INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. - We have all suffered through a national tragedy of epic proportions that finds the majority of all human beings asking why? The frequency of these horrific events is a sign of a progressive cancer in our nation. What needs repudiation in America, the 2nd amendment or our neo-culture?
Americans have possessed guns since our nation was formed; that has not changed. Is a law abiding American citizen now unable to understand the relationship of gun possession and self-defense? Does your neighbor who owns a gun all of a sudden become a threat to your local public school instead of a deterrent to community crime? Or as I see it are we witnessing a destruction of the culture that once defined the excellence of America and her values? For clarification, I have no argument with the statement that an automatic assault weapon has no place in personal self-defense.
Immediately following the event the president asked us to pray for the victims and their families and then promptly reopened the battle of gun control. Let us not forget that he has led the charge to remove God and the foundations of our religious heritage from our schools and communities in deference to secularism, atheism and the ACLU. In our public schools we now must substitute teaching our children about fairness, sex and alternate lifestyles, abortion and birth control while removing any sense of the importance of the heritage and teachings of our religious beliefs. Instead, our leaders instill a fear of the presence of God in the public arena.
We have glorified the Hollywood anti-moralists who scoff at any conservative or pro-religious idea while presenting the horrors of murder, force the acceptance of gay rights, abortion and sexual practices that for some shock their every fiber of morality and basic human decency.
The real smoking gun uses the ammunition that our once truly excellent public educational systems now load into our children's brain. Instead of schools providing the synergism to strengthen parental guidance, too many children are left with a directionless life surrounded by Hollywood and playing violent video games which treat murder as a shooting gallery game. This was the scene a first-responder described in the Newtown elementary school.
Following the Columbine shootings there were the many calls for gun control as the answer to preventing these crimes. President Clinton finally agreed to a long overdue evaluation on the effects that Hollywood movies and the vicious videogame cultures might have in the crescendoing echo of youth violence. Clinton contrived a 10-year study. Never happened - it remains an unrealized, ignored but even more necessary professional evaluation that the public wants and deserves.
Many of us readily recognize that there is a cause and effect role of the amoral cultural forces which trivialize life, denigrate morality and religion and too often glorify senseless killing. When children or deranged youth kill it is not the gun's fault but the cumulative defects in the learning process instilled into that child. It is time for us to accept that the values of morality, sexuality, religious teachings and strong family values are best taught at home and reinforced, not squelched by our school systems.
When background checks, which include certain forms of illness, are required before the purchase of a gun, but any child can buy a violent game or buy admission to a violent movie, are we completely ignoring the significance of exposing children, never mind an at-risk child, to repetitious violent stimulation? The people who commit acts of violence like witnessed recently have not become severely ill the morning of the incident; there are lingering signs and symptoms of troubled disturbed youth which have been clearly ignored. Certainly mental health facilities need improvement.
The column (12/18/12) of Ed Gurowitz discusses gun control, but is disturbingly vacuous about the exposure of graphic violence on children. Preventative medicine is a hot political topic - teaching patients how to avoid, not just treat, the complications of diseases. Yet we have been ignoring and not even studying the significance of the frequent exposure of our youth to violence and its relationship to the subsequent commission of violent crimes.
This country is not ready for a government and society devoid of God and its associated moral commandments of life. A government which puts the rights of atheists ahead of the rights of religious expression is a government without a blueprint for the moral basis and dignity of life. I am not one of the disgusting self-styled religious "authorities" described by Gurowitz in his column, but I do see the necessity of instilling American values into our youth and protecting their developing brains from the teachings of an amoral Godless culture.
- Richard Reiter is an Incline Village resident.