Brian Richards | A Nation in Trouble

Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor

There is something wrong with the fabric of our society. I don’t pretend to have all the answers or know everything, but I have some opinions. 

The nation is far less religious. Even if people weren’t active in religion, at least there was a spirituality that almost everyone had. A respect for human life. A respect for other people’s property. A respect for differing opinions. A respect for this nation and the greatness it has done. It goes without saying we’re not perfect, no nation is, but today it’s all about highlighting the imperfections and ignoring the great things this country has done. Many young people not only don’t respect what this country has done and the people who did it, but also they actually despise our country. Patriotism is mocked! Overt displays of anti-Americanism are applauded.

In the ’50s and ’60s we had gun clubs at school and no school shootings. It wasn’t uncommon in many states to see kids parking in school parking lots with a gun rack in their car and a gun attached to it. And no school shootings! Knee-jerk reactions blaming it all on guns isn’t productive or remotely conclusive. 

If I had to bet, I would bet that the people committing these heinous acts have zero spirituality in their lives. I would also bet that many, if not all, came from broken homes. These young people were raised to ignore the value of life and to think this country is the most evil thing that ever existed and that the universe revolves around them. There is no sense of giving or community or family with these people. We endlessly tell these kids they’re special and give them drugs to calm them down. We give them phones when they’re 10 and wonder why they never come out of their rooms. Kids don’t go outside, they don’t go to the mall, they don’t drive as much, they definitely don’t date as much, and they don’t get in trouble as much, which means they’re never taught that their actions have consequences. And yet we wonder why so many of them never leave home?

I read yesterday where some college professor somewhere gave a lecture that was controversial. I forget the topic, but it was hardly earth-shattering. Many of the students complained about the topic to the administration and it was quoted, I kid you not, that many had to take anti-depressants in response to this lecture. Is it any wonder with the type of kids we’re raising, that some would take the next horrible step? To lash out and to make society pay? To become so infamous that society will be forced to deal with “me”! 

My mind can’t wrap itself around the concept of going into a school and killing children. I’m not religious but I consider myself to be spiritual, that there could be something beyond just me. I was raised by a strong parent who taught me to respect those who came before me and the sacrifices they made. I was taught to honor this country in school and at home. But as I approach 60 in my life, it is me that is out of touch. I have no connection with so many young people and how they think, and worse, how they are being raised. As a member of the last year of the baby boomer generation, I can honestly say that the following generation has utterly failed. Not all of them certainly, but enough. They have failed their children and this country. Who can think of a more selfish thing than walking into a school and killing children? 

To me the answer lies in how so many of these young people were raised. Without spirituality, without respect, and without a soul. It’s a very sad thing and if you go in social media, Twitter specifically, you can see the devolution of our society in real time, which is why I’m going to deactivate my account today. The dialogue is gross and soul-crushing. We have lost the ability to be introspective and honest but instead it’s just a game of who can own the other side. We can’t even come together when evil presents itself in this country. 

There is something drastically wrong in this country today.

 Brian Richards

Stevenson Ranch 

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