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By Ron Marr


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    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 techniques.

    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 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.

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    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 Draconian.

    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.

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The Scarred Heart: Understanding and Identifying Kids Who Kill
by Dr. Helen Smith

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Ron Marr, 2001, All rights reserved.

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