Reagan column: We need more love, not gun control
We live in a country where liberals are constantly working to get rid of things that were once sacred to America.
They’ve taken God out of our public schools. They’ve politicized and disrespected our national anthem. Now, exploiting a tragic school shooting in Florida, they’re aiming to get rid of our guns.
Liberals think turning America into a gun-free zone will make our schools safe and stop sick young men from going on bloody killing sprees like the one in Parkland.
The clamor for stricter gun control by the mainstream media and leading Democrats like Pelosi and Schumer is as simplistic as it was predictable.
But it’s not the guns, stupids.
It’s not what a disturbed 19-year-old boy has in his hands that makes him kill.
It’s what he does not have in his heart - love.
I don’t want to sound like a bleeding heart who thinks the Parkland shooter is a victim of society or is not totally responsible for his horrible crime.
But I haven’t seen any evidence yet that he had anyone who loved him or truly cared about him after his adoptive mother died last year.
Like other mass shooters, he was an outcast, a clearly troubled, angry and strange kid with serious behavioral and emotional issues.
He had been kicked out of high school and never got the mental health help everyone who knew him knew he badly needed.
Adults failed him. But so did his peers.
I wonder how many of the 3,000 kids in his school embraced him or consoled him after he lost his mother.
How many of his well-to-do suburban classmates from good families - or his teachers - showed him they really cared about his loss or tried to help him get through it?
Not many, I bet.
High school can be a nasty social and psychological experience, even for the most popular kids.
Kids who are different, shy, poor, not-so-bright, adopted or simply deemed to be not “cool” enough by the jocks, cheerleaders and leaders of the other cliques have it extra tough.
Too often they are bullied, shunned, teased and - in very rare cases - transformed into angry killers.
When I went to school in the 1950s and the other kids found out I was adopted, I was teased unmercifully.
Being teased about being adopted, about being illegitimate, about being discarded by my real parents, hurt me. It also made me a very angry kid.
But it never made me want to slaughter my classmates with the rifle my father gave me and taught me how to shoot when I was 10.
Times and America have changed and there’s no going back to the 1950s.
But school kids today can be just as cruel to each other inside their intense and closed social bubble.
I think the problem is actually worse now because we have a whole generation of kids who’ve grown up not hearing things like The Rev. Billy Graham’s powerful message of love.
The great evangelist and global crusader for Christ, who died this week, always ended his sermons with “You don’t have to listen to me today. But just remember one thing - God loves you.”
Too many kids today are growing up not knowing they are loved by God or anyone else.
Their public schools don’t teach such things to them because they don’t want to offend anyone with God talk.
Our schools teach to the test, not to the soul.
Getting rid of guns, or controlling their ownership as strictly as they do in Australia, won’t stop the next mass killing by a troubled school boy.
More love might.
Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan, a political consultant, and the author of “The New Reagan Revolution” (St. Martin’s Press). He is the founder of the email service reagan.com and president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation. Visit his websites at www.reagan.com and www.michaelereagan.com. Send comments to Reagan@caglecartoons.com. Follow @reaganworld on Twitter.