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June 2012
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Solving school violence requires turning away from 'me' culture

By LARRY CALL Brookport, Ill.


The headline reads: "Despite safety emphasis, school shootings continue," (Paducah Sun, Feb. 3, page 6A). Of course not! Or in the vernacular of the day, "Well, duh!" That's because - to use a medical analogy - we're treating the symptom, not the cause.

More security may stop some would-be perpetrators of violence. Restricting gun ownership is fraught with problems; restricting gun possession is even more difficult but a lofty goal if only we could just identify the right persons. Counseling of "troubled young men who are desperate" and have no hope before they strike out against themselves or others should help. Crisis counseling of those who survive such tragedies is certainly helpful.

But none of these approaches addresses the core problem. By-and-large, our culture has forfeited the sanctity of human life; we have sacrificed America's core values on the altar of "self."

America's historic "rugged individualism" has become, "It's all about me."

"I feel bad" now equates to a license for "I have a right to hurt someone."

The little New Testament book of James offers the antidote in two simple rules: 1. Love God; 2. Love others. It's a simple fix: change the values; change the behavior. It's simple, it's not simplistic; it's just not easy.

Me-ism in a culture without absolutes has run amok and we're reaping the harvest. May I start the change with myself. Won't you join me?


Brookport, Ill.

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