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NRA va Schumer By: Chris Weinkopf
FrontPageMagazine.com | Monday, March 12, 2001


THE GUN CONTROL LOBBY is stymied. It seems that troubled children are bringing illegal guns to school in ever increasing numbers and all their gun laws passed in the last decade don’t stop the mayhem. Well, it’s not the guns, stupid!

This past week the most vocal anti-NRA, anti-gun United States Senator Chuckie Schumer tried a new tactic: a code of ethics for gun owners. Has he finally realized that the Brady Law, which requires a background check on every gun sold, doesn’t stop a troubled teenager from illegally taking and using a gun at school? Maybe he’s discovered that Gun Free School Zones don’t deter kids intent upon murder and mayhem. Does he understand that federal laws stopping those under 21 from buying handguns don’t work when a teenager tells everyone that he is bringing a gun to school and no one does the right thing: tells a real adult?

No, he doesn’t get it. The one more gun law approach has become old. The media isn’t listening to calls for more of the same; they are looking for something new. Even Jake Tapper writing for the ultra-liberal Salon.com has to admit "it's unclear if there could have been any reasonable way to prevent the troubled 15-year-old Santana High School student." Senator Schumer, who has a reputation for hogging the media spotlight, is searching for a new angle that will attract media attention. Now, he wants to host a "gun ethics summit."

Unfortunately, in the ethics department, Schumer is hardly a leader, and, on the gun issue, he has demonstrated his hatred of gun owners time and time again. Sorry Chuckie, you don’t have a clue. The National Rifle Association of America (NRA), the organization that you love to hate, has been there since 1871, long before you were even in diapers. They have promoted with their members’ money, not taxpayer dollars, the safe and ethical handling of firearms to over 6 generations of Americans.

As a grandmother of seven, I too am concerned about the problem of our children’s criminal behavior. Guns don’t cause criminal behavior and gun laws don’t prevent it. Trigger locks don’t stop children intent on getting a gun, background checks can’t prevent gun robberies, and confiscating guns from law-abiding citizens leaves them defenseless against vicious criminals, especially juvenile criminals.

The juvenile criminals among us are proof that our nation has lost its moral fiber. The Judeo-Christian value system, which has been the basis of two centuries of American ethics, has been badly eroded during the last decade. We have replaced the Ten Commandments with a new system of relativity.

There is no right or wrong, it depends upon the circumstances. We have become very self-indulgent: kids steal other kids’ sneakers not because they have no shoes, but because Nikes are a status symbol. When caught red-handed, we lie or obfuscate by quibbling about the definition of "is." Our leaders push the envelope of decency and legality. When they are caught, they have amnesiatic lapses of monumental proportions. The media glorifies violence and aberrant behavior, while ignoring most of our citizen’s positive accomplishments. We give awards to those that exemplify this nihilistic culture.

Today’s children watch more hours of television than they spend in the classroom. The influence of the entertainment media is certainly greater than that of most any teacher in the classroom. Are our children watching programs that teach a positive value system based on right and wrong, or are they watching shows that glorify the new ethical system of relativity?

I submit it is the latter. Watch most of the early evening entertainment. ""Friends" has replaced the family structure. Reality shows such as "Survivor" and "Temptation Island" are teaching us hateful and manipulative strategies to achieve nihilistic goals.

The latest show that glorifies a value system where there appears to be no respect for morality is Fox’s "Boston Public." In the last three episodes of Boston Public there has been:

A teacher sleeping with his student; A student making false accusations against a teacher and not being held accountable, while the innocent teacher suffers; A student blackmailing a teacher; A teacher withholding information about a student’s criminal behavior (murder) from the authorities, while advising the student to flee.

It’s no wonder that troubled school children, especially teenagers, have no ethical foundation. Our society is sending the wrong message. We need to instruct our children on what’s right and what’s wrong. Let’s focus on behavior, not an inanimate object.


Chris Weinkopf is an editorial writer and columnist for the Los Angeles Daily News. To read his weekly Daily News column, click here. E-mail him at chris.weinkopf@dailynews.com.


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