Dealing with evils like school shootings requires both a short-term approach, and a long-term approach. To stop the next shooter(s), the most immediate action we must take is to arm and train personnel–teachers and staff. The adults who are going to our schools each and every day, including today, tomorrow and every school day. They will need to be supplemented and supported by full-time professionals, but those will take longer to identify, recruit and train; qualified, or even prospective, law enforcement officers are not laying around waiting for something to do tomorrow. Enforcing current gun laws and amending and creating new laws are also a necessary part of the short-term, deal-with-the-symptoms process. Specifics of what to do about gun laws will be dealt with in a soon-to-be published podcast. We’ll work on that together.
Long-term, we need to reverse the moral decay in our country. Yes. Decay. Even a few decades ago, school shootings were unheard of–even if there were plenty of guns “back then”. Not as many, and not a powerful, but the differences in available firearms does not explain how we have gone from zero to 60 in school shootings over those few decades.
The 106-year-old company, L. L. Bean, which Leon Leonwood Bean started in his brother’s basement in 1912, built a huge business with an enormous level of customer trust and enthusiasm based on solid products and a lifetime guarantee. Lifetime. No questions asked. No receipt needed. When I was a student at the Harvard Business school in the 70s, one of the cases featured the famous L. L. Bean guarantee, with the core question being the financial wisdom of that promise. The case ended with the solid conclusion that it was not only a wonderful thing to do and great for publicity, but it made financial sense. No longer. In February of 2018, Leon Leonwood’s company took its promise back. They cited the rapidly growing number of cheaters, pointing out that returns have doubled in just the last five years, with all-too-many people sending back hand-me-down items for replacement. Even many items purchased at yard sales were returned. Both Bean and its customers lose; cheaters will simply move to their next scam.
Is it surprising that in a world where cheating like this is more and more prevalent, and much music, many movies and a whole pile of video games are violent, pronographic and, well, scuzzy, that whack jobs are shooting up our kids?
Disgusting, horrible and reprehensible, but not at all surprising. Make no mistake here; the inputs that are washing over our minds in waves are not “just entertainment” that does not influence us. Advertisers pay upwards of $5M to influence us with commercials for 30 seconds. Please don’t tell me that many hours of this agenda-focused trash every week does not influence us–and powerfully.
We will deal with our deteriorating moral compasses, our neede “True North,” in a soon-to-be published podcast. As always, we’ll work on that together.
Will Luden, writing from my home office at 7,200’ in Colorado Springs.