons, asylums, and all other institutions supported by public money, shall be discontinued.
"'3. We demand that all public appropriations for sectarian educational and charitable institutions shall cease.
"'4. We demand that all religious services now sustained by the government shall be abolished; and especially that the use of the Bible in the public schools, whether ostensibly as a text-book or avowedly as a book of religious worship, shall be prohibited.
"'5. We demand that the appointment, by the President of the United States or by the Governors of the various States, of all religious festivals and fasts shall wholly cease.
"'6. We demand that the judicial oath in the courts and in all other departments of the government shall be abolished, and that simple affirmation under the pains and penalties of perjury shall be established in its stead.
"'7. We demand that all laws directly or indirectly enforcing the observance of Sunday as the Sabbath shall be repealed.
"'8. We demand that all laws looking to the enforcement of “Christian” morality shall be abrogated, and that all laws shall be conformed to the requirements of natural morality, equal rights, and impartial liberty.
"'9. We demand that not only in the Constitution of the United States and of the several States, but also in the practical administration of the same, no privilege or advantage shall be conceded to Christianity or any other special religion; that our entire political system shall be founded and administered on a purely secular basis; and that whatever changes shall prove necessary to this end shall be consistently, unflinchingly, and promptly made.'
"'Let us boldly and with high purpose meet the duty of the hour.'
"Now we must not think that we have nothing to do in this great work, for the men who are at the head of this movement are men of culture and intelligence, and many of them are men of influence. They are led by that thinker and scholar, F. E. Abbott, than whom I know but few men who has a smoother pen, or who is his equal on the battle-field of thought. He says in an address on the duty of his leagues:
"'My answer may be a negative one to all who see nothing positive in the idea of liberty. The conviction I refer to is this: that, regarded as a theological system, Christianity is Superstition, and, regarded as an organized institution, Christianity is Slavery. The purpose I refer to is this: that, whether regarded as theological system, Christianity shall wholly cease to exercise influence in political matters. Although the national Constitution is strictly secular and non-Christian, there are many things in the practical administration of the government which violate its spirit, and constitute a virtual recognition of Christianity as the national religion. These violations are very dangerous; they are on the increase; they more and more give Christianity a practical hold upon the government; they directly tend to strengthen the influence of Christianity over the people, and to fortify it both as a theology and a church; and they are therefore justly viewed with growing indignation by liberals. Not unreasonably are they looked upon as paving the way to a formidable effort to carry the Christian Amendment to the Constitution; and the liberals are beginning to see that they must extinguish the conflagration in its commencement. I believe all this myself, with more intense conviction every day; and therefore I appeal frankly to the people to begin now to lay the foundations of a great National Party of Freedom. It is not a moment too soon. If the liberals are wise, they will see the facts as they are, and act accordingly. Not with hostility, bitterness, defiance, or anger but rather with love to all men and high faith in the beneficence of consistently republican institutions, do I urge them most earnestly to begin the work at once.'
"He acknowledges that this is a religious nation and wants all men to assist him in eliminating the grand old granite principles from the framework of our national union. Will you do it freeman; will we sell the temple reared at the cost of so much precious blood and treasure? These men would have us turn back the hands on the clock of our national progress, and stay the shadow on the dial plate of our christian civilization; they would have us call a retreat to the soldiers in the army of Christ; the banner of the cross they would have us haul down, and reverse the engines of war against sin and crime; the songs of Zion they would turn into discord, and for the harmony and the melody of the sons of God, they would give us general confusion; they would have us chain the forces of virtue and unloose the elements of vice; they would have the nation loose its moorings from the Lord of truth and experience and commit interest, morally, socially; religiously and politically to the unsafe and unreliable human reason; they would discharge God and his crew and run the ship of State by the light of reason, which has always been but a dim taper in the world, and all the foot-prints it has left are marked with the blood of men, women and children. No nation is safe when left alone with reason.
"But we have no notion of giving up the contest without a struggle or a battle. We are aware that there is a great commotion in the world of thought. Religion and science are at arms length contending with all their forces for the mastery. Faith and unbelief are fighting their old battles over again, everything that can be shaken is shaking. The foundations of belief are assaulted by the army of science and men are changing their opinions. New and starting theories are promulgated to the world; old truths are putting on new garbs. Error is dressing in the latest style, wrong is secured by the unholy alliances, changes in men and things, revolution in church and state, Empires are crumbling, Kingdoms tottering; everywhere the change is seen. In the social circle, in the school house, in the pulpit and in the pews. But amid all the changes are revolutions their are some things that are unchangeable, unmovable and enduring. The forces that underline the vital power of Christianity are the same yesterday, to-day, to-morrow and forever more. They are like their God, who is omnipotent, immovable and eternal, and everywhere truth has marched it has left its moccasin tracks."
So said Rev. Benjamin Arnett in 1876. Where is the leader who will declare these things today? His theme was "Righteousness Exalteth a Nation, but Sin is a Reproach to Any People." Might such outspoken thoughts not enlighten the minds of Americans today as they discuss the topic of this thread?
Seems to me that this crisis is way overblown.
I have no idea about the state of mind and spirit of the Lanzas, except that the shooter was undoubtedly a godless monster. A true Christian would not do what he did.
Thank you, LoveLiberty, for your thoughtful, insightful comments!
There are more than 100,000 schools in America. If we start looking at pure numbers of these shootings, we’re talking about an exceedingly small fraction of a percentage. Obviously tragic for those involved but certainly not enough to justify a nationwide seizure of weapons.
There are 2 dozen different school buildings in my county alone and I can’t find evidence of even one shooting in their entire histories, let alone mass shootings.
Yesterday the school district I live in announced that they would be in session as normal. They said that they didn’t believe the surge of threats were credible and would not be rewarding bad behavior by closing for the day. They said “Our front door and eyes are open, side doors are locked from inside as normal”.
You’re right. The panicky rush to “do something” always irks me. “Do something” means chop off some more of our freedoms.
As much as we hate to see it, history tells us: tyranny will come to this country—it’s almost descended. It’s inevitable; America is ripe for it, which is heartbreaking.
"The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time: the hand of force may destroy, but cannot disjoin them." - Thomas Jefferson
That was the "Unique Idea" underlying our Constitution's protections. History documents that "government-over-people" arrangements always have resulted in tyranny and oppression. America's "Creator-people-government" arrangement, under a written "People's" Constitution dividing, separating, limiting, checking and balancing the coercive power delegated to representatives in government allowed for more opportunity than that afforded by any other form.
It is time to rediscover those ideas which brought oppressed peoples to these shores for over 200 years, and to teach youth about the meaning of the Preamble's goal of preserving "the Blessings of Liberty."
If children are taught that their obligations and responsibilities and accountability are to a Higher Power than parents, teachers, or government officials, and that each of their lives have purpose, what potential might be unlocked in their lives?
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