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Is America in P.T.S.D.?
 by Frank Shortt
     These are the words being used for all the violence in America at this time: Shocking, Disturbing, Upsetting, Distressing, Hurtful, Painful, Stressful! A lot of the events being executed that bring trauma to America are being blamed on veterans of the U.S. Military who have seen action in a theater of war! The question remains, is it the weapon that kills, or is it the mental state of the person behind the weapon?
     It is a proven fact, especially among the animal kingdom, when any large accumulation of any species of animals occurs, strange behavior becomes prevalent! Studies in the rat population have been ongoing for many years. It has been found that when rats multiply in a close situation, they become aggressive, hateful, even to the point of killing their fellow rats! Is this true of the human population? Have we become intolerant to our neighbors and seen so much violence that we have become insensitive to death?
     Crime in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, and other cities, has been on the increase for many years. As the populations of these cities grow, crimes of traumatic results have grown right along with the increase in population. It is believed by many that showing graphic news on the airwaves is helping to increase crime. It is believed by many that violent video games are helping to increase crime. So who is to blame besides the parents who fail to be PARENTS? Can’t you control your own children?
     Children, under the age of twelve, are especially influenced in their thinking by Hollywood movies, graphic newscasts, video games, and constant use of modern I-phones and other contraptions that take up most of their time. It has often been said, “We are what we eat!” This is a proven fact! If we eat a lot of fatty foods, we are most definitely bound to gain weight! Is this not true of our minds, also? If you feed your mind on violence, it is bound to affect you eventually! Several schools across America, and, especially one in the Bay Area, of San Francisco began programs of having each student turn off their I-phones before each class. Some schools require phones to be locked up until classes are dismissed! Voila! Behavior improved! There was less violence in the school! Teenagers began communicating with each other, and of course, their grades improved! Duh! Children have become immune to rules, simply because there are few rules, or no enforcement of existing rules!
      When a person is inducted into the Armed Forces of the United States, they go through rigid training to be able to use weapons that can inflict harm to another person, preferably an enemy soldier! These weapons could be knives, guns, grenades, or anything else that can inflict harm! Most of these young men are cleared to be mentally, physically, and morally fit to be a soldier, airman, or seaman before being allowed to enter a theater of war! What about when they return from having seen very violent scenes in a foreign land? Are they ready to be turned back into society without some type of declassification process? Shouldn’t they have to go through the same tests that declared them mentally, physically, and morally fit before they are turned back on the populace? Could Uncle Sam do more to curb violence by ‘untraining’ the ones that they trained to do killing in the first place? A veteran of a violent conflict should spend the last, at least, six months of his ‘hitch’ being ‘untrained’ before he is released back into society. This is just a suggestion!
      Of the mass shootings in America recently, several have been by veterans of the Armed Forces of the United States! When a person moves in next door do you have the means to determine if he is a veteran? Do you have the means to determine whether he is mentally, physically, and morally fit to live next door to you? Since this is not possible, what is the answer to this dilemma? Are we to become wary of everyone we meet? We would become a nation of neurotics! I must declare, also, that I have been a hunter. I never needed an automatic weapon to hunt animals. Are these hunters who own automatic weapons such poor shots that it takes multiple shots to kill one unarmed animal? I go on record as stating that there is no place in a decent home for an automatic assault rifle!! Period!!
The answer to this dilemma begins at home! Parents need to realize that ‘THEY ARE THE PARENTS!” There are means of discipline, other than corporal punishment! A child learns by watching their parent or guardian. Most smokers had at least one parent that smoked! Most users of narcotics experienced some type of substance abuse at home!
      Do you, as a parent, not have the ability to control what your child is doing in the home?
Recently, in San Jose, California, a crime ring of gang members were taken into custody. One of the young men lived in the same complex where I reside. When he was arrested, the parents averred that they did not know that he was accumulating very expensive items in his room! These same parents accused the police force of singling this young man out because of his race! Is this juvenile delinquency, or parent delinquency? I will leave that to your imagination!   Did not the mother of this delinquent ever clean his room?
      When we sent our children to school we knew exactly what they were wearing that day, and, if they did not bring a coat or sweater home, we immediately went with the child to the school and retrieved the garment. We could not afford to buy new clothes all the time! This might be a great suggestion to parents! Know what your child is doing at all times. If you are at work, have a competent person watching the children! By parents tightening their belts and BEING A PARENT would cut down on violence in America immensely!