Okay, you know I usually like to keep things light. And for the most part I always intend to do so. However, this is a serious subject that I think needs to be discussed: Kids and these mass shootings. They are so horrible and tragic. I’m sickened to my core every time I see one in the news. I literally feel sick to my stomach and my heart feels heavy for days, even weeks. I hate that feeling. And I’m sure you do, too. Anyone in their right mind should be sickened by these horrific tragedies, which seem to be more and more frequent these days.
I'm no psychologist or expert, but for 13 years I lived in a world where I was surrounded by murderers and mentally ill men who committed such atrocities, albeit on a smaller scale. And believe me, I spent many years trying to figure out what caused them to commit such heinous acts. I even got to know many cold-blooded murders over the years. Some of them were very sick and dangerous individuals. For example, when I was in the hole for 17 months, the guy in the cell next to me was locked up for killing his whole family. Yes, he killed his mother, father, brother, and even his dog. I got to know him well, since we were only separated by bars like you see in the movies. We talked for hours, days and months. As I got to know him, I tried to figure out what the hell would make a guy mass murder his own family. Apparently, he got upset when his parents told him he needed to get a job. He didn’t like the idea of actually having to work and support himself like an adult. All he wanted to do was party, smoke pot, and play video games with his friends. After months of badgering him, his parents gave him two options: he had to (A) get a job or (B) get out of their house. He chose option (C), which was loading his trusty .22 hunting rifle and whacking his whole family. Generally speaking, he was just some spoiled punk ass kid who didn’t want to work, but obviously wasn’t right in the head. When I asked him why he killed his dog, he replied, “I didn’t want to leave any witnesses.” Ironically, several years later, while we were at another prison together, he and two other guys hijacked a prison food truck and drove it through the fence in an attempt to escape. They would have made it too, but, unfortunately for them, the truck’s axle got wrapped in the barbed wire and stalled. The perimeter cops whipped up, jumped out, and blew one of their heads off with a shotgun. The other two dropped to the ground and surrendered.
I remember once sitting on a bench in Kinross Level #2 Prison, between two guys I played tennis with all the time. Yes, we had tennis in prison, and I was unbeatable. In fact, I once went four years without losing a single match. True story. But that’s neither here nor there. On this particularly hot summer day, this is exactly what I overheard these two nut jobs say verbatim. I’ll never forget it.
Matty: “Yo Hurricane, how’s your appeal coming?”
Hurricane: “Waiting on a decision...” He paused and looked around the yard, where hundreds of convicts were milling about. “And I tell you want, if it gets shot down, I’m going to come out here with my knife and kill as many of these motherfuckers as I can, starting with the child molesters.”
Well, I thought at least that was admirable. If he was going to go on a mass murdering spree, at least he was going to kill the worst scumbags there are—child molesters. But as sat there listening to these homicidal maniacs bantering back and forth, my inner Freud wondered what in the hell went wrong with their minds? I mean, how does a guy to lose all value for human life, and find killing someone as easy as an average person takes a walk in the park? I would go on to ponder this for years.
But those guys were seasoned murderers. What I now would like to know, is what in the hell is causing our young men to go on these mass murdering sprees? That’s the million-dollar question. And I have a theory. So, if you’re not interested in hearing a few facts, now is the time to stop reading.
Let me start by stating that guns don’t kill people. People kill people. Sick people with broken minds. Plain and simple. A gun is an inanimate object. Without a human being to load it, aim it, and pull the trigger, it is no more dangerous than small brick. It takes a sick, broken-minded individual to load a gun, aim it at someone, and pull the trigger. So, the question is, what is causing so many young minds to break these days? It certainly is not the NRA or your average hunter. Nor is it the guy with the legal concealed carry permit. It’s not the single mom with a gun in her purse or nightstand to protect her kids. And it isn’t the guy who has been collecting guns all his life. Nope, not one time has anyone like that gone on a mass shooting spree. It seems to always be young middle-American males. So what is triggering them?
