I hate to sound like a bonehead movement conservative, but....I find it hard to believe anything I see in the news, which in my case consists mostly of the headlines of The Daily Mail. I don't mean I think the writers and editors are lying. I just find it hard to believe that anyone could make the stupid comments that inspire the headlines, that a writer would find them worth repeating, that an editor who did not work for his middle school newsletter would print them, and, finally, that anyone would take the trouble to click on the headline and read the story.
Case in point: Almost everything written about the recent school shooting in Florida. Some of my friends wonder why I so rarely comment on such incidents. To say what? It's a tragedy, when it is anything but? I am devastated by the death of strangers about whom I could scarcely care less? That it proves we need rigid gun control, as Piers Morgan insists, or that we need to have armed guards swarming over the schools, as the great patriot of the airwaves Sean Hannity has been bellowing for years?
The most unbelievable headlines are made by celebrity entertainers who are required to have opinions on everything from the creation of the universe to Global Warming to the cure for acne. Piers Morgan, the lizard-creatures on The View, and the hundreds of floozies and seducers who make up the Hollywood elite cannot believe we have not yet banned all firearms. One Jimmie Kimmel actually cried on the air in his rage that Donald Trump has not seized dictatorial power and rounded up all the guns in America. For the Kimmels, the Republicans are all in the pay of the NRA, which is why they cynically refuse to protect our children. Strange that late night TV hosts do not ban the stars of action movies in which teenage boys find role models for mass murder. But they they know for certain that books, movies, tv shows, and comic books do not affect the morals of their readers
I used to think the TV creatures were simply liars. Surely, they must realize that there is a long and distinguished moral and political tradition that emphasizes moral discipline and self defense as the proper foundation of a decent public order. Perhaps the so-called conservatives are wrong, but any reasonably honest person should at least be willing to listen to their argument. As the decades go by, I am more and more convinced that I have been wrong. The Kimmels and Lettermans really are as dumb as they seem, and it is time to give up being surprised at anything they say or do. The only reasonable response is never to read even the headlines. Don't give up the news for Lent: Give it up for every season of the year.
Anyone who thinks about these cases for more than a minute or two should come to several obvious conclusions. First, most of the shooters come from broken homes and troubled backgrounds. Young Mr. Cruz was adopted only to lose his second set of parents. Most of his role models appear to have come from broken homes. Considering the enormous cost--in lives and money--inflicted on American citizens and taxpayers by the spoiled brats who get married in a fever and start splitting when the fires go out, why not impose some modest tax on divorcing couples, say, one year's combined income? Of course, exceptions would be made for the injured victims of a runaway spouse, but let us establish the basic principle that if people wish to behave like feral beasts, they will have to pay for the privilege.
Second, and just as important, most of these incidents take place in large consolidated schools. There was, of course, the terrible attack on an Amish community school, but that is the exception that proves the rule, since the attacker had nothing to do with the school or the community. In most of the well-publicized cases, the shooter was a student or had some connection with one of these vast prison complexes known as public schools.
I don't know what the maximum limit should be, but 500 students is probably too many. With smaller schools and an absolute prohibition on forced busing, schools would go back to being neighborhood institutions, where children went to school with the children they played with. Obviously, in a country where selling out and moving away is a right guaranteed in the Constitution, there will be enough anonymity in schools to encourage alienation and depravity, but, in smaller neighborhood-based schools, there is a far greater opportunity to enforce social control over budding deviants.
Once the the break-up of the educational concentration camps has been accomplished, the staff and parents would have to be given broad powers to set policy, including standards of deportment. Students expelled for violence and threats of violence, as Mr. Cruz was, would not be allowed to register at another school within the district, and letters would be put in his file warning other districts not to accept him. If they did, they would have to sign an agreement accepting liability for any damage he inflicted.
I could say more, but why? These observations are only the common sense derived from the American experience of government schooling. The first step is to demolish the Blackboard Jungles we have created not to house wild animals but to turn American children into beasts.