Stop the Madness!

I just read that a group of teenagers — bored and looking for something “fun” to do — shot and killed a senior college student as he was jogging through an Oklahoma neighborhood.

He was a baseball player, and he and his girlfriend had returned to the States a week earlier from a trip to Australia, where his home was.

The trio involved in the killing, police say, are between 15 and 17 years old and shot the jogger in the back.

If that doesn’t make your blood boil, nothing will.

When are we going to stop the senseless violence — targeted too often against the young and innocent — in this country?

Now before I hop on my soapbox, I have to admit I firmly believe in the Bill of Rights, including the Second Amendment (the right to keep and bear arms). But that right was never intended, I’m pretty sure, to justify the killing of an innocent human being “just because.”

No, that Amendment was designed as a way for citizens to protect themselves and their communities from unlawful takeover by the government.

Every night we’re exposed to more stories on TV news about shootings and killings in our cities, and it distresses me.

Living just a few hours from Chicago (where more than 250 people have been gunned down this year alone), I listen in shock.

Just last night, another round of killings took place. This time, five men were shot along a route Chicago Public Schools had designated as a Safe Passage for kids.

Gang violence, they supposed.

How ridiculous!

Can’t we see what’s happening? We’re killing off our young people, our future. The promise of tomorrow.

And the ones we don’t kill we’re exposing to a level of violence and meanness their little spirits should never have to face.

Especially not at such tender ages.

I don’t know what the solution is, but somebody had better come up with one. And fast.

We can ill afford this lifestyle.

 

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15 thoughts on “Stop the Madness!

  1. Debbie, like you, I too believe in the right to keep and bear arms. I don’t have or want a gun, but I think people that do want one should have the right to purchase one through a “process.” And I honestly don’t feel that allowing this is what’s perpetuating or making these shootings any easier. The people who are doing these kinds of random shootings will find guns, regardless of whether it’s legal or not. It’s like buying illegal drugs on the street – they will FIND them.

    And I hear you; the violence in today’s world is truly disturbing and sad. And not only shootings but just the anger and violence in the air. We had an incident happen a few years ago, where these 4 young men (15-17 year old’s) verbally accosted and physically bullied a 45-year old man on a subway platform for no reason other than to be mean, which caused this gentleman to have an asthma attack that was so severe, he had a heart attack and died right there on the subway platform. The police were able to arrest the young boys and they were all tried for murder.

    I have no idea what solution can made to stop this. It just seems that there is so much anger in the world right now. And it’s truly sad.

    • Oh, that poor man — what a sad story, Ron! I agree with you that people who do these mean things will find guns or knives or whatever to do them. Perhaps it *is* gang-related; I don’t know. But somewhere along the line, parents/teachers/society must put a stop to the anger. We just can’t afford to kill off all our young’uns!

  2. How sad! Even back in my high school days (20+ years ago) there was violence…kids lost to muggings gone wrong, road rage, etc- but it seems worse now. I’m not sure when murder became sport, but it’s frightening that there is so little regard for life.

    • Absolutely, Janna. There have always been bullies (even way back in my parents’ day). And since they both grew up in the country, I’m pretty sure there were guns around then, too. But they just didn’t hear of so many senseless killings. I can’t believe it’s because people were kinder back then. It’s probably a combination of a whole lot of things, too numerous to elaborate on here. But you’re right. It’s sad.

  3. “We’re” killing off our young people? No, we’re not. We’re not part of the culture of gangs, drugs, rappers and thugs that are the breeding ground for this kind of behavior.

    There’s a very good and to the point article about the Oklahoma killing here. This isn’t a “gun culture” problem, as the writer says,. It’s a culture problem of another sort, and until the problems are addressed honestly by the people who are part of these communities, there won’t be any change.

    Illiteracy, absence of fathers, systemic unemployment and other such are all part of the problem. Likewise, the entitlement mentality encouraged by community “leaders” who use such blanishments to gain and hold power by passing out goodies breeds a disdain for effort and achievement.

    I could go on, but I guess you probably get my drift. ;)

    • Sadly, every time we gets news reports of killings like this, all the parents are weeping and bemoaning the violence; however, the authorities rarely get anyone to admit culpability. “He was a good kid” is always the mantra, whether “he” killed a friend or a stranger.

      I’m not sure we can blame it all on “absence of fathers,” either. Plenty of kids must grow up without a mom or a dad, yet they don’t end up in jail. And you’re right that this isn’t a “gun culture” problem. Plenty of kids, especially rural ones, grow up with guns in the home, yet don’t feel entitled to kill people with them.

      But you might be onto something when you talk about “entitlement.” I do believe our culture of giving away freebees has encouraged a whole generation to expect gifts and handouts, with no requirements attached to the gift. Any time we do anything to destroy initiative, we’re cultivating problems. Thanks for weighing in!

