Sociologists and culture critics have spent years studying this question and have produced mountains of paperwork analyzing violence and its causes. They have also proposed solutions, none of which appear to be working to stem school shootings.
Elizabeth Thoman, founder of the Center for Media Literacy, contributes one answer. She writes, defensively at first, "For years, like other communicators, I believed that tolerating some things I didn't like, including depictions of violence, was the price we paid for a free and open public discourse. Š The issue, I believe, is no longer one of protecting free speech, but protecting human life; it is not a question of censoring ideas but of changing behaviors that are endangering the health and safety of every citizen, young and old."
The media won't change and government isn't about to make them change, other than imposing fines for broadcasting certain vulgar words. So the task falls upon the parents. Get rid of the TV, or at least prohibit children from watching violent shows. Don't allow violent and crude music in your home. Don't divorce, which causes children to feel abandoned and become angry. Stop aborting babies, because if human life is seen as cheap and disposable at its early stages, we lose a moral argument for preserving it at later stages.
Talking about school violence is not a bad thing. Doing the tough things that will reduce it is better. Abandoning the notion that parents should be "friends" with their children would help, along with the investment of quantity time in their lives. But that would require major changes in many households that now put building wealth ahead of building character.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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