Why Kids Kill

by Bob Wilson

Nate Brazill doesn't know any better.

He came from our society...and there are thousands just like him...and we are too dumb to see this. Underlying the animosity in this case is of course, the element of race, but there are plenty of White "Nates" as well as Asian and Brown...and whatever..."Nates" out there.

What produces a "Nate?" Why do we have a society that offers just about any opportunity for success...yet, we have kids out there growing up who have no soul. The answers are only found in looking at the whole picture and understanding what elements in a society produce a kid like Nate.

Realize at the outset that the solution to "Nate" doesn't lie in any government program, nor will any law "fix" the problem of "Nates." Our society produces "Nates" with a passion...and the assembly lines that turn out "Nates" are fueled by a desire to acquire material things. It comes also from a drive to access IMMEDIATE gratification of any want...exclusive of the knowledge of how to earn it.

Our public education system IS in shambles. It is fundamentally flawed. We now find that the primary goal of public education is not to teach "knowledge or skills" but rather to "level the playing field" by making it seem everyone is the same. This is an illusion. People are different. Some are smart...some, not. Some are pretty... some, not. Some come from privilege and wealth...some, not. Some work hard...some, not. Some will succeed in extraordinary ways, some, not.

The basic law in nature that we violate in this society..(and this produces "Nates") is the law that says that not everybody will succeed at everything. Some will achieve only limited success. Some people will be "like Mike" and some won't. Having "Mike's" tennis shoes won't make you be "like Mike." Stealing them makes you a thief, and not realizing that makes you really stupid.

The fact that failure is going to happen is made worse by maintaining the illusion that success is not typically a product of hard work and values. Not every successful person is just "lucky." Laziness is excused, and our kids are not being taught values. There is a general de-emphasis in our society on values and the emphasis on "equality" that is not earned or merited. There is an epidemic of class envy stemming from a failure to appreciate that "class" is something that is cultivated and achieved, not "taken" ...nor is it a "basic right."

People have come to expect respect as a birthright...and not as something that is earned through achievement or hard work and success through risk and effort. People who do nothing "respectable" are not automatically entitled to the same "respect" and status as someone who does. Sorry, but beyond a basic human dignity level, esteem and respect has to be earned.

Conversely, it is increasingly fashionable to "disrespect" authority and rules because of a societal attitude that says..."If I am not given respect (which I may well have not earned), then I won't respect anyone, or anything else."

The really scary part is, the idea of a 13-year-old acquiring a gun and then shooting an authority figure (killing him) because he refused to let him do something he wanted does NOT seem outrageous or bazaar to PLENTY of 13-year-old "Nates" in America. Our culture is filled with examples where this type of behavior is lauded as "entertainment." We spend billions annually on computer games, movies, and videos...wherein outrageous behavior is THE key element that sells.

We have a society where "day-care" (performed by minimum wage strangers) replaces parental care. One-parent homes have become the norm. Valueless public education...given by low paid teachers...guarantees graduates with little to no academic preparation.

Conclusion: Expect to see a lot more "Nates" in our lives, because we have a society specifically geared to produce them. We have built a system that is valueless, uneducated, unrealistic, violent, and creates artificially generated expectations of "equality" based on a supposedly "level" playing field created by saying everyone (regardless of effort or achievement) is the same. We ignore basic laws of nature and turn children loose with no guidance, expecting that somehow they will do the right thing. Then, when one of them turns into a monster, we all wring our hands and ask where we went wrong. Dumb!

Bob Wilson, a frequent contributor to The Ethical Spectacle, is a businessman and pilot living in Arizona.