A month ago, a student toting a shotgun, machete and 125 rounds of ammunition marched into Arapahoe High School in Denver, Colorado. His target: to kill the debate teacher whom he felt treated him poorly.
On his way to the teacher, he shot a beautiful girl named Claire Davis in the face. She hung on for a week before dying of her wounds. The killer, a regular 17-year-old high school student, tall and lanky, with good looks, shot himself before Swat teams could reach him.
As a former teacher who started teaching in the 1970s, my colleagues and I could not imagine such violence. But here in Denver, we suffered Columbine shootings by Klebold and Harris when they mowed down a dozen kids and teachers. Another killer shot and killed "Emily" in Bailey, Colorado a few years back. Recently, James Holmes marched into a Denver movie theater to unleash his own killing spree on a bunch of innocent movie attendees.
Even more disturbing: bullied teachers--145,100 public-School teachers physically attacked by students and 276,700 threatened with injury every year.
Over 4,800,000 women, both girlfriends and wives, suffering beatings by their men annually in the United States--a beating every 15 seconds.
According to the National Crime Victimization Survey, which includes crimes that were not reported to the police, 232,960 women suffer rape in the U.S. annually. That's more than 600 women everyday.
The United States carried on two ten-year wars in Iraq and Afghanistan where we killed an estimated 250,000 civilians. We killed many more Muslim fighters by the tens of thousands. We destroyed their country with our bombs. Because those third world countries lack birth records, identification and death certificates--the numbers could be much higher.
In most large city in America, such as Denver, newscasters relate killings every night of the week. Chicago, Houston, Detroit and Los Angeles suffer gang killings nightly.
One in four children suffers bullying by a teen thug in high schools across America every day during school terms. In other words, our children cannot attend school without fear of being beat up, harassed, called names and demeaned by meaner, bigger students who have no other purpose in life but to manifest their thuggery.
What bothers me: we promote horrific violence via our continuous wars promoted by bankers and the military industrial complex that profit at the cost of human lives. We promote TV violence such as "Criminal Minds" and "NCIS" where lots of people commit diabolical mayhem. We support social media arcade games for kids like "Doom" and worse. Our movies feature horrific violence that pours into our kids minds and emotions. It's like the 60s movie "Clockwork Orange" seems normal. You can watch television "Cops" where violence becomes normal. Our drones in the Middle East kill any number of humans without identity.
Today, 68 percent of African-American children grow up under the parenting of single mothers and most of them living on welfare and food stamps. Who babysits those kids? Answer: television. What do they see? Answer: violence. How do they respond? Answer: black flash mobs, "knockout" games, shoplifting and gang violence.
Over 2.3 million Americans languish in prison. We spent $1 trillion in the last 43 years on the "War on Drugs", but a pittance for raising healthy kids. Why haven't we spent as much money on discovering peaceful ways to rear our children as we spend on killing other people in contrived wars?
This information bothers me because Claire Davis could have been my daughter. Congresswoman Gabby Gifford could have been my friend. Your kid might be the one being bullied. I suffered bullying and getting beat up as a skinny kid in grade school and high school.
Question: are we a moral and ethical civilization or do we feature immorality and unethical behavior manifested in our wars and violence as stated above?
Today, 2014, one in six Americans faces hunger. That includes one in five children. (Source: www.feedingamerica.org)
What makes for peaceful, happy and contributing citizens? Answer: jobs for parents, homes for kids, excellent schools, playgrounds, after school activities and positive guidance by two parents.