Well, here’s my theory. It starts with bad parenting. Kids these days are so entitled that they feel like they don’t have to follow any rules or conform to any social norm. When they are forced to uphold a social norm, they become angry and rebel. Some become “depressed” and introverted. Parents then have their resident shrink put them on a cocktail of prescription antidepressants and mood stabilizers. Ironically, some of these drugs literally list side-effects like “anger,” “mood swings,” “false senses of well-being,” and, yes, “suicide.” Just to name a few. Mix in terribly poor nutrition, violent video games, violent music, violent movies, and an internet that can find you endless footage of people being murdered in real life, and you have the perfect cocktail to make a mass murderer.
Again, forget the guns. The idea of making them illegal is laughable. Newsflash, criminals don’t care about laws and legalities. Believe me, I know. I was once a criminal who carried a gun when I had to. And never once did I ever stop and think, “You know what, I probably shouldn’t carry this gun because it’s illegal.” Such a notion is absurd. Making guns illegal won’t stop someone with an already broken mind from obtaining one illegally. And really, if someone wants to go on a mass murdering spree, a bat, knife, or hunting rifle will suffice. Outlawing guns will mean only cops and criminals are left with them. Now, I know some people will reference countries like Canada and the UK, which have super strict gun laws and fewer mass murders. Well, let me address that too. For starters, those countries have far smaller populations. They also have on average much stronger family units, which is huge! They also do NOT rely so heavily on medicating their children with prescription drugs, but rather use nutrition and psychological counseling to redirect kids back onto a normal healthy path. Nor do these countries have our gang culture. This is America, land of gangster rap, home of over 300 street gangs whose numbers total in the hundreds of thousands. And while we are on THAT elephant in the room, how come nobody ever talks about the mass murders happening every day in American ghettos? Last year there were nearly 800 murders in just Chicago alone. Yes, 800!!! Mostly black and Latino street gangs killing each other, with an occasional innocent bystander. Do you really think passing gun laws will stop these street gangs from killing each other? To suggest so is lunacy. Where are the anti-gun lobbyists when it comes to the mass daily murders and shootings in our urban ghettos? Huh, riddle me that?
Again, personally I blame the parents. Everyone wants to blame inanimate objects, or gun laws, or politicians. Um, hello! None of those things ever killed anyone. It was sick kids with broken minds that were slowly broken over a lifetime. The parents told little Timmy it was okay to be different. It was okay to lose because he’d get a participation trophy. It was okay to act and dress like a freak. “Go ahead, Timmy, act however you want, it’s okay, people will just have to accept you are different.” Wrong!! People don’t have to accepting anything. And certainly not normal kids. They will not accept you if you act and look like a freak. That is the sad reality. Kids can be cruel. They’ll make a kid feel like he or she is an outcast if they look or act different. Believe me, I know. I was once an outcast. I had my own mental demons as a kid. I was poor and I dressed in ratty hand-me-downs. It gave me a bad complex than caused me to have a chip on my shoulder. But what I had going for me was that I could fight. In fact, I was that crazy kid who liked to fight. Make fun of me and I’d knock your block off. I didn’t care if you were three grades ahead of me and 50 pounds heavier. I’d go berserk and pound your lights out. But the average kid isn’t me. The average kid becomes introverted and eventually an inner hatred towards the world begins to fester. And their parents, rather than encourage them to maybe act a little more normal, say things like, “Don’t worry Timmy. If the kids are mean to you at school, tell your teachers that you’re being bullied.” Then when Timmy does this, kids hate him even more and really ostracize him. Soon Timmy starts having terrible thoughts and scouring the internet with his $800 iPad for ways to exact his revenge. He sees hundreds of articles about school shootings. He does his research and sees he can legally buy a gun, maybe an assault rifle. Why not? That’s what the other kids used. It may take him months, even years of these horrible thoughts flooding his mind. The meds his parents gave him only add fuel to the fire. Then one day at school, someone says the wrong thing. Maybe one of his regular antagonists. Or perhaps it is just a perceived slight, since now in his mind he sees everyone as an enemy, a bully. He thinks to himself, “I’ll show them!” Then he storms off to go grab his arsenal. And we know the rest.
