Bad Ideas, Not Guns, Kill People

by | Mar 11, 2000

Families of Columbine High School shooting victims plan to sue the gun manufacturers. I have a better idea. Why don’t we sue the public schools? If not financially — then at least morally. Guns and bullets don’t kill people; bad ideas do. Unhealthy ideas make twisted individuals want to pull the trigger. A dominant idea […]

Families of Columbine High School shooting victims plan to sue the gun manufacturers. I have a better idea. Why don’t we sue the public schools? If not financially — then at least morally.

Guns and bullets don’t kill people; bad ideas do. Unhealthy ideas make twisted individuals want to pull the trigger.

A dominant idea spread by today’s public schools is that there’s no right or wrong. This is an idea which gives many killers-in-waiting unwarranted aid and comfort. An atmosphere of nonjudgmentalism gives free rein to bullies and killers who feel no moral restraints.

Increasingly, children are taught that it’s harsh to claim there are right and wrong answers to questions — even in subjects such as mathematics and spelling. When kids fail to concentrate or work hard, they are diagnosed “attention-deficit disordered,” rather than told they lack self-discipline and motivation.

With all the excuse-making going on in today’s schools, it’s remarkable we don’t see even more dysfunctional and violent behavior than we already do.

Clearly, many public schools are failing. Nationwide shootings are not a sign of academic excellence and success. Here’s the problem: When public schools fail at what they do, they don’t have to answer to the marketplace like private schools do. They’re a monopoly. They can’t go out of business. In fact, they usually get more funding (not less) when they fail.

It’s hopeless to expect private schools, who on the whole offer superior academic standards and safer environments, to seriously compete with the tax-funded monopoly of public schools. Consequently, more and more parents and children feel angry, helpless and stuck with what they have. That’s why home-schooling is on the rise as a means to escape the growing violence and mediocrity of our socialized education system.

It’s time to stop placing all the blame on gun companies. Instead, parents and voters — as well as the media — must take a hard look at the school system from which the violence keeps emerging.

Dr. Michael Hurd is a psychotherapist, columnist and author of "Bad Therapy, Good Therapy (And How to Tell the Difference)" and "Grow Up America!" Visit his website at: www.DrHurd.com.

The views expressed above represent those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors and publishers of Capitalism Magazine. Capitalism Magazine sometimes publishes articles we disagree with because we think the article provides information, or a contrasting point of view, that may be of value to our readers.

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