I find myself, along with the rest of the country, in shock at the tragedy of Sandy Hook. I cannot even imagine the horror and grief that these children and parents are dealing with. My thoughts and prayers are with them in this time of sorrow. Within hours after the announcement of this awful tragedy the news was filled with not only more detail than any of us really needed to know, but also numerous people in the news field and politics using this situation as a catalyst for their own personal agendas. I heard numerous suggestions on stricter gun control. I heard suggestions that this wouldn’t have happened if we had not taken religion out of our schools. I have heard that this is a result of bad parenting. The truth is we will never know. There is no reasonable explanation for anyone to find the ability in themselves to commit such a heinous crime as this. These families will never have closure or reasoning because most of these twisted individuals manage to kill themselves or cause police to kill them prior to being captured. There are already enough people out here defending the 2nd amendment and our freedom of religion. You can turn on any television or look into any social media and see the arguments from both sides. The problem is that no one is addressing the actual problem. Those firearms that were used didn’t just float into the classrooms and start going off. I believe that God was very much present in those classrooms, but he did not tell Adam Lanza to go kill those children and faculty. Adam Lanza used those firearms under his own control and took it upon himself to commit the tragedy that we are all sickened by. I have spent the last 4 days watching the news and reading it on line. Not a day passes without mention of the latest information on Sandy Hook. People spend countless hours trying to understand what motivated this person. In a month there will be a special about the entire situation revealing even more information to an already stunned public. In 6 months it will become a research topic and comparison tool for any tragedy that happens in the future. When do we stop pointing fingers of blame and go look in the mirror? I would challenge anyone to go look in their own mirror, search their own past and tell me that we have produced the best society possible to raise our children in. We have failed as a society and as a nation. We have failed our children and our grandchildren. I am 45 year old father and I am as much to blame as anyone else in our country for the madness that has become so common place. We have created a society that protects more than a society that holds people accountable. We are raising our children to believe that life is easy. That everyone wins. Most of my generation and those before mine have struggled so hard that we each decided to do better by our own children. We have taken great measures to reduce their struggles, to make the playing field more level. A world where everyone wins and nobody loses. At the same time we have stripped away some of the most important values we could have ever bestowed upon our children. Responsibility, respect and accountability no longer exist in our younger generation. We have become parents in denial. We work long hours or multiple jobs to provide for their every need. We allow our children to spend countless hours in front of video games that have more violence programmed into them than any movie that they could go watch alone. When they start to lash out or show violent tendencies we immediately resort to some type of medication to correct the problem and blame the problem on any sort of social depression. We rely on a television or video game to be our babysitter. We slowly lose all connection and communication with our children except for the ever present request for money. We take control out of our schools hands to administer punishment to our children, then we wonder why they aren’t pushed to learn anything. When a child acts up, the most that can happen is they are sent out of the room to some type of detention. Paddling is no longer acceptable. Being set at the front of the class for disrupting a class is cruel and unusual punishment. Yet when our child doesn’t learn, we immediately blame the teacher and the school system. Anytime something as tragic as Sandy Hook or Columbine happens, we hear of the heroics of our teachers and students in the time of crisis. We allow these people to put their lives on the line for our children’s safety, yet we don’t trust them to provide discipline to them. We have allowed our legal system to reach a point of failure. Our constitution and laws have been broken down to each sentence and punctuation mark by lawyers to provide arguments against even the simplest of violations. There is no deterrent to a criminal. If the crime is of non-violent nature, he or she is guaranteed to not spend a great deal of time in jail due to over crowding of our prisons. If his or her crime is violent, we will spend a fortune trying to understand why they would do this and how we can help them through counseling. Our prisons have become completely dependent on state and federal budgets to keep them operating. The days of a self sufficient prison are long gone, due to our failed legal system and a long line of people claiming to defend civil liberties proclaiming that making prisoners work is inhumane and cruel punishment. Never mind the victims of these poor incarcerated souls that didn’t have a state paid attorney present at the time of the crime defending them from their attacker. We also as parents will spend fortunes defending our children that are being picked on by the authorities because we know that “our” child would never do anything that they are being accused of. We show our children that we will protect them even when they are wrong, even when we know it and refuse to admit it. Not because they deserve to get away with what ever they have done, but because we refuse to admit that we have failed to teach them better. We have become a society of information. We want to know every detail of anything tragic that has happened. The media feeds on this and goes above and beyond to provide enough information to make any grad student dizzy from the amount of available research material. In doing so, we are not only publicly recognizing the horrific acts that a person commits, but we are also providing them with a spot in history that should be reserved for the people that lost their lives and attempted to defend themselves. These people not only took innocent lives, but they also cheated the judicial system out of any opportunity it might have to redeem itself in a passage of judgment against them. Regardless if the attacker in these circumstances is alive or not, we should not allow him or her this 15 minutes of fame. We should not be allowing them to write books or have meetings with anyone other than their council. We should not allow their actions to go rewarded in any form. Yes, we have failed. Each of us have allowed our country to get to this point. There is no one issue on hand that can take all of the blame. It’s not the ability to gain access to a firearm. It’s not because religion is not allowed in school. It’s because we as parents have turned our back on the values and lessons that we were taught as children. It’s because we have created a society that no one is responsible. If my son walks outside and throws a rock into my truck window, I am going to spank him. If I do this in public, I have to worry if someone sees me do it and calls the authorities over child abuse. Then he will be sent to counseling to deal with the haunting memory of the spanking and also to help him understand his anger as to why he would throw a rock!! We have not prepared our children for the cold hard facts of life once they leave our home. We allow them to believe that they will start their life in a comparable position to what we have after years of hard work. No one believes they should have to start at the bottom and earn their way. I look around at the work force of skilled trades and I see a growing number of aging workers. No one wants these jobs because they require something other than sitting at a desk or getting your hands dirty. We have allowed our children to believe that this is beneath them. We have made it easier on our children to be unemployed and sign up for welfare and subsidized housing than it is to be responsible and provide for themselves. Our children did not do this to themselves, we have allowed it. We allow it every time we turn a blind eye. We allow it every time we vote or don’t vote. We allow it every day by not taking a stand to correct it. To put this into perspective, as each of us age into our golden years, the children that we have raised into this society of non-accountability are going to be the leaders that take this country into the next generation. They will be the ones making the decisions that will effect our retirement. Are you comfortable with the decisions that we have taught them to make?