In addition to the information released from Morgan County R-II School District on the new security measures being implemented at their elementary schools (see page one), I also listened to Superintendent Dr. Joyce Ryerson speak on the issue at the recent Versailles Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner.
She was visibly saddened by the steps the school is now taking, understandably so, but it is good to know that the district is taking appropriate steps to defend students and its staff.
Meanwhile, the country debates possible gun control regulations and mental health care crisis, but I am not convinced that either one of these get to the heart of the matter.
I believe in the 2nd Amendment as a protection of our right to defend ourselves against foreign powers and against potential tyranny of our government.
In the particular case of Newtown, the gunman may have had a mental illness, but that does not necessarily always correlate to violence, nor do all such offenders have a “mental illness,” though you could say that any murderer is in some way disturbed.
The shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn. does indeed, however, seem to be a watershed moment for the U.S., and gun control has become yet another hot topic that shows the divide in our country.
Though we would like to blame politicians for so-called partisanship, this division is actually the result of significant philosophical differences between the citizens of America over what our nation should be.
From our relationship with our government to our relationships with each other, the American cultural landscape has been undergoing a paradigm shift since at least the Baby Boomer Generation and possibly as far back as the Lost Generation of World War I.
The increasing number of protective regulations is just one result. And it seems the more protection we get, the more things there are from which we need to be protected.
In the wake of this recent tragedy, we look to the government for blame and answers. Some look to more gun control, others to better mental health care.
But most look to the government in some way.
Yet our cultural dynamics go largely unaddressed. No, I’m not talking about violent video games.
It is a culture in which too often adults act like children and children kill people.
It is a culture in which we struggle to be forthright and yet also civil with each other or to be honest without a barrier of anonymity.
It is a culture in which the timeless act of bullying somehow becomes a reason to kill instead of a reason to head to the school yard.
Page 2 of 2 - It is a problem that our government cannot fix.
It would mean a hard look at ourselves, our everyday lives.
That is one mirror that we’re more comfortable avoiding.