I cringe every time the local news comes on because the first 10 minutes or so typically reports how many people have been shot, stabbed, raped or beaten. If it bleeds, it leads ("Three die in Columbia mall shooting," Jan. 27).
When multiple shootings happen in Baltimore City, the mayor and police chief give lip service for the 15-second sound bite, and we never hear about those victims again.
But let some kid open fire at a mall, college or school, and it's wall-to-wall coverage with special live teams in the field, dramatic music and calls for stricter gun control. Experts are interviewed, opinions postulated and all things bad about guns are pontificated for hours on end.
Within days we'll hear stories about how the suspect gave off warning signs that everyone around him ignored or didn't want to deal with. Then there's another two weeks discussing those issues and why no one said anything about his or her behavior.
Why isn't the same kind of attention given to those gunned down in the rest of Maryland, especially in Baltimore City? They're just as dead, and seemingly for equally senseless reasons.
Using the typical political logic of these days and times, are white deaths in suburban areas more important than black deaths in the city? I would say no, but I'm not running the media, which is supposed to be watching out for things like this.
Before we go asking the General Assembly to craft even more unconstitutional gun laws, let's look at a different possibility.
We stopped allowing our children to experience failure back in the late 1990s. Everyone made the team; everyone has to play; we don't keep score so there are no winners or losers; everyone gets a trophy. Meanwhile parents and teachers have been banned from disciplining children; and no one gets a failing grade for fear it might hurt their feelings.
But when you never experience failure as a child, how can you face up to and deal with failure as an adult? How can you be a gracious winner if you don't know how it feels to lose?
Life is tough. If children aren't equipped with the coping skills, the first time they're faced with failure as young adults they won't have the tools to deal with it in socially acceptable ways. And way too many of them use virtual reality as their guide.
Growing up I heard "spare the rod, spoil the child," and few of us acted out. Today's saying should be, "spare their failure, spoil their future." We're not doing our kids any favors by shielding them from life.
Parents can practice tough love by allowing their children to suffer the consequences instead of finding ways to soften the blow. It might break their heart to feel their children's pain, but it will feel a whole lot worse when you have to face the fact your child just committed some horrible crime against another human being.
Michelle Jefferson, Westminster-
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