March 30, 2001

Editorial

Shootings Signal Grave Societal Breakdown

Bang! Bang! Shots ring out in our schools, homes, neighborhoods, shops and malls. Nowhere are we safe! What has happened to our social contract? North America, in particular these United States, has turned into a deadly shooting field where no one is safe!

Not long ago, the sound of whizzing bullets and their deadly impact could be written off as the acts of grown men engaged in gangland warfare or as the acts of societal misfits who opted to support themselves at the end of a gun barrel. Society created laws and established law enforcement entities and courts to deal with those who purposefully chose to live beyond the pale of the law. Millions of law abiding citizens lived in relative peace and harmony with the only sounds of gunfire heard being those that were fired by our military in defense of our country.

If you dare, walk down the city streets in certain areas of our home towns. At any time of the day or night one is likely to become an innocent victim of a drive-by shooting, a knifing or a brutal attack with a baseball bat. Schools have become shooting galleries where the innocent victims, the school children, are being slaughtered with a vengeance. Drop by for a hamburger at a local fast-food place and you may quickly become another statistic of a robbery. Our streets and highways have become dangerous to our health, and to our lives. We have become targets of opportunity for doped-up or drunken drivers who use the roadways as shooting galleries, or worse, as arenas for gladiator wars where the weapon of choice is a 2500-pound steel automobile.

Who are the perpetrators of this new war on humanity? Are they the hardened criminals of the past? Unfortunately, the answer is NO! The new destroyers of life are our children. These are not harden criminals... at least, not yet.

What has gone wrong within the social fabric of our country? Is being poor or uneducated the root source for the breakdown of our society? Is it the moral decay of modern day society where values, ethics, family and religion are devalued? Is it the change in societal values that have relegated God to a role secondary to money? Or, has it been the philosophical orientation that has moved women away from "Motherhood," where she nurtured her children and prepared them for adulthood? With Mother gone, perhaps a need exists to analyze what we have wrought.

(Your letters & opinions are welcomed on this crucial issue.)

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