Saturday, March 16, 2013

Use it or lose it: your mind!

Just when we thought the pendulum couldn't swing any further toward insanity in dealing with gun facsimile- toting tots, we are proven wrong. A seven-year-old Maryland boy was suspended earlier this month for nibbling his pop-tart into the shape of a hand gun, aiming it at his classmate, and uttering the forbidden words "bang, bang." Predictably, the principal was quick to bring down the gavel on the "pop-tart terrorist."

Can any society endure this level of stupidity?

Well, now our elected officials here in Maryland, with obviously nothing more pressing to do, have introduced legislation to deal with such foolishness. "The Reasonable School Discipline Act of 2013" is designed to prevent principals from suspending or expelling students who make "a hand shape or gesture resembling a gun" or bring to school "any object that resembles a gun but serves another purpose."

Maryland State Senator, J. B. Jennings, who introduced the bill, explained, "These kids can't comprehend what they are doing or the ramifications of their actions."

The same could be said about the adults issuing the over-the-top consequences for this new "sin." The harsh and irrational treatment, as well as the recorded suspensions on the children's permanent record could have lasting effects on their education. Some children even have probation officers and a police record!

This is the culture that adults have created for the children. We have created mega-hit violent video games that many experts claim alter a child's sense of reality, and blatant sexual content in the media that is proven to have ramifications, and our "leaders" are worried about imaginary guns? Is this perhaps an attempt to indoctrinate children in a worldview that demonizes firearms, instead of rooting out genuine diseases of our culture? This is a distraction!

If politicians and school officials really want to correct the problem of violence, they are going to have to go much deeper than throwing the book at imaginative children brandishing pretend guns.

Guns don't kill people, people kill people. For example, gun ownership is common in Norway, yet Norway, a country of almost 5 million, has one of the lowest per-capita homicide rates in Europe. So what is our problem? It is much deeper than imaginary guns!  When a chronic sickness isn't healed, the symptoms do not go away. The same could be said about so called, gun control. People intent on doing harm will use other weapons at their disposal: their fists, baseball bats, knives, cars . . . planes.

It might be an appropriate time to mention that I have never owned a gun. Nor have I ever been outraged or terrified when a student at the high school where I work holds his fingers to his head like a gun in what has always been an innocuous show of boredom. Should I alert the deputy (another band-aid) now employed in the school system?

It is a pretty safe bet that finger, paper, or pop-tart guns have never harmed anyone. But the evidence of harm on young minds is mounting against the devastating results of media violence and graphic sexual content. Why is there no public or political outcry to ban these "weapons"? Why are parents shirking their duties of supervision ("super"  vision—think about it!) American schools have declined and are currently rated "average" globally, even though per-student spending is the highest in the world, with no close seconds. Something is out of kilter.

Instead of treating imaginative child's play as a pathology, we need to spend our time and money solving real problems. My blog is called "Consider it all joy" for a reason. I am sure that God is in control. He is relentlessly calling us back to Him. Jesus said, "Love God with all your heart, your soul, and your mind. Let us not forget the mind part.