My Personal Side
By Craig Hastings
What has happened to the youth in America? Why would any child born to this great nation ever have a thought to do harm, even to kill other children including former classmates and others he/she didn’t even know? What events take place in a child’s upbringing that might lead them down a path so dark? The latest student massacre in Parkland, Florida, is yet another bombardment to the destruction of the American social order. Forever it has been a given there are two places Americans would be free of assault if in attendance. One is any place of worship and the other is any schools parents send their children to be taught the past, present, and future of the American way of life.
How many of you reading this learned in school of any church or school massacre? It’s been a long time for me, but I remember from my history classes that most all taking of a human life was during times of war wherever in the world wars are fought. The only murders in America that shocked the soul I can remember learning about were the assassinations of President Lincoln and President Kennedy. I think we all still wrestle with those two senseless killings. It grieves me to think my grandchildren will be taught in history class of the mass killings in many schools, churches, and public events that occurred through the years of the 2000’s. Do all of you remember learning in history class of the killing and chaos in other countries and thinking, “Whew, I’m glad those things don’t happen here in America!?”
When I was a kid I can remember thinking should we ever be invaded I was running to the little Baptist church out here in the Hillcrest subdivision because that was a safe house that would shield all of us inside from danger because it was a church! After all it was God’s House, nobody gets hurt in a church, right? And if I wasn’t outside running with the Hillcrest gang I was probably in school, the other safe house from foreign invaders. Sorry Russians, might as well move on because we’re not coming out until you leave. Lord let me be that child again with thoughts of simple ways to be safe from anything and anyone wanting to do me harm.
Will you agree with me thinking that there is way too much news coverage devoted to the worst events that occur in the world? Sadly it’s the death and destruction occurring right here on our homeland that gets the most coverage. Do you really want to hear from a dozen kids that were running for their lives that day on live feeds from a multitude of news outlets? It sickens me to watch these children used in media competitions. How does that work exactly? Are there advertisements aired, posted, and printed tempting these kids with cash or grandeur of being on television to step forward with their cell phone videos and statements of “What did you see?”
The aftermath stories are difficult to consume and make sense. It was reported there were siblings that went to the same school that day and only one of them went home. It was reported that it was hours before parents knew if one of the dead on the property was one of their own. Adding to all the anger and pain those families endured was that their dead children were laying alone on the floor until police investigators and coroners personnel finished up with the crime scene surrounding those bodies. I would need to be restrained and arrested from my attempts to break through and sprint inside to my child.
Have you listened to the crazy expert analysis’s thoughts on how to prevent the next school shooting from happening? OMG! Where do these people come from and what makes them the expert fix all? When any Congressman or woman is interviewed for their fix ideas please just turn the channel. These clowns can’t pass a budget, fix the immigration problem taking place now and over the past twenty years, or figure out the rest of the world is becoming militarily stronger while the United States has continued to deteriorate. However, what they can do better than anyone is play “follow the leader.” None of them get to vote their own views of anything anymore. Nope, whatever the party House and Senate leaders say, they do. Spineless good for nothings.
So how do Americans prevent the next school shooting, stadium shooting, church shooting, etc.? The answer is….we can’t. Even if we stopped the sale of any and all guns today; there are too many hundreds of millions of guns in circulation today to believe that the guy wanting to shoot a bunch of people wouldn’t get his hands on one. I heard a few “experts” say more money spent for mental health treatment would do it. Really? Other “experts” say we need more stringent background checks. Raise your hand if you think the psycho out there that really wants to shoot people won’t because he failed a background check. Another, Really?
How about this budget breaking fix? Armed security or even police in every school in every state and every day? Not only would the cost break the bank but, what about before school, after school, every bus stop, and every school sporting event? An impossible task. More FBI agents was suggested. Why is this an FBI problem to fix? In fact I think the FBI Director just today announced the FBI had all the information they needed to investigate this kid and didn’t. The kid was telling the world he was going to be a school shooter. No investigation. I will say again, 99 percent, the rank and file FBI agents, are good a dedicated people trying to do their best in difficult times.
I feel the only way to help prevent these occurrences is for people to talk. Anyone and everyone in America that hears, sees, has heard of, etc. must report it to their local police. Local police then could notify the FBI if they can’t get it figured out locally. Your local law enforcement has a better chance of knowing all the players involved than anyone else. It needs to start at the local level. The very best source of information will come from other kids/students. They will be the first to see, read, or hear anything suspicious. Parents need to encourage their children to talk to them.
My fix; I think it should be mandatory that at the sixth, ninth and eleventh grades students be required to attend classes that teach them the warning signs and encourage them how to step forward should they become suspicious of someone. Anonymous reporting should be an option to all students. The very core of the crisis is at the school student level. These children have a better ability to protect their own than any of us adults. A nationwide standardized course explaining the why and how to prevent through reporting must happen and happen quickly. Maybe all of the “experts” out there could figure out what needs to be taught in that course. If they can’t; come on by, I think there might be a couple of corn cob county guys and gals that might help you get started in the right direction.
Here in Tuscola we continue to train should one of these horrific events occur locally. Our Mayor, City Administrator, and City Council haven’t denied any equipment requests we’ve made of them in order to as best prepared as we can be. We are prepared to dispatch to any community in the county if needed. We won’t have the luxury of having 250 law enforcement personnel show up as they did in Florida but it won’t matter. If all goes as planned it will end it quickly. Probably only two or three of us will arrive soon after the dispatch, but I’m confident these officers are capable and will eliminate the threat. It’s the aftermath including crowd control, collection of evidence and crime scene analysis that requires so many additional personnel. My god, children killing children in America. How did we get here?