7 Ideas For The Coming Teen Decade (2013-2019)

      The Mounting Problem

      Has this past week unveiled a mounting problem for The Coming Teen Decade (2013-2019)? Have we seen a 40 year rise of violence in our schools peak? Could it get worse? We have come a long way in America as it relates to our anger and communication. My parents generation was settling issues by dealing with the teacher and getting spanked or having their parents called into the principals office. My generation settled it at the playground or the bus stop with our fists. Now, a generation of young people are dealing with these same issues by shooting each other with guns in the hallway. What is next? Are bombs going to be the new fist or the new gun? Is there a cycle we are not recognizing?

We are told to not talk about it. It’s too fresh. Give people time to grieve. My prayers and postings have been unceasing for the families in Newtown, CT and Anytown, USA. I even called a local church nearby Newtown, CT on Friday and told the pastor that we are praying for them. Maybe the dialogue should be done with the echo of the shots still in our nations memory. Haven’t we talked about this long enough? How many more incidents can we bare as a nation before something worse happens? Is there something worse down the road?
Something Must Be Done

Are we just going to sit by and do nothing? Are we just going to talk about it again? And then wait until the next time. The timeline is becoming predictable. One source I read from CNN.com over the weekend showed school shootings since 1927. There were only about 6 incidents in the almost 40 years between 1927 and 1965. After that a steady rise and cycle that has been repeated over 60 times and almost too numerous to even count. Sure, blame it on war, the erosion of the family, prayer being removed from school, the entertainment industry (movies, music, and gaming), and the hearts of sinful men.  The fact is, it is not going away and only increasing each decade in severity. 

Take a look back to the problems in the 1960’s when students were talking out of turn in class, chewing bubble gum while they were talking, cutting in line at the lunch room, and lying to their parents about whose house they were going to. Wouldn’t you love those problems?

      Today, it is different. 

 Looking at the 2000’s, we have another set of problems. Students are not going to class or school, they are cussing their teachers out, shooting each other in the cafeteria, and beating their parents. That is the reality we live with today.

Some History...

One thing hasn’t changed since 1927, or for all of time, for that matter. The heart of man is still wicked. That is the greater conversation. See my blog on this from Sunday, December 16, 2012 at www.jeffgrenell.blogspot.com. But, even the scriptures say that sin will grow worse and that evil will abound and not go away (Matthew 24.12). There is one thing we have lived with for all of eternity. It is the sinfulness and disobedience to God that is manifested through violence and anger in the heart of man and has been acted out with a club, a spear, an arrow, a gun, and various other weapons available over time.

Listen, the conversation we are having is not about gun laws in Mexico or Japan, communist countries calling for disarmament so they can invade a weak America without guns, whether guns shoot themselves or cars drive drunk, comparing marijuana laws as opposed to California or Ohio, the interpretation of the 2nd Amendment to the Bill of Rights, or even prayer being removed from school. I tend to believe that there is more prayer going on in our schools than ever before. At least by me and my friends and the 7 million students who prayed at SYATP (See You At The Pole) this past fall. This conversation must go beyond metal detectors in the 80’s, school security guards in the 90’s, and now social media and government discussion in the 00’s.

The argument must go beyond all of this and what we call our ‘rights’. There are arms that would not qualify as a ‘right’. They would qualify as a 'weapon'. Voting and Equality are ‘rights’. The argument must be about the problem. People are dying in greater numbers because of the human condition and a certain type of weapon. What do we do about that? Something must be done.

   What we know is that it is getting worse. And the things we have done are not working. So, what do we do? We are going to do something right?

Legislation AND Revival

Are we going to debate for another decade whether conceal and carry is helping to bring down the statistics of gun crimes? You can already tell the last few days that I am an advocate of both legislation and revival. If we don’t do something about legislation, guns will become obsolete and bombs will be next. If we don’t do something about revival, then evil will grow worse and apostasy will be next. Can we survive these kind of violent weapons acts at the hands of apostate people?

At least that is the cycle we are watching unfold. How do we stop it? Below are my offerings for the solution to the problem. Please offer ideas and solutions to this blog. Do not offer mere ideological spin to keep your ‘rights’ or to call me or others conservative or liberal. We must do something. What is your something?

 Here are my 7 ideas:  

  • Only police, military, and 1st Responders (school principals included) can legally carry an automatic or semi-automatic weapon
  • Every school, government, and religious setting should have a trained conceal and carry officer
  • Clearer gun permit procedures and training, as well as stricter commercial sales licensing procedures and penalties (especially of automatic weapons), and increased regulation of current entertainment and media laws (music, movies, gaming, etc.)
  • More parent/child /family training from the home, the school, society/culture, and the church that teaches students to deal with problems by taking the problems to another person/mentor, valuing students when they want to talk, and communicating to them even when they do not want to talk
  • Love students unconditionally and they will invest in a relationship with you 
  • Find a place for a student’s gifts and talents in their community  by creating a group setting or tribe of peers that students are comfortable with 
  • We need a revival of the Church and its purpose in society along with an increased incarnational presence of the church in culture

If we continue to do the things we have done, we will continue to get the things that we have. And that is not an option for me. The conversation isn’t going away. And neither is the problem. So maybe there are new conversations that we should have. It will take a compilation of ideas to solve this mounting problem. Spiritual, legislative, social, institutional, civil, and personal sectors must all do their part. We must all do something. Instead of doing nothing, what are your ideas?