Although I wasn't raised in a log cabin, I
did grow up in an
extremely rural area. The closest town - four miles away -
consisted of 20 humans, assorted livestock and a tiny store
selling fertilizer, whiskey, watery gas and wormy candy bars.
The closest neighbors with kids my age were further away yet,
with the exception of some holy rollers that bought a nearby
farm when I was 12. Those folks were weird, and thus they didn't
count. Their kids had screwy eyes and merely saying hello
invited odd gesticulations and low-level holy roller recruitment
I graduated high school with basically the
same classmates I started out with in first grade, half of whom
were married or pregnant by baccalaureate night. In later years
I told city folks I graduated fifth in my class, somehow
neglecting to mention that our alumnus numbered less than 30.
Urban snobs were duly impressed by this, and assumed I was some
sort of redneck idiot savant. Never supply unnecessary facts for
free, that's my motto.
Aside from the apparent promiscuity
problem, my classmates were moderately well behaved. We caused
trouble now and again, but in truth it was mostly of the spitwad
and stink-bomb variety. We deviled our teachers, but we obeyed
them. We carried rifles in the gun racks of our beat-up trucks,
but we never once thought of toting them into the schoolhouse.
We obeyed adults because we respected them. We respected them
because we were scared of their power.
Of course, political correctness now
demands that instilling a healthy fear of those with absolute
authority is almost as bad as smoking or wearing fur. Many
parents are afraid their kids won't like them if they request
nominal politeness. They would rather be best buddies and bail
their delinquent out of jail than incur youthful contempt. Spare
the rod and spoil the child is viewed as the antiquated teaching
of a backwards era.
It shouldn't be.
Over the past few years we have been
inundated with reports of atrocities which take place in our
schools. Inevitably, the majority of ultra-liberal individuals
who both own and work for the media publicize these events with
a sense of glee. They don't care who or how many students
got killed, all they care about is that another opportunity has
arisen to attack the National Rifle Association. As an
aside, it should be pointed out that ultra-liberals don't really
hate guns; they hate gun owners. Gun owners generally hold
conservative views, and anti-gun liberals feel people who hold
conservative views should be shot. That's why the Democrats want
to confiscate America's firearms...so they can kill Republicans.
Anyway, the media swears up and down that
guns are the primary cause of school violence. This is a crock.
The main cause of school violence is parents who are so busy
indulging their own selfish desires that they fail to
acknowledge that raising children is a full time occupation.
It's a parent's duty to establish
discipline and define right and wrong, to say "yes"
when appropriate and "no" when required.
Unfortunately, far too many delegate this task to educators or
government lackeys. These are virtual parents, oafish
by-products of the TV/computer age who believe a sense of
decency is far less important than dandy self esteem,
politically correct behavior, and a dedication to the
celebration of diversity. Logically, the children of such
cretins exhibit a desultory attitude toward courtesy, tradition
and law. They have little respect for themselves or others.
No, I don't have kids. I'm utterly
irresponsible and thus avoid such things. While that knowledge
doesn't stop other people from doing cannonballs in the gene
pool, it certainly stops me.
If kids have little fear of consequence
from their actions, the blame is largely due to the prevailing
theory that punishment causing infinitesimal mental, physical or
emotional pain is equivalent to child abuse. Many parents
- not all, but many - wouldn't spank their own kid, let alone
give a teacher permission. If little Johnny got whupped by the
principal for burning down the gymnasium, many parents would
whine about civil rights violations and file suit. Forcing
little Johnny to be accountable for his actions is downright
In my youth I realized that a minor
spanking at school equaled a major switching at home. As a
result, I never got spanked at school. My parents did wield the
wooden spoon or break out the belt when I was particularly evil,
but apparently those home tanning sessions enfeebled my
self-esteem not a bit. I love my parents dearly, and deserved
every whack I got.
My parents understood the obvious
difference, as should anyone, between punishment and abuse.
Never did I view those spankings as violent or angry. I saw them
as the expected penalty for blatant transgressions and
disrespect. The act didn't breed blood-lust in my malleable
mind, it bred the knowledge that I better not kick my brother in
the groin again.
And yes...I think it really DID hurt them
more than it hurt me.
Lost Boys: Why Our Sons Turn
Violent and How We Can Save Them
by James Garbarino
Who Kill: Confronting Our Culture of Violence
by Mike Huckabee
Risk: Children Without a Conscience
by Ken Magid, Carole A. McKelvey
Scarred Heart: Understanding and Identifying Kids Who Kill
by Dr. Helen Smith
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