Florida tragedy inspires misguided anger

Nerves are still raw as I write this editorial.
Angry children and adults are screaming for someone to do something – even if it’s wrong.
Mostly, they want a law to ban guns. And their anger is so intense they are blind to the inadequacy of that solution.
The truth is we have tried banning guns. Most public schools are already “gun free.” A number of cities have outlawed guns. Chicago and Baltimore are war zones where gangs with illegal guns rule the streets.
We have passed laws requiring background checks on people who want to buy guns. That didn’t prevent any of the most recent tragedies.
Clearly our society has a problem that restrictive laws on law-abiding citizens cannot fix. We have a huge hole in our national soul that seems to excuse unacceptable human behavior. We simply do not want to blame individuals. We would rather blame the problem on inanimate objects like guns. Truth is guns are simply tools used by bad actors to do evil things.
We also reject the concept that our children learn violent behavior as an acceptable resolution to their grievances by watching violent movies or playing violent video games.
Hollywood glorifies the violent acts of criminals and societal misfits. But they deny any responsibility for inspiring anti-social behavior as a result.
Our schools have been scrubbed clean of any reference to religious education. As a result, the message we give our children is that religion is too controversial to be discussed in our schools.
Sex education and abortion are acceptable subjects. The message – if you have an inconvenient pregnancy – abort it. We dehumanize that message by claiming its just tissue but the point at which it becomes a viable human being is increasingly blurred.
Is there any doubt that many of our youth are confused about what is morally acceptable behavior?
Our federally controlled monopoly on education also contributes to the problem. Now, let me be clear. There are a lot of very good people in the education system. Most have dedicated their lives to the honorable purpose of teaching our children. But the system has been taken over by a liberal elite that pushes an agenda of diversity and the need to describe American values as racist and intolerant.
Truth is it is those same American values of individual freedom and equality that has created the greatest country in the world.
If we are going to fix the problem of violence we have to do a lot more than make guns illegal. Outlawing bump stocks or automatic weapons is like putting a Band-Aid on a ruptured artery. Background checks can be helpful but only if the person has a history of mental illness or domestic abuse. What happens when an otherwise good person has a life changing experience that causes them to lash out in a violent, vengeful way?
It is time we had an adult conversation about our schools. It is time we got past the media circus of the screaming angry mobs calling for unworkable solutions.
In that conversation we need to admit that our schools are failing to teach our children anything about the need for a personal moral foundation for their life. The Declaration of Independence said it best: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”
The unfortunate situation we are in is that these truths are no longer “self-evident.” That is because we have taken God out of our schools and replaced religious teaching with secular humanism. Our country was founded on principles that embraced religious freedom and recognized the need for the citizenry to have a system of solid moral values derived not from government but from their Creator.
There are a couple of ways we could address this problem without the public school system endorsing a particular religion in violation of the separation of church and state clause.
First, we could allow parents to decide which schools they wanted their children to attend through a system of vouchers that allow them to give the money to the schools that support their religious values.
Second, we could require that our public schools offer required mandatory classes in religious education. The parents would choose which class their child would be required to attend. Those parents who did not want their child to have to take a class on religion would be required to send their child to classes on developing their personal moral character.
Unless we address the issues of healing our national soul these incidents will continue.

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