Have We Failed Our Sons?

Today there was a tragic loss of life in Newtown, CT. I drove through that town yesterday on my way to New Brunswick, Canada. Since hearing about the shooting, many things have crossed my mind. The first was a feeling of relief that my wife and I made the decision to homeschool our kids. That left me with a peace knowing that our kids will never have to suffer such a trauma at a school. They will be under our protection. That doesn't mean they cannot be hurt, but it does lessen the chances of it happening. Next came a feeling of dread knowing that the Statists would be out in full force declaring that the government "needs to get guns under control to keep this from happening." Finally I've come to wonder how we got here. What have we done to lead our sons (there are no incidents I'm aware of that involve female shooters) down this path?

I have a son. He is three years old. I also have a daughter, 6. They are so different. Many times I've said, "I'm glad we had the girl first." I've heard other parents say that too. She is the consummate 'first child.' She is organized. She is creative. She loves to care for people, including her brother. One time, he was being grumpy before bed and I heard her say, "If you don't come down here I'm not reading you any books!" She is a little mother to him. He is....moody. He is stubborn. He is also caring and sweet, but he can throw a fit to rival any other. He is a boy. He's rough, and tough, and he is very matter-of-fact.

I'm sure there has never been a parent that said, "I know my son is going to grow up and massacre a bunch of helpless people." No one can say that. We all have hopes and dreams and aspirations for our children. By three years old we could already see that our daughter will do something creative in the marketplace. She will be a designer or artist or musician or decorator. She loves to draw. She has recently started taking violin lessons, and as a musician myself, I can see in her the desire to play and excel. But I don't know yet what direction my son will go. It's true that boys develop slower than girls, so it may take another year or two to see those traits fully develop. But obviously, I can't foresee him as a killer. I can't see MY son walk into a school or a mall or a movie theater and start snuffing out innocent lives. I do know this - if that ever happens, I will only have myself to blame. I am his dad, and my wife is his mom. We bear the sole responsibility to raise this boy into a man. It is not the school system's job. It is not the church's job. It is OUR job.

Please don't misunderstand. I'm not saying this to take a cheap shot at this young man's parents. I don't know anything about them. All I can say conclusively is that I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that if someone is going to prevent my son from committing such an act, that someone is me. I am the front line of defense. There is some role that society can play, but it shouldn't get that far. We should be actively engaged at preventing this behavior, and its starts now - at three years old. It's already started. He has learned (the hard way) that if you hit your sister, the sister is going to hit you back. Daddy instructed her to knock the fire out of you when you lash out. Brother and sister both have been taught to always stand up for themselves. Sister has just gotten some extra experience with a brother in the house. He's a boy. He's rough. That's normal. What isn't normal is unchecked anger. Anger is real. It is also normal. But anger has to be managed. If left unchecked and unchallenged, it will lead to these violent situations.

Boys are not girls, and girls are not boys. They are equal, but they are not same. On the lengthy list of reasons we chose to homeschool is that the system is trying to treat them as same, not just equal. Boys are more greatly harmed by being locked in windowless rooms than are girls. Boys need ways to burn off all that energy. Girls do not. Boys and girls, men and women, are meant to compliment one another. They are to be treated equally, but they are different. The old joke goes, "If men and women are the same, then one of them is unnecessary."

Gun control won't fix this. "Mental health screening policies" won't fix this. PARENTS will fix this. Schools can't. Preachers and politicians can't. Parents can.

Posted on December 14, 2012 .