The spate of recent mass shootings is once again turning us all into experts who wax eloquent on social media. “We can’t have this anymore,” many shout. “It’s time to do something!”
“Doing something,” of course, often doubles as code for gun control. But such gun control is right and good, individuals argue, because it will save the children, a position the tweet below seems to indicate:
I'm sad that my little girl will not grow up in a world where she's never concerned with being shot at school or church or a birthday party or a shopping mall or a concert or a parade or at pretty much any gathering of people. Because half the country chose guns over kids
— Josh Moon ?? (@Josh_Moon) April 16, 2023
Read that last line again. It says, “Because half the country chose guns over kids.”
This, of course, is what many would have us believe the whole gun control debate is about, a simple choice: guns vs. kids. And of course, anyone in their right mind would choose the kids.
But in thinking about it, I realized this is exactly why we’re having so much gun violence today … because we’ve chosen everything but the kids.
Consider divorce. When parents decide to split up and find another partner because they “just aren’t happy,” are they choosing the kids? In most cases, no. They’re choosing themselves, and letting the kids be collateral damage.
Or what about our materialistic society? Many households are convinced they need the latest cars, the best vacations, and the biggest houses, so both husband and wife head out into the workforce. These couples are choosing their children, of course, for they are trying to give them the best possessions that money can buy.
The only problem is, their children are left to a string of nannies and daycares in the process. And if the kids were asked to choose for themselves if they’d rather have a lot of expensive possessions over a mom keeping the household running and welcoming them with a loving hug when they come home from school, my guess is that many would choose the latter.
How about education? The general public of course claims to want our children to excel academically. But then the school system pushes CRT and gender-affirming curricula on them, or the teachers go on strike and the kids are forced to miss school, or the system makes it difficult for parents to choose the school or form of education they believe is best for their children. In each of these cases, which choice is winning out? Choices favoring kids or choices favoring the system?
The problem is, in each of these above scenarios—and in many others as well—many Americans are choosing anything but the kids. And I can’t help but wonder if such choices are actually creating many of the gun issues we see today.
Today’s mass shooting events are not the fault of the guns. But they are often the fault of young people who are lost, lonely, and adrift, confused in a world that’s turned upside down. And such confusion and loneliness often stem from not having a solid grounding, of not having a stable home or a solid spiritual and academic education that helps children wrestle with life’s great questions of who they are and what their purpose on this earth is.
If we really wish to choose children over guns, then we will choose children in other venues of life so that they don’t feel the need to go out and pick up a gun to get attention, or take out their anger, or simply end it all because they have no reason to live.
But of course, that type of choice requires that we choose children over ourselves as inward-focused adults first.
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