Family, Education & The Second Amendment: The demise of the nuclear family, together with technological changes and socialism taught in schools, threatens our future and our Rights.
Long, long ago, in a galaxy far away…I grew up in a nuclear family. Our first home, off the Base, was a poor neighborhood, but all the kids played together. I learned firsthand about domestic abuse and alcohol abuse, living in that neighborhood; it was part of my education. I went to regular schools and had good and bad teachers, who were authorized to use corporal punishment (usually a whack with a ruler).
The focus at school was reading, writing, arithmetic, science, art, music, and – importantly – American history. Other than spelling words and multiplication tables, there was very little memorization. To ensure our knowledge and understanding, our tests were predominantly essay form, not multiple choice. The emphasis was on learning the material and incorporating it into your understanding of the world. Developing critical thinking skills. In our family, we talked about ideas and argued over points of view. With civility.
My Dad served in the Army and had firearms, but I rarely saw them—except when we went deer hunting. But in junior high schools and later in high schools, the parking lots were filled with old pickup trucks, the obligatory rifle in the rack along the back window…the side windows open. Those guns were never stolen (you didn’t mess with someone else’s property). Schools taught hunter safety classes. Kids even brought “cool” firearms to Show and Tell. Firearms were an accepted and normalized part of our lives. We NEVER had a shooting incident at any of the schools I attended, which were several because we moved. A lot.
This trip down memory lane is not for the sake of nostalgia. There is no way to compare my childhood experiences to those of children today. The world has changed dramatically. We have a rover on Mars! (I was thrilled when we landed on the Moon!) Technological and biomedical advances are impressive. But the nuclear family, with two parents and 2.2 children is a rarity now, especially in large cities.
Following higher divorce rates in the 1960s – 1980s, more young adults are now choosing to remain single, or childless. More people live in non-owned housing; the dream of home ownership is either out-of-reach or impractical because people are more mobile – “you go where the jobs are”.
How we entertain ourselves has changed too, from interpersonal connections to media interaction. Church socials, town-square events, and potlucks with the neighbors are no longer common (except maybe in Iowa!). We don’t know our neighbors. People don’t “look out” for others as in the past. Walkable neighborhoods are rare and not well-used; joggers carry personal alarms. Instead of reading, people watch television, play video games, and surf the internet. This consumes our waking hours and diverts our attention and willingness to engage with each other. Wealthy people are purchasing robots for companions!
The Results Are In
I’ve watched as our country has made tremendous strides and enormous advances. Simultaneously, I’ve watched as it has descended into a “what’s in it for me” avaricious culture that has hardened our hearts as much as our arteries. Our children are being raised by instructors who, instead of teaching children to think, indoctrinate them in favor of socialism (or communism). Kids interact through social media, video games, and the internet. They lack social skills and are not being taught to have an “educated heart”, or to care about others.
They are also not taught to have an educated mind. Instead of teaching our children how to think critically for themselves, they are rewarded for memorizing “facts”, and for “participating” and behaving a certain way. Instead of teaching them to strive to be the best, they are taught that everyone is a winner, if they just show up. In short, they are being taught to conform and to rely on others. To me, this is the greatest crime, and the greatest failing, of our society, our families, and our schools. It is a consequence of the death of the nuclear family, the infiltration of wokeness and socialism in our schools, and the lack of consequences for bad behavior. The impact on our collective consciousness, morals, and the way we behave is palpable. It is a huge societal problem.
So What Does This Have To Do With The Second Amendment?
If you do not truly know this country’s history, you cannot understand why our founding fathers were so hell-bent on drafting the Bill of Rights, despite the significant personal cost to each of them. Being a brand-new country whose citizens had endured tremendous hardships, they did not stop with the Constitution. Every one of the enumerated rights in the Bill of Rights was one that the founders had lost, or that England had threatened. They KNEW the true value of those rights. They were compelled to include the Second Amendment because, without it, they knew their hard-fought freedoms would be fleeting.
Our challenge today is to re-instill a deep understanding of why our Constitution and Bill of Rights are critical to our survival. That understanding comes from a knowledge of American history, embracing American values, and an appreciation for the uniqueness and fragility of this grand American experiment.
I fear that with the demise of the nuclear family, the erosion of traditional values, the profound changes in our technological environment, the socialist infiltration in our children’s education, and the intense focus on immediate gratification and the distraction of endless entertainment, our grand experiment — and our Rights — are at risk like no time prior.
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