“We need to do more than just pray for the victims and their families. It’s time in Texas that we take action…” – Texas Governor Greg Abbott during a press conference on Friday May 18th, immediately after the Santa Fe, Texas school shooting.
I heard those words, by chance, as they were broadcast live. I wasn’t sure who I was listening to on the radio (I was in my car and the rain wasn’t letting up) although I knew what he was talking about. Hearing those words, initially, I was repulsed.
When the Parkland, Florida, school shooting happened what was the conservative reaction when any number of leftists weighed the value of prayer versus the need for “action”?
Now, I will cut Governor Greg Abbott some slack. His track record is reliably conservative. As he issued his statement, he did so as a real tragedy was still unfolding in his state. And, I will concede, that in terms of verbiage, there were slight differences in what all those leftists said after Parkland and what Governor Abbott said immediately after Santa Fe.
The left operates from an ideological position that considers itself in competition for survival with Christianity; they believe their ideology cannot co-exist with the Christian faith (no matter how many “Co-Exist” bumper stickers they slap on their cars). That in a nutshell explains the ease with which they deride Christianity but seem to have no problem with Islam, atheism, and other faiths. (Sorry, atheists, but yes, you behave as though your lack of religion is a religion).
Thing is, prayer isn’t inaction. To pray is to engage in action. That’s the problem I had with Governor Abbott’s statement. Initially, the way I heard his statement as broadcast live, it sounded as though he was suggesting prayer was insufficient, Intangible, perhaps limited. I’m sorry, I don’t view prayer that way.
Then there’s the incessant call for “action”. Not just any action will do though. It must be quick action. Immediate action. The expectation is that various “stakeholders” – everyone from the NRA to the four activists of the more than 3,200 Parkland victims – will hold a conference from which solutions will somehow emerge.
Which brings us back to the question posed earlier: When the Parkland, Florida, school shooting happened what was the conservative reaction when the left weighed the value of prayer versus the need for “action”?
Sorry, conservatives, but it was a lot of virtue signaling. Which is what all those conferences attended by all those stakeholders will amount to. Virtue signaling. Don’t believe me? Wait and see how media coverage of Abbott’s conference goes.
At this point it’s fair to ask: a) are school shootings as prolific as the media makes them out to be, and whether they are or are not, b) why do they happen at all?
While it is demonstrably true that there have not been 22 school shootings in 2018 as left-leaning media sources like CNN would have you believe, it is just as true that there have been more school shootings in this decade than any other in American history. In the 19th Century for example, there were almost no school shootings. In the first half of the 20th Century there were a small number of school shootings – a school bombing was one of the more tragic events during those years. The second half of the 20th century saw a slight uptick in the number of school shootings. The 21st century thus far has seen more school shootings than the whole of previous centuries, and most of those shootings have occurred in the present decade.
Sorry virtue-signalers, gun availability has nothing to with gun shootings. Guns were far more available in 1918 than they are today, yet there were fewer school shootings in 1918 than 2018.
That said, the things that contribute to these school shootings aren’t quick fix items a conference of stakeholders can resolve. Take Nikolas Cruz in Parkland for example.
By any stretch of the rational mind, Cruz should have been in what we used to call juvenile hall (“juvie” for short depending on where you are from). Those of us of a certain vintage remember that kid in school that was “sent away” after a series of disciplinary incidents. Thanks to an Obama-era program and local politicians in south Florida, Nikolas Cruz and who knows how many others were granted “do overs” in spite of shocking displays of violent, anti-social behavior. Reportedly Cruz once held a gun to his own mother’s head.
Remember, Cruz isn’t the only one at Parkland. He’s the only one that crossed the line over to mass murder and as such, he couldn’t be given another “do over”. Not with media and everyone else paying attention. There are others in Parkland just like him.
The Obama-era program that gave Cruz pass after pass after pass isn’t the singular problem. It’s one thread of many that make up the blindfold many choose to hide behind these days.
Consider the Santa Fe school shooter. He is 17 years old. This means:
– He has no personal recollection of a pre-9/11 world.
– He has no real perception of what economic progress looks like. (He would have been 6 or 7 when the real-estate bubble burst in 2007 or 2008. Our economy was moribund until 2017).
– He is a member of the second-most medicated generation in American history. (The only generation that beats his own are those around the age of 12 right now who can electively receive hormone therapy to modify their gender). Yet, he’s grown up believing that no one in America has health care.
– In his world racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, etc., all lurk in every shadow and like the “force” In Star Wars movies, work to harm minorities.
– He has never had to actually search for information or answers to questions because he’s always known a world in which an electronic device can take you to any website that amplifies one’s own point of view.
– He’s grown up in a time in which human beings aren’t just more interconnected, that interconnectedness is 24/7/365 and is almost always on-line and virtual and rarely real and personal.
– The concept of “judging” another person is alien to him. Unless it is ideologically-based judgement. Then it’s ok to judge as long as judging means bashing someone for what are perceived as non-conforming points of view. Exclusion, in other words, is ok.
– He’s been told for as long as he can remember that inclusion and diversity are among the most important virtues.
– He’s grown up and learned it’s acceptable to think that a man can be trapped inside a woman’s body or vice versa. He’s also learned that in addition to the binary he and she, there are at last count more than 60 genders one can choose from. But in biology class they taught him that scientifically, there are only two chromosome combinations that produce one of two genders and that any deviation results in conditions such as Down’s Syndrome.
– Bill Nye the Science Guy, among others, is exalted among his peers since science is now a religion.
– The concept of going out on a date is old-fashioned to him. It’s easier to sext and hook-up. Women are empowered so dating is out and #MeToo is in.
– Provided your point of view is thought to be within certain norms as set forth by the media-Democratic Party-industrial complex, he’s learned it’s ok to misbehave. That misbehavior can mean walking out of school en masse as a protest, rioting in the street, or virtually any other method of self-expression conceivable provided the underlying ideology is within accepted norms.
– He’s been led to believe that America is the root of all evil and that our country is teetering on the brink of fascism.
– Everyone’s a winner and everyone gets a trophy. You are free to be you…provided the you that you choose to be is within accepted norms.
– Whether via climate change, over-population, or nuclear war, we are all going to die any second now. When we do, white people and especially white males are to blame.
– Among those his age, the last really cool and distinct bit of pop-culture probably happened somewhere between the 1970s and 1990s. The 2000s through the present left nothing that will ever be re-imagined by future generations. Every “new” song he’s heard is something from before re-done and most of the best movies of his time have been re-do’s, sequels, or prequels, for films from other eras.
– Until police took him into custody, he was no doubt receiving a steady, around the clock infusion of information from social media. His is the first generation to have no recollection of a pre-social media world.
– His generation has never known quiet. (Quiet as in, turning off social media and all the rest and experience all that’s around you).
No conference of stakeholders is going to even begin to chip away at the social changes that foster disaffected young people. Our problems are deeper, much deeper. They are woven into the fabric of pop culture and of official policy. They are the pills fed to children to confront what we used to call hyperactive behavior and they are the overtly biased regulation corporations like Facebook and Twitter impose across social media.
Do I have a solution for all of this? Prayer certainly sounds like a real, tangible, and comprehensive action these days.
Image: Screen Shot: https://www.onenewspage.com/video/20180521/10093419/Student-describes-shooting-at-Santa-Fe-Texas-high.htm