In the aftermath of an atrocity such as the massacre last week we enter into the Facebook and other social media debate. One unfortunate aspect of that debate inevitably is one that argues that the young people themselves are at fault…or if not the young people, then the culture around these young people.
I always want to comment, “I never knew you had such a low opinion of your own children.” Of course the response would be, “oh, not my children…the problem lies with other people’s children.”
This argument is offensive and lazy. It naively posits that “if the children weren’t such disrespectful jerks, we wouldn’t have _______.” (In this case yet another gun massacre).
Are there problem children? Of course there are. Just as there are problem people in every generation. And if we truly have a generation of children who are so bad that it is there generation that is at fault for what ails us, then we must point the finger of blame squarely upon ourselves…the parents of this generation.
In year’s past I tried to engage with people who view the necessity of guns differently than I do. I did this because I believe that those who, “like their guns” and those of us who don’t see the necessity, both need to be part of the solution. Sadly, such encounters never produced anything. Those I engaged with did not want to change anything…unless the change was to put more guns into the hands of more people. Some of these are the very same people who are now blaming the younger generation for violence that they are too ready to accept because their guns are more important than making any needed change. I wish this were not so.
The problem does not lie with young people! It lies with people of my generation and with those who are older than me. We have failed those who are younger. Personally, I am thankful for the young people who are so eloquently, strongly, and emotionally raising their voices. I am proud of them, I thank God for them while I mourn the necessity of their voices, and I will follow. We all should.
Please share some stories of the strong young people in your life.