So, in my opinion, it starts at home. The parents. Rather than raise them with human interaction and core values, parents toss kids a “device” to keep them busy. And on that device they play violent video games, where life has no value because it’s virtual. They listen to violent rap and idolize pretend gangsters who dance around in their videos with prop guns while talking about murdering cops. And while I’m on that subject, kids these days are taught to disregard and reject authority. All these anti-cop movements and rallies in the media. Don’t think little Timmy didn’t notice, or hear his parents bashing the cops while they watched the evening news. If a kid is taught to have no respect for authority, what do you think he is going to do when confronted by authority? Yes, conflict. And conflict breeds resentment. Resentment breeds anger. And anger breeds violence. Newsflash, 99.999% of cops are good people who risk their lives to serve and protect you. Sure, there are some bad apples. But as a whole, they are honorable men and woman who are there when we need them. I was a professional criminal in my previous life. I’ve even known my share of crooked cops. But I have never been unfairly stopped or arrested. And I’ve been arrested literally dozens of times. In my experience, if you show a cop respect, they will show you respect in return, even if they have to arrest you. But if you teach a kid to hate cops and have no respect for authority, don’t be surprised if bad things happen when he is confronted by authority, be it a school teacher, an employer, or a cop.
It is called teaching core values. Ask yourself this: Why weren’t these mass shootings happening 30-40-50 years ago? You can’t say because there weren’t assault rifles. Newsflash, there were plenty of assault rifles and other guns back then. No, it had nothing to do with guns and their accessibility. It was our culture’s core values. There were many times more two-parent homes. Kids were taught to respect authority and carry themselves in a respectful manner. There weren’t endless TV shows where murder is the basis of the plot. There wasn’t gangster rap and music that glorifies violence and rebelling against social norms. There weren’t high-definition video games where the more people you kill and rob, the better your chance at winning. There weren’t doctors handing out prescription antidepressants like candy on Halloween. Recreational drugs weren’t as accessible as a loaf a bread at the corner store. And there wasn’t a liberal media saying it’s okay to speak and act however you want. Most of all, parents were allowed to reprimand their own children, even crack them in the mouth once in a while when it was called for. Today a parent gets thrown in jail for smacking their own kid, even if the punk ass kid had it coming.
And then there is nutrition. Let me tell you, nutrition plays a role in mental development and hormonal balance. Feed a mind junk its entire life, and it is likely to end up a broken piece of junk. Feed a kid high quality nutrition, a balance of fresh fruits, vegetables, and quality proteins, and they will grow a healthy mind. Want proof? Look at a kid who eats junk. Look at their skin, their eyes, their skeletal structure and muscles. They look weak, small, and frail—pale-skinned zombie kids with dark rings under their eyes. Then look at a kid who eats a healthy balanced diet. They are bigger, more muscular, with good color to their skin and no bags under their eyes. Feed them garbage—processed canned food, sugared cereal, candy, microwave dinners, and fast food all their lives—and by the time they reach their teenage years they are either obese, or skinny and sickly while constantly catching flus and colds. But that is only the surface damage. What you can’t see is the damage caused to the mind, to natural hormone levels. It can literally ruin a child, physically, mentally, and psychologically. I cannot stress enough the importance of proper nutrition. It is a game-changer. Feed a kid crap, and the odds are that he/she will grow up to be a mess. Feed them a healthy balanced diet, and you give them a MUCH higher chance at succeeding in life. That is a simple scientific fact that has endless data to back it up. Feel free to look.
