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Just an observation. In the 1960s and early 1970s, when I grew up in Gruver, Texas, in the Panhandle north of Amarillo, more than a handful of high school students kept rifles in their pickup-truck gun racks, above the front seat and behind their heads. Guns were everywhere, including the high school parking lot. Back then, we had pretty much never heard of school shootings, much less had even conceived of such events.

What’s wrong with this picture? What has changed between then and now?

Back then, students, parents, teachers, school administrators and the kind of politicians generally elected at that time in that part of Texas, pretty much knew the difference between right and wrong. They taught that difference to their children. That’s not the case in too many cities and towns today across America.

Today, unlike then in Gruver (and in American high schools overall, really), there are way too many stupid students, stupid parents, stupid teachers, stupid school administrators and, most of all, stupid politicians–unlike the ones our parents’ elected back then (across the country, really), which translates to both Democrats and Republicans. After all, back then, we pretty much had never heard of school shootings, much less had even conceived of such events, not just where we lived but throughout America. Rifles were in our high school parking lots with no concerns.

Movies back then, by the way, had plenty of spurting blood. Just watch Sam Peckinpah’s The Wild Bunch or More Dead Than Alive with Clint Walker. No school shootings that I can think of though.

The difference between right and wrong, mostly, is just no longer taught in schools or in homes. Blame who (or what) you want, but the one reality I see as clear as a mountain lake is that too many students today have not been taught the difference between right and wrong–but, they used to have that knowledge! Why did they have it back then, and why don’t they have it today? A failing educational system, the failing politics of education as a whole and the failure of parents (singular and plural) to personally insure a proper education for their children!

The girl and boy arrested yesterday for the shooting death of one student and the wounding of many others in Highlands Ranch, Colorado did not know the difference between right and wrong. I think we all can agree on that. Why did those two students lack that knowledge? Follow the path leading from them to their parents to their teachers to their school administrators to our legislators. Failure to know the difference between right and wrong can be learned by students from any of the above–or all of the above. There was little to no failure before. There is way too much failure now.

The difference between right and wrong must be taught. It just doesn’t appear out of thin air, like we have here in Colorado. It was taught then. Why is it not being taught today?

written by: s.a. bort / 8 May 2019 / Bailey, Colorado

photo by: David Zalubowski / AP