Saturday, April 21, 2007

Lessons Learned? Or More to Come?

I've been doing a lot of reading the last few days, since the horrors of the Virginia Tech tragedy. It's been mostly a random selection process, reading one article, following links, and so on.

I notice that events like the Virginia Tech Tragedy can revive the debates over Gun Control laws, Constitutional rights, and the like. People haven't even gotten through the mourning process before the soapboxes are out, and the arguments start raging.

I don't think even the most stringent, most ideal gun control legislation would have had one bit of effect in this situation. I think the only was this madman would have been denied a gun would be if there were no guns on the planet at all.

But I'm not looking to spark any gun control discussions. I'm neither qualified, nor capable of making my opinion seem any more valid than anyone else's, so I'll stay away from that one altogether. It's not really what's on my mind.

I think we are in a lot more trouble than what can be fixed by perfect legislation. I started reading some of the articles written from both perspectives, pro and con, and all I got from them was my own observation on something else.

No matter what side of the equation the writers were on, the articles all had a similar tone. It seems that everything I read had a formula:

  • Insult anyone who doesn't agree, usually at the very beginning of the article.

  • Use the most extreme, yet simplistic examples to illustrate a point

  • Use harsh language, condemning the thoughts and ideas of anyone who takes the other side of the debate

  • Typically, at some point, vilify a government leader, demean some spokesperson, and basically trash any dissent in the nastiest terms

And therein lies a major problem for me.

To me, it seems the Internet, the media, both print and broadcast, have become hotbeds of all that's mean and nasty in this country. Spend an hour or two reading Internet message boards, forums, and blogs and you're sure to find some wicked stuff. Look at what passes for TV entertainment these days. And just try to find an unbiased newspaper article. Or for that matter, try finding much in the way of real news.

We've become a mean culture in so many ways. It's very disturbing to me as a parent to try and imagine what's waiting for my kids in their adult years, because these days, it seems as if it's a no-holds-barred society we're living in, and I can't imagine what it will be like if things keep moving in the current direction.


  1. Ah, the media. Seriously most don't tell the whole story or the exploit the real ones; many have their own agenda. That is why I am selective on my news sources.

    I think you've hit on something crucial here. The world around us is getting so wicked that I think some parents fear what lies ahead for their kids. What keeps me optimistic (even though I'm not a parent yet) is that we can teach our children correct principles and instill strong morals and values.....and teach them to hold on to those. Kids who have been taught well will succeed.

    And I've totally been a comment whore on your blog today. What can I say? I enjoy your blog and the fact that you are a deep thinker. And you have common sense!! Thanks for the insights!

  2. Three excellent posts here. I share each of these concerns.


I love comments. I won't lie about that!