When I was attending school, I had three classmates who were picked on (bullied).

Betty was best described as a bit mousey looking, wore kind of shabby clothes and always appeared to be sickly. I don’t know if anyone knew or associated with her parents, but I believe her home environment may have been a contributing factor.

The second was Howard, a friendly, comical kid with huge protruding ears.

The third was Arnie, the son of a blacksmith. He missed a lot of days because he had to stay home to help out. Consequently he looked a bit like a blacksmith with what appeared to be dirty hands and clothes.

None of these three had many friends and I liked them all. Betty sometimes didn’t always have lunch money and I would lend her some of mine. Howard became one of my best friends. Arnie wasn’t one to want friends or maybe just didn’t believe anyone would want to be his friend. He was a tough kid and would have been a very good athlete if given an opportunity. If someone got to picking on him they would find themselves munching on a little topsoil. Consequently he wasn’t often picked on but was also a loner.

Both he and Betty kind of just disappeared and I’m not sure if either even graduated. I heard later that both married and raised a family. Howard, because of his nature became somewhat popular before graduating. He was, however, one of my first classmates to pass away and I believe alcohol was a factor.

So what does this have to do with a changing society?

I admit this is a small sample of what kids go through in school, but it seems many today turn to violence to achieve some sort of payback. Because of the use of firearms in recent mass murders we have been pounded with demands to attempt to regulate guns. I will attempt to explain why I don’t believe guns are the problem in today’s society.

Guns, both single shot and semi-automatic, have existed for several hundred years. If you define a mass shooting of four or more innocent people killed by one or more shooters within a 24-hour period we can compare the numbers going back to the 1950s. During the decade of the ‘50s there was only one mass murder — this at a time when guns were easily obtained. Myself and many of my classmates routinely took our guns in our vehicles wherever we went. In the 1960s there were six mass shootings, the ‘70s 13, the ‘80s 32, the 1990s 42 and from the year 2000 to now they shot up (excuse the pun).

What has changed?

Let’s begin with the decline in religion. There are probably a variety of reasons for this decline but it cannot be denied that fewer people describe themselves as religious. You cannot believe in a creator and the resulting sanctity of life and be a mass murderer. Does the fact that we no longer value the life of an unborn baby discredit the belief that life is not only precious but God given? I believe if you would poll our massive prison population, you’d be hard-pressed to find many believers. Several of the founding fathers expressed the belief that a free society can only exist with a strong belief in God and the resulting moral society.

Next let’s look at the decline in marriage. Nearly every mass murderer has been a male loner. Can you imagine a married person with a family telling their spouse that they feel like committing a mass murder of innocent people.

For years marriage has been dismissed as being a detriment to happiness and a satisfying career is far more important. And yet I believe marriage is good for society for many reasons. Generally people mature and become more responsible. Yes there are bad marriages that should be ended but in general it benefits individuals and society. A popular TV program in the 1950s and ‘60s was “Father Knows Best” in which the father was much admired. Looking at today’s popular family shows finds the man of the house to be a bumbling fool and not taken seriously.

The third reason reinforces number two and that is the decline of a male role model in children’s lives. We are at the highest number in history of children being raised without a father. In 2008 Obama claimed the following numbers of children without fathers in their lives: five times more likely to end up in poverty and commit crime, nine times more likely to drop out of school, 20 times more likely to end up in prison. Boys have few male role models in their lives. The need for a good caring male in their lives promotes a carring and responsible individual.

The fourth reason is many are told by our politicians that they have a legitimate reason for a grievance against society. They’re constantly told they are being persecuted because they are not a white male in America. Every so-called minority is given a reason to hate society. They hate their teachers, classmates, and later in life their bosses and fellow workers. They somehow feel they are victims. It’s hard to understand how this justifies murder of innocents in their minds.

We can’t discuss changes in society without looking at the prevalence of violence in our entertainment industry whether TV, movies or video games. The good guys can slaughter numerous bad guys without suffering any return damage. Video players get an adrenaline rush and big scores by killing numerous “bad” guys, again without consequences.

The war on drugs has been a colossal failure. Mind-altering drugs, both legal and illegal, have permeated society. The fact that they cause illusions of the mind cannot be denied. They have permeated all classes of society. The control of the drug trade in our inner cities is without question the leading cause of gun deaths. The attempt to make alcohol and drugs illegal did nothing but make them lucrative for criminals. The same will happen with gun control.

I have mentioned in the past the mind control German scientists who were brought here after World War II. Doing a search will find many who were able to escape the total mind control they were subjected to. They testified that they would do anything they were instructed to do, including murder. Several mass shooters were asked why they did it and replied “they told me to”. If you look into the RFK assassination you’d find his alledged killer claiming the same. Are mass murderers being used to promote gun control? Probably nearly impossible to prove but an interesting thought.

Another reason is humans are at continuous war with little or no value on human life. The weapons now being used are mind boggling. How many thousands of innocents have perished?

It’s claimed there’s a bit of bad in all good people and a bit of good in bad people. When we look at the many cases of mans inhumanity to man it makes one wonder if inhumanity is actually a human trait. The second amendment gives us the right of protection from inhuman actions both foreign and domestic.

The focus of gun controllers is on the so called semi-automatic assult weapons, mainly the AR15 and AK 47. The AR15 is actually the armies M16 and was useful in defeating Hitler. They are ominous because of the multiple rounds held in clips. Most guns today are semi-automatic with various means of holding multiple rounds. Ban the two mentioned guns will result in two things. Just like alcohol and drugs a black market will develop and criminals will be only ones in possession. Bad people will come up with methods to increase their fire power or come up with other ways to slaughter many in one episode. Attempts to control man’s inhumanity appears to be a pipe dream. Until we can address the above issues and teach the sanctity of life, we will continue to see humans murder each other with various weapons.

Dave Nielson of Owatonna refers to himself as a “famously infamous Twins fan.” Contact Dave Nielson at 507-456-8518.

Jeffrey Jackson is the managing editor of the Owatonna People's Press. He can be reached at 507-444-2371 or via email at jjackson@owatonna.com

Load comments