Open Letter to Students Participating In the School Anti-Gun Walkout: The Easy Road
I start with a question, an important question: When walking through life, which is the better road? The hard road or the easy road?
This was a concept that my grandparents, and as well, my father and mother taught me. The easy road is very rarely the best road. The hard road, generally, was the best road. It made you stronger, smarter, and wiser.
You can apply this basic principle to almost every walk of life. Building muscles to excelling at your job. Preparing for a test to learning how to cook. Making a marriage work to raising children. The easy road never actually gets you where you want to be. It may feel good, but it just doesn’t accomplish much.
It is the mistakes in life, and the hurdles we face, and the difficult times… where we gain strength. (This is the basic principle that underlies EVERYTHING in the Bible as well. It is the foundation. We will get to that at the end of my rant.)
You can also apply this concept to the basic principles underlying the student walkout on Wednesday to press for gun control due to the Parkland, Florida school shooting massacre.
The signs are everywhere: Fear has no place in our schools. I am sorry, but fear is a part of life, and is everywhere. If guns had never been invented, there would still be fear. If you don’t learn to deal with fear in school, you will not be prepared to deal with it in society.
First, the school walkout is easy, actually putting on a protest outside of school is hard.
Protest is a basic fundamental engrained in out country and its history. Our right to free speech, to protest against our government is a God given right protected in our Constitution. In fact, it is one of the most important parts of our society. But what kind of protest is a walkout from school?
It is easy. What would be hard is to organize this on a Saturday morning. What would be the difference?
To start, it would be a fraction of its size. By making it a school walkout, not only do you get the true protesters, you also get the kids that could care less about the issue and are just leaving school to leave school. Do these kids care that fellow students died? Of Course! But do they know anything about either side of the issue and take a side? No. They are joining to follow the crowd and it is easy. You would never get these kids to leave their home or weekend activities Saturday morning to attend a real rally or protest. It is hard to do that.
In fact, you would not even get full participation from those that have an opinion on the success or failure of gun control.
As well, what happens after the walkout is over?
How many of those students will go on to participate in the hard work that it takes, beyond a simple protest, to actually affect change? A walkout will not do that. It feels good, but it is a total false sense of accomplishment. A rally, such as this walkout, must have a purpose. Thus the name: Rally.
I would encourage any student to look towards Martin Luther King Jr. or Rosa Parks, and the REAL protests that they led to see what works.
Calling for gun control and banning is easy, discussing the real problems is hard.
It is a basic fact that several decades ago, students brought guns to school all over the country, legally. Since the early days of our nation, young people, children, have owned guns. Legally.
But this matter of accelerating school shootings is recent, within the last 20 years. Note that In 1994, Congress introduced the Gun-Free Schools Act of 1994. It encouraged each state receiving federal funds for education to follow suit and introduce their own laws, now known as zero tolerance laws. President Bill Clinton signed the Gun-Free Schools Act of 1994 into law on March 31, 1994.
Gun massacres in schools, and deaths related to such, have risen steadily and significantly since that point.
So what has changed Was it the guns, or issues within society? Was it the type of weaponry available or the number of fathers available? Could it be the failure of gun free zones, or a rise in the disrespect for rules and standards? Was it accessibility to guns, growing ownership, or is it a declining society that continues to seek rebellion and disregard for rules and basic human kindness?
One huge issue is the broken home: The one common thread among all the recent mass shooters is they are children of single of mothers. These young men had no male role models in their homes. For 50 years, our society has encouraged women to be single mothers despite all the research proving it is detrimental to a child to be born into a home without a father. Children born to single mothers are twice as likely to become delinquent.
If we look at the recent spate of mass shooters, they all grew up in single family homes. (Cho at Virginia Tech may have been the exception although he seemed to be missing guidance from either of his parents. They did not seem to have been aware of his problems which began in middle school.)
But it is the hard road to discuss that subject. Do all fatherless children commit mass murder? No. But it is blatantly a huge part of the the problem. Silence from these teenagers on this issue. It is a hard discussion. Discussing government control of weapons is easy. Discussing doing what it takes to bring back respect for rules and fellow man? Hard. Calling the NRA terrorists and their removal from our society, easy.
Discussing the causes of the divorce rate? Hard. Walking out of class en masse? Easy. Discussing the causes of societal decline and the ideologies that have exasperated it? Hard. Showing up on CNN to belittle believers in the 2nd Amendment? Easy!
Harvard sociologist Robert Sampson has written that “Family structure is one of the strongest, if not the strongest, predictor of variations in urban violence across cities in the United States.”
The school walkout Wednesday exasperates the foundational problems causing these massacres. It makes matters worse, not better.
I have a young teenage friend on Facebook. He is a fine young man. Great respect for the adults in his family. Active in school leadership. Active in the community and even nationwide politics. He is well spoken and smart. The young man is kind, loving and caring. He is an excellent reflection of the family that raised him, especially his grandparents.
But he is proud of being involved in this walkout. To him I have this message:
You are not helping to stop students and teachers from dying as a result of school shootings and massacres. You are exacerbating the fundamental problems that cause students to make such a vile decision.
Your are a leader. Instead of leading your fellow students that following rules is important, you are stating openly that it is justified to break the law and school rules for the sake of a protest. A protest that could be held on your own time, instead of the time of your teachers and fellow students who prefer to follow the rules.
Your example is that of ‘ends justifies the means’. You are encouraging and endorsing rebellion and disrespect for rules. That hurts the situation.
You could be using your voice to help affect change in the societal problems that are creating this atmosphere. You could discuss the hard issues. That is not easy. You could take the hard message that you were taught to follow the law and rules within society. That is the hard road.
This walkout will solve absolutely nothing towards your ultimate goal, it only makes things worse. It is the easy road and that is generally the way it works.
The fundamental principle that leftist ideology rests on, is making the road easy. Removing the hurdles.
Abortion? The easy road. Welfare? The easy road. Gun Control? The easy road. Government dependence and solutions? The easy road. Making everything fair? The easy road.
Personal responsibility? The hard road. Taking responsibility for personal failures? The hard road.
Starting at a low wage, entry level job, and learning and bettering yourself to move up the job chain? Working two jobs to make ends meet? Hard!
Getting things free? Easy! Having to work for everything you get? Hard!
READ: NPR Admits Rate Of U.S. Gun Violence Has Fallen Drastically Since 1993 as Gun Ownership Doubles!
Sanitizing the world of all its problems does not make life better, and using the government to do so never works. It only results in a weak dependent society. Yet that is the fundamental principle of the left.
We could discuss almost any left/right issue. They all come down to one side wanting to make life easier by removing hurdles, and the other side understanding the importance of personal growth created by personally overcoming the difficulties of life.
The basic concept of the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, is about the hurdles in life making one strong.
God used weak leaders like Moses, Gideon and Paul, to accomplish great things. Young David attacking the giant hurdle named Goliath. Jonah choosing to run from his hurdle instead of heading to Nineveh. I could go on and on, but I will let Paul explain. A thorn in the flesh, a major hurdle, a difficulty was given to him:
2 Corinthians 12: 8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. 9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”
So Paul said: Therefore most gladly I will rather BOAST in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Take the hard road kids, and accomplish your goal of lowering the number of deaths from guns.