  4. Your right, things need to change. And taking guns away isn’t the answer. Although, I don’t see any reason why we need handguns and assault riffles in the hand of the average American. Cole school is unfortunately in a neighborhood where gang violence is common and since our kids go off campus at will for lunch and the school and parents agree to this privilege we have done a lot of work with the neighboring public schools and our kids have been told to stay out of alleys, in plane view and to put the phone in the pocket. We’ve also learned a lot. Mostly the gang members are interested in shooting and avenging each other. They have nothing against our kids. They are fighting the Odds for making it in this world…Most won’t make it. There parents can barely make rent, or pay the water bill, We have grown past the old “they have babies for more welfare.” Which is no longer even accurate. Heck, even the middle class is struggling. And it’s not because of big house and cable television. Public education in Chicago fails. It’s not the teachers, the parents, or the students, the system no longer works and we refuse to look at change. Real change. Our government is corrupt.
    America is angry and it is being acted out in the worst possible way…”We Can’t” continue in the direction we are going because again you are right, “we can ill afford it.” Off topic but something just occurred to me recently from my privileged background that had never occurred to me before when a hardworking family I know had their water turned off….My water bill is about $1,000 a year and I live on Lake Michigan. Shouldn’t having water be a given in this great country of ours. The rage they felt at being on hold, trying to work with system and being shut off was heartfelt and scary….Thankfully they had friends, and their angry son had someone to reach out too…

    • My heart goes out to people in real need, Katybeth. I realize the problem with the killings won’t be solved simply by taking away all the guns. That’s like putting a Band-aid on after an arm has been amputated. There are a whole lot of issues here, from economic ones to societal ones. Until we find a way to convince people that work is good, that gangs aren’t good, that killing is wrong, I’m afraid this problem won’t go away. Criminals will always find weapons of choice and targets for their anger. Thanks for your thoughts!

  5. Debbie, I saw this on the news this morning. It’s sickening, and my heart goes out to his family who sent their beautiful son here for a better life, a better education, and to follow his dream of competitive swimming. But the killing is sure to continue as long as the NRA has anything to say about, as long as we allow them to be in charge and to refuse to put any limits on guns. We must have all our guns, after all, no matter how many children are slayed in the process. Guns first, children, well it’s up to their parents to protect them. Not society.

    • Sadly, these “children” didn’t have parents around to put them to work, Monica, and teach them how to constructively deal with boredom! How often do we go through a day being bored? Yet we don’t whip out a gun and randomly start shooting others. Why? I’d like to think it has something to do with conscience, our moral compass. We know killing is wrong — on every level — and killing is not going to make us feel better about our condition. It’s not going to raise our status in the eyes of our peers, and it’s not going to resolve boredom. I think if you took away all the guns in this country, you’d still see shootings because the criminals will manage to get their hands on weapons. Somehow, some way. And that makes me sad. Thanks for weighing in!

  6. This story made me, literally, sick to my stomach. I can’t imagine what the young man’s family must feel. And it’s such a tragic waste of a good life. And because the young boys were “bored?” Like, we’re bored so let’s go hang out at the lake, or read a book, or go to the lake? I can’t even wrap my head around going to look for someone to kill. Such wanton disregard for life. One of them was 15 years old. 15! I even thought of them today as I got into my car after leaving Target. I locked my door immediately and wondered what my fate could be if teenagers nearby were “bored.” My prayers for comfort go out to that family. What they must think of America I hate to imagine.

    • I’m right there with you, Barb. As a mom, we do what we can to protect our kids, realizing that ultimately, their safety is in the Lord’s Hands. Nevertheless, ALL moms everywhere must do whatever it takes to see that their kids aren’t part of the problem. That we’ve nurtured their thirst for knowledge and their eagerness to be active with POSITIVE things like sports or the library or the local YMCA, rather than letting them hang with gangs and look for mischief (what were those three thinking??? and where were their parents???)

  7. Here you go. There wasn’t a gun anywhere in sight when black teenagers beat Delbert Belton to death in Spokane, Washington. This isn’t a gun problem. This is a culture problem, and the statistics make it clear exactly where the problem lies. Until the race-baiters are marginalized and people begin confronting the truth of what’s going on in the drugs-and-thugs culture, this is only going to get worse.

    Delbert Belton looked remarkably like my grandfather – the one who would read the obituaries with me. Unfortunately, the day he died didn’t come so peacefully.

    • That story breaks my heart, Linda. We’re losing our WWII veterans fast enough as it is, without hastening their extinction because of meanness. I’m so sorry for that poor man and his family. You’re right — it isn’t a gun problem. I never thought it was. After all, lots of people I know own guns, yet would be appalled to even think about shooting a person “just because.” This story really must have hit home for you, seeing as how he reminded you so much of your late grandfather. Thanks for returning with new information!

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