Friday, February 15, 2008

School Shootings In Recent Years

If you've not been living under a rock for the past few weeks, I'm sure you've heard about the school shootings that seem to be the new fad here in the US. I just wanted to take a minute and give my two cents on the matter. Guns don’t kill people. People who have no respect for others because they're sick little turds kill people! (Think that would fit on a bumper sticker?)

I'm sure someone's going to blame the NRA, blame guns, blame the right to own guns, or pull some such other crap out of a hat and lay the blame squarely where it doesn't belong, but I'm going to take a moment to voice my constitutional right for free speech here. In case you're curious, that's the same document that allows you to OWN a gun so you CAN protect that right.

  • On Feb. 8, a woman shot two fellow students to death before committing suicide at Louisiana Technical College in Baton Rouge.
  • In Memphis, Tenn., a 17-year-old is accused of shooting and critically wounding a fellow student Monday during a high school gym class.
  • The 15-year-old victim of a shooting at an Oxnard, Calif., junior high school has been declared brain dead, killed by a 14 year old fellow student.

Maybe I'm radical in my opinion on this, and please forgive me if I am, but aren't all (or at least most of) these poor misguided souls the progeny of the "don't spank your kid," "don't leave a student behind," "corporal punishment is wrong" school of thought?

Technically, school shootings have decreased since the early 1990's, but with the rise of the Internet as a media tool, publicizing the events have a much broader audience to be incensed than we had when I was growing up. But back to the point I was making; school shootings never even became a sideline until a few years after I graduated in 1995. I've just got to wonder what's happened to the "adolescents" (read as kids) and poor misunderstood children that makes them think this is ok.

Let me see if I can think what's changed since I was a kid.

  • Guns: Nope.. had those, and they haven't changed.
  • Metal Detectors: well, looks like that's been a wasted fortune spent on cool x-ray toys.
  • Education: nope.. seems only to have improved over the recent years.


What in the hell is wrong with our society? Have you not learned that your new ideas aren't working? When I grew up, I lived in fear of getting a C in school. I used to hate it, but I very well remember the speech "you're an extremely smart young man. There's no excuse for you not to get an A." And WHOA let me tell you what happened if I came home with a D in anything. This was my parents grading scale:

  • A: Awesome job TJ
  • B: Better work harder in social studies and get an A, son.
  • C: Chastisement for slacking off, and maybe maybe being half-way grounded.
  • D: Dead as a doornail.
  • F: Friggin' move in with a friend rather than face my parents.

I was about 10 years old when I told my Grandmother to "take me to see my Dad" because he told me I could go to work with him that afternoon when I got home from school. I threw a temper tantrum and got my way all right. When I came home, Dad took me out in the Gazebo and stood me in the middle in front of god and everyone and proceeded to whip my ass until HE got tired... all for speaking out of turn to an elder. (Katie, ask your Mom. I guarantee she still remembers that one. She came out on the back porch to see what in the hell I was screaming about. She thought one of us kids had gotten hurt playing or something. lol.. although she and penny did sneak me ice cream for a week afterwards!)

One day I talked back to my Mother for some stupid reason... I can't remember why now. What I DO remember is when she grabbed the fly swatter (the old metal pronged kind) and started beating my ass. I remember a brief moment of elation when the head of the flyswatter flew across the room. I still remember the orange swatter zooming off into space and thinking "Thank God! She has to stop spanking me now." Umm.. no one told her that. She kept right on whipping until the point got through my head. I remember jumping up and down thinking that would make her stop... which just resulted in these rather strange butterfly patterns on the back of my left thigh.

You know why I tell you all this? It's not to make my parents out to be monsters, quite the contrary; I never got a whipping I didn't deserve. I tell you this, to prove that I remember it. I'm 30 years old this year and I remember every major spanking I got, what I was doing to get it, and how bad it hurt. I can also tell you this; to this day I have never told my mother "No!" again, or ever cursed out an older person in public... ever! I can recall painful lessons I was taught over 20 years ago... because they were reinforced.

My daughter is eleven years old this year. In her life I have spanked her one time. Once. She was three. First, I ask her to do something, followed by maybe me "telling" her that it wasn't a request. The last warning she ever gets is her full name. (Now that I'm a parent, I love that ability to call the full name and incite immediate fear of death!) Do  you know WHY I've only spanked her once? Because the one time I did, I told her I was going to do it. It was something along the lines of "if you do A, B, C, it's going to result me tannin' your hide so you'll have to stand up to eat for the next three days!" Is my daughter perfect, no way in the world. But does she know to respect the value of something I tell her, yup!

So, in a final note of passing, "Hey parents. Try controlling your children, and raising them right.. before they wind up feeling all depressed at 14 and blowing some other kid away in math class!"


  1. How do you add the Digg, Technorati, etc links onto your posts? Inquiring minds want to know.

  2. All a child has to do now is whine about a spanking to a teacher or someone else and you can have your kids taken away and get investigated by DSS. I know this from experience. However temporary it happens. Which sucks. So before you blame the parents, blame your local, state and federal government. They are to blame. Also most families need 2 jobs to keep the house and children fed, most children become latchkey kids. It unfortunately can't be helped when the average income of a family is less than $30000. So there are other variables involved, but you may want to start with society in general.

