Originally published in the Fullerton College Hornet, Vol. 78, Issue 23; 28 Apr 1999
The Columbine High School massacre has left the nation scarred.
It is a sensitive topic. I felt revulsion at the thought of teenagers murdering one another. I felt anger that firearms were used to inflict such senseless violence.
The fault lies not with the guns. The fault is with those who pulled the trigger.
There is a problem in this country and it has nothing to do with triggers.
Our children are growing up with no one who will take responsibility for them. Children are, at best, left on doorsteps or, at worst, in trash bins.
Parents are shying from their responsibilities, hoping that someone else will raise their children for them.
Looking for role models, our children turn not to astronauts, police officers or physicists, but to criminals, despots and mass-murderers. Seeking to belong, they lash out violently when rejected.
This cycle can be stopped. Our future is not without hope. There is a solution to the epidemic of mindless violence.
The solution is simple, but is far from easy.
We have to take responsibility, both for ourselves and our children. We have to guide the next generation in their daily lives.
This doesn’t mean constantly watching over our children’s shoulders. It means being aware of what is happening in their lives. Directing them away from influences contrary to the morals of parents and society should be our goal.
We could direct them toward more productive and honorable influences.
Growing up, I was actively involved in Boy Scouts. It played a tremendous hand in shaping me into who I am today. As I matured, I was entrusted with greater responsibility, both at home and at school.
By gaining their trust and giving them responsibility, we can shape our future by raising our children to become everything we know they can be.