Monday, March 5, 2018

Commentary: Guns in America: The Parkland massacre: A bellwether for American morality, behavior.

Feb 26, 2018

Supposedly, the Parkland killer massacred because he’s mentally ill. I can’t work with that. We’re also told he possesses minimal social intelligence and his hatred, anger and lashing out are extreme. I can work with that. The killer’s minuscule social ability, extreme rebelliousness, hatred, anger and resentment toward authority, fostered his feeling for revenge.

What could have precipitated such extreme behavior? We’re taught we’re rational beings, and even the killer was sufficiently rational to organize, plan and execute his killings. But we don’t always act reasonably; we’re also emotional. Ultimately, we do what we do because we want to. We act on our will, our volition. Our wants determine our actions, and our beliefs determine our wants. So what of the killer’s moral beliefs?

Families have first crack at instilling moral values; then supporting organizations like religious institutions, Scouts, sports, etc. Finally, if these fail, we default to society’s cultural mores. The killer defaulted to society’s moral values, but which moral values?  In a Philadelphia Inquirer op-ed, law professors Amy Wax (Penn) and Larry Alexander (USD) described America’s pre-1960s moral behavioral norms. These traditional values include, “Get married before you have children and strive to stay married for their sake. Get the education you need for gainful employment, work hard and avoid idleness. Go the extra mile for your employer or client. Be a patriot, ready to serve the country. Be neighborly, civic-minded and charitable. Avoid coarse language in public. Be respectable of authority. Eschew substance abuse and crime.”

Americans’ traditional morality is theistic (God-centered), Biblically based; its economics is capitalism; its social structure is family-centered with individual liberty and responsibility. Its political philosophy is based upon faith and reason; it’s America First, conservative (classical liberalism).  Many Republicans embrace traditional morality.

Since the 1960s, America has developed an alternative “anti-culture” that’s promoted in media,  entertainment, education and government. Anti-culture morality is relativistic (nihilistic) materialistic humanism (man-centered), determined to acquire power to achieve its political ends at all costs. Its failure to acknowledge legitimate authority cultivates anarchy.  Anti-culture uses identity politics to divide people by race, ethnicity, sex, and gender to promote division and hatred, especially toward white men. Its economics is Marxism; its social structure is the political group. Its political philosophy is ideological, fostering world government and socialism.  Today’s Democrats support the anti-culture.

Fruits of anti-culture are: Too few American qualified for the jobs available, male working-age labor force participation at Depression-era lows, widespread opioid abuse, homicidal violence plagues inner cities, almost half of all children born out of wedlock and more raised by single mothers, many college students lack basic skills, and high school students rank below those from two dozen other countries, increased mass shootings, and 600K abortions annually-murder in the womb. 
Of America’s two divergent moral systems, the Parkland killer displayed anti-culture mentality, and 17 people died, unnecessarily. Preventing future Parkland-like murders requires our casting off the “anti-culture” and strengthening our traditional “family-oriented” culture. The Parkland murders are a bellwether for America’s moral culture and behavior.

Donovan (Mark) Quimby is a resident of Frederick County.

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