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Parents’ Rights in Education

  /   Friday, March 31, 2023   /   Comments(0)

I’ve seen on the news lately that the House of Representatives passed a parents rights bill concerning our schools.  It passed with all Democrats opposing the bill.  Some Republicans also oppose it, but I saw that at least one of them did so, not because he opposed parental rights, but because he opposed additional federal regulations in education.  For the people who did oppose parental rights, and I believe a lot of the naysayers do, one must ask why someone would oppose this?

There are many important concerns about what is being taught in public schools these days.  However, I would say there is a deeper issue that I haven’t heard much about.  If parents are not competent to know the educations needs of children, who is? How is it determined?  To answer these, or similar questions, we need to first answer this – who is education for, and what is it’s purpose?

In order to know what a child needs to know, we need to know the fundamental purpose of the knowledge.  Otherwise, we are aimlessly shoving academics at our kids with no real end in mind. This is something we really need to think about.

With this being said, I can’t think of anyone who would be better suited to direct the purpose of education than the people who love the kids the most.  They certainly will know and understand their kids better than education system bureaucrats.  Besides, if a set of parents messes it up, they mess up only their own children. The bureaucrats have the potential to cause an entire town, state, or maybe even the whole country to be poorly educated.

And besides, is there really an objective standard of what needs to be taught in a school?  How is it determined?  Are there things better taught by other means (I’ll say absolutely there are.)?

We’ve really got to think about these things.


Category: Catholic, Response

My Take on Gun Control

  /   Tuesday, March 28, 2023   /   Comments(0)

If you have seen the news lately, you will have heard that we had a school shooting in Nashville. These things are always horrible, but this one was especially awful because it took place in an elementary school. I just can’t imagine what would bring someone to the point where they wanted to do something like this.  I can’t imagine what it would be like to be one of the parents who gets the call that this happened to one of my kids at school.

Of course, here in the United States, it’s met with a “we have to do something attitude,” or, more precisely, “the government needs to do something.”  Well, of course we do.  One of those things that is often proposed is gun control. I don’t think I’ve written much about this on my blog.  To be honest, I’m not someone who really likes guns, but I have mixed feelings about gun control laws, and am probably more against them than in favor of them.

For me to favor anything, I need reason to believe it’s going to make a difference.  If any proposal isn’t accompanied by study of how the perpetrators got their hands on their guns and how their proposal will curb that, then I will write it off as an emotional reaction.  The last thing we need right now is an attempted solution based on a typical American emotional reaction. Someone may respond to this “Well, come up with a better one.”  However, I would leave open the possibility that some “solutions” may be worse than doing nothing.

However, I would not oppose reasonable laws that would help curb the problem of guns getting into the wrong hands.  While the people behind them are the ones really responsible for the killing, the guns are a rather convenient tool for them to accomplish their aims efficiently. However, the guns can also be a convenient tool for protecting oneself against such an aggressor.  For that reason, I also want law-abiding citizens who are willing to pass necessary (and I emphasize necessary) safety measures to be able to obtain them.

To put it the way a former co-worker of mine once said “We need more gun laws because the criminals are not heeding the ones we have.” There are plenty of guns already in circulation in this country.  If they were all of a sudden banned, then the only people who would turn in their guns would be the law-abiding citizens.  It may have some effect on the criminal element because people can be stopped in their tracks if a gun is found, but that effect could be negated by another problem.

That problem is best illustrated by the problem of “gun-free zones.” We see lots of establishments that have signs saying that guns are prohibited.  Does that keep us safe?  It may keep us safe from accidents.  It also allows someone who is found to have a firearm to be stopped without having to wait for him to discharge said firearm.  However, people with criminal intent are not going to obey those signs.  In fact, declaring a “gun-free zone” will even send a signal to someone with criminal intent that, if he shoots, there will likely be no one who can shoot back.

So, I don’t think the problem is solved by the simple passage of some ban of certain types of firearms.  The unintended consequences may be worse than our current situation. While I don’t want mentally ill or criminally minded people to be able to obtain guns, I also don’t want them to have easy targets to hit.

In fact, as kind of a side note, I fully support having armed security in schools. This may scare some people. Keep in mind that this should be properly trained, armed security, not just anyone with a holster.  You might say that this won’t really solve the problem.  I’d agree, but only in the sense that giving someone food to someone on the brink of starvation won’t solve his ultimate problem. It’s not that I like the atmosphere of a school with tighter security.  Rather, it’s just that we need to do something to stop the aggressors who are planning their attacks right now.

Just as we don’t want the hungry person to starve while trying to solve the underlying problem, neither can we let kids die while the underlying problems of school shootings are solved.  This is going to require taking a good, hard look at ourselves and our society to see what we have become. We need to do this even though we will never completely solve the problem in this world.  The ultimate solution is something we cannot and should not try legislate, which is to turn to Christ and his Church.

Category: Social Commentary


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