Finally, there is exercise. These younger generations barely move. All they do is stare at a phone or computer screen all day. The only exercise they get is their thumbs moving when they play video games or interact with other phone zombies on their devices. When I was a kid, I lived to get out of the house and play. Didn’t matter what—baseball, basketball, football, catch, fishing, swimming, it didn’t matter. I just wanted to get out of the house and play. Human beings are physiologically designed to move, to exercise, to use their bodies. If you don’t move and exercise, the body ages at an accelerated rate. Want proof? Look at old people. The more sedentary they become, the faster they age. And there is science to back this up. Our bodies created a “death hormone” that accelerates death when we stop moving. The reason for this is because for eons humans lived in feudal clans that were barely able to support themselves via hunting and foraging. When someone got too old to contribute to the clan, the rest of the clan had to provide for them. But there was rarely enough to go around. So God designed out bodies with a failsafe—a hormone that expedites death when we stop moving and are no longer able to contribute to the collective. Today we have modern medicine that can keep old, sedentary people alive for decades. There is plenty of food for them. But their quality of life diminishes exponentially when they stop moving, working and using their bodies. We all know stories of people who worked all their life, and then when they suddenly retired, they died within months. This is why. The body stays strong and healthy if it moves. The immune system stays functioning at a high level. But when it stops moving, it begins to die. Our kids today barely even move. It’s the reason so many of them are sickly, with all kinds of mental and physical health problems. It’s the reason there is an epidemic of cancer, diabetes, and other diseases in people who are still young, under 30-years-old. Bottom line, our bodies are a “use it or lose it” organism. But these younger generations get out of breath walking to the refrigerator for some soda and cake. The only sports they play are video games. And thus we have a pandemic of sickly, hormonally-imbalanced kids who often have serious mental problems.
Again I blame the parents. If you feed your kids garbage, allow them to say and act however they want, and don’t encourage them to be physically active, then don’t be surprised when the kid grows up to be a mess. And most definitely do NOT blame society, inanimate objects, cops, teachers, media, or your in-laws. Blame yourself! YOU ARE THE PROBLEM. It is time our young parents start taking responsibility for their own parenting. Or rather lack thereof. Kids are a product of their parents. Plain and simple. Someone recently said to me, “So you blame your parents for you ending up in prison?” My answer was, “Yes, in part it was my parents’ bad parenting. I came from a broken home. My father was an alcoholic wife-beater and my mother was mentally ill. As a result I grew up with almost no parental guidance. I had no father figure in my life, and nobody taught me to respect authority." We were on welfare, so all we ate was garbage. Together, this was a perfect storm for me to end up a psychological mess. In 8th grade, I was nominated by my peers ‘Most Likely To End Up In Prison.’ I’m sure my detractors were happy to see I lived up to their expectations.
So what are the answers? I don’t know. I don’t even have kids. But all the environmental and physical factors I mentioned above certainly are at least part of the problem. All I’m doing is looking at the situation from a thousand-foot view. But if I had a young child, I would feed them well, get them enrolled in sports and other interactive extracurricular activities. I would take away their devices and teach them core values, to respect authority. I would tell them, “If you lose, you’re only a loser till you win. That is life. There are winner and losers. You have your choice. Work hard and be a winner, or be lazy and be a loser.” If my kid were to start dressing and acting like a freak, I’d call them on it. Dig deep and find out what’s going on—the core causes behind their behavior. I would teach them to respect authority, and reprimand them if they ever disrespected it. I would take them fishing and spend time with them, rather than buy them a new iPhone and send them on their way. Yes, I know, it sounds great in theory, and is easier said than done. But we have to start somewhere, otherwise things are only going to get worse. There will be more of these mass shootings, more moral decay and cultural decline. Where will it stop? That’s what scares me. When will it hit rock bottom? When we run out of acronyms for all the new sex genders and things to “identify” as? I don’t know. All I know is that the world was a much safer place for us and our kids 50 years ago. Perhaps it is time we look back at what we were doing right then, and use it to start changing things for the better now.
There. I hope I have made some sense and didn’t piss off too many people. I guess I needed to vent a little, and this is how I do it. I am a simple Christian man, with simple Christian values. And the direction I see the world moving in today really hurts my heart and, frankly, scares me. But I’m even more scared for our kids, because they are the ones who are going to inherit this mess we have made.
P.S. If any of this post offends you, then you're likely part of the problem.