  3. I can agree with that Tom. You're completely correct. I remember when I was growing up.. a couple of times I had a social worker come to the house because they had been called on my Dad for giving me a spanking. Absolutely ridiculous.

    Abused kids: sure. Those poor children need protection and their parents need to be locked up. But as for the "Corporal punishment isn't effective" crowd of thinkers; I think they're nuts!

  4. This can and will open a can of worms.... but I'm also throwing my opinion in. For once and for all I wish everyone in the world would start taking responsibility for their own actions, and their children's. I agree that this needs to start at the governmental level; because I will be damned if a single and childless suit is going to tell me how to raise children and maintain a successful marriage. If they could stop and look at the relationships families had from 1-2 generations back they would notice a completely different level of respect among human beings. I can’t begin to count how many times my mom has told me stories about the family dinners at my great grandparents where there was always at least 20 people at once. This wasn’t just any special occasion either, this was every single weekend. Do you want to know the last time I’ve seen that many family members together at once? Yeah, me too… cause I really can’t remember.

    Oh wait, my Granddad’s 80th birthday, and that’s been at least 3 years ago or more.

    Back to my soap box…. I see it on the news every morning how someone somewhere is so upset that some kid can go out and shoot random people for no reason. I mean, what parent could raise their child like that??!! Um, gee…. the same parent saying that my sweet little Johnny only stuck that firecracker in the cat’s butt this one time and he swears he’ll never do it again!! Pshaw indeed!! My mom raised me to know right from wrong, and that ALL of my actions, whether good or bad, have consequences. Have I been lucky and gotten away with some things, yes, but only because my mom had enough control over my life when I was younger for me to handle myself since I’ve gotten older. But while growing up my mom never had to defend me to other parents saying that I was a “special child” or that I had a mental problem, or it was the medication….. Hell no!! She beat my ass and made a spectacle of it, just so I’d be too damned embarrassed to try it again!! The biggest trigger that reminds me of my mom’s parenting skills is when I see a kid throwing a temper tantrum in a grocery store because they want (insert candy, toy, game, etc here) and mommy won’t let them have it. Just to get the kid to shut up the parent will cave and the kid walks away KNOWING they got away with it and already scheming how they can get it to work for them again. Do you know what my mom has done? Spanked me, pointed me out, and threatened to leave me behind in the store!! Do you know what I did next?? Freaked the hell out cause I thought my mommy didn’t love me anymore and forgot completely about (insert candy, toy, game, etc here). I was tucked right up under my mom, even if my bottom lip was jutted out so far I could have balanced a candy bar on it. But it also made me remember the consequence of that tantrum and kept me from being so quick to try it again.

    Nowadays, if someone in the store saw my mom do that to me they would threaten to call the cops and report her, and here she was only teaching me values and obedience in the only way that I could understand it.

    I guess I should really spell this out plain and simple, so whatever Congress man or woman happens to trip on this blog they can find this post so profound that they try to return the world back to way it used to be….. based on our thoughts and opinions.

    1. If your child gets out of hand, discipline them in whatever fashion you see fit. PERIOD. But leave me the hell alone when you see me disciplining my own child and it doesn’t fit to your standards.
    2. Hold each and every person accountable for their own actions. Newton’s law states that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. That means that if you shoot up a school then you should be held accountable for it and be prosecuted accordingly. That does not mean that you can blame it on (parent, sibling, coach, friend, God, the world, etc) and use it as an excuse to get away with anything. You picked up the gun, you aimed it, and you pulled the trigger. End.of.story.
    3. Boy oh boy can I say that I’m so tired of all the gossips and “tag-rags” and blatant disrespect that is out there now. If everyone cared enough about their own lives instead of everyone else’s, then this world would freaking rock!! Jennifer Lopez is having a baby? Congrats for her!! But big deal. There are two girls at work with me that are having babies too!!  Let me spend my time and energy celebrating that instead of pouring over a story somewhere about how much money J-Lo spent on a crib!!
    4. Biggest lesson of all: treat everyone the way you would like to be treated. I mean, if you think it’s ok to be treated like a skank and trash, then fine, treat me that way. But you can best guarantee that if I want someone to respect me then I need to show them the courtesy of respecting them in return.

    I think that’s it for my soap box. I probably lost you somewhere around my Granddad’s 80th birthday…. ;)

  5. Amen! I'm a mom and teacher, I appreciate your point of view. If there were more publicized opinions like this out there my job *both of them* would be much easier. My teenage daughter threatned to turn me into DFS for slapping her face in the car while I was driving b/c she wouldn't shut up and stop interrupting me and listen. I laughed and said "go right a head, the cop that comes will probably want to slap you silly too." Sad to say, although I didn't fall for her idle threat and attempt to gain power and control of our household, in these days and times I'm not too confident that the investigating officer would agree with me and could haul me off to jail and then I'd lose my job. That would really shock the shit our of my spoiled little teenager, I guess. She could then have my job as parent managing the household and dropping out of school to get a job to find a way to pay the bills. Maybe that would wake her ass up! I'm sure that's not the end result she was looking for... but then again, can any teenager have the foresight to think beyond the immediate, self gratifying moment to anticipate consequences if they haven't been taught that there any???


Thanks for taking a moment to leave a comment! Please keep the language clean. (If you are considering spamming the blog, don't bother. It's going to be deleted anyway.)