L. Neil Smith's
Number 214, March 10, 2003


It's The Government Schools, Not The Guns
by Todd Andrew Barnett

Special to TLE

Amy Fisher, the former convicted teenage felon who shot to fame in the early 1990s by shooting Mary Jo Buttafuoco in the head and had an intimate affair with her mechanic husband Joey Buttafuoco, publicly declared her intention to "work for organizations" whose goal is to "prevent" handguns from falling into the hands of children. According to a recent Yahoo News article and her weekly column at the Long Island Press, the former "Long Island Lolita" states that her life has "changed," she is the mother of a two-year-old son, and she is "in a committed relationship." While exhaling a long-held breath of bravado, she claims that her reason for embarking on this crusade is to "help" other children who are susceptible of getting their hands on handguns.

While the leftist gun control zealots are breaking open the champagne bottles and welcoming Ms. Fisher into their fold, it is terribly obvious that Ms. Fisher is incorrectly attributing the cause of violence committed by troubled adolescents to the "accessibility of handguns." Rather than pointing the finger at firearms, she should be pointing the finger at the morally bankrupt government school system that has fostered this violent mindset in the first place.

First, it should be noted that Ms. Fisher attended a government school - not a private one. It should also be pointed out that her public "government" school - like any other institution - instilled politically-correct, abject, and complacent values - values devoid of any personal morality and ethics and the ability to think for oneself - into her mind, including her peers. In addition, thanks to the compulsory attendance and truancy laws, she, like many of her peers, was forced to attend classes and was treated like a "juvenile" in the eyes of the collectivist personnel and bureaucrats. If she did not agree to assimilate the ideas and beliefs promulgated by the system or if she questioned the stagnant learning environment, her collectivist instructors and faculty members would deem it necessary to consign her to a special classroom for "detention." ("Detention" is a long-lasting buzzword for punishment administered to government schoolchildren who naturally reject the idea that they must conform to the rigid, perverse values and beliefs and the politically-correct brand of mind control measures that have become a part of the daily education establishment.)

And what about the emotionally-disturbed kids who are enrolled into the school and other schools like it? It must be pointed out that their troubled upbringing is the result of an abusive home environment, particularly when it is virtually commonplace in impoverished neighborhoods. More often than not, these children who are sent to these schools exhibit violent tendencies on school grounds -- particularly in the classrooms and the lunch rooms. Thus, the learning environment is continuously disrupted and the classroom becomes a never-ending battleground. With violence and drugs assuming the normal position of the school day, no wonder America's pupils are graduating without any individually-taught set of social mores.

Second, the hypocritical nature of drug abuse in the schools is never questioned. The War on Drugs, combined with the welfare state and the government school system, has made it possible for the accessibility of guns and drugs in the schools to exist. Measures have been proposed and adopted to prevent them from appearing on school property, but not one study has produced a shred of evidence proving that they have produced the desired results. But at the same time, when a student exhibits his boredom or anxiety with the draconian, morally-decadent, conformist paradigm, the collectivists - comprised of school administrators, school psychologists, and bureaucrats - set out to correct his aberrant mindset by inaccurately diagnosing him with "attention deficit disorder" and prescribe Ritalin amidst a "drug free school zone." As a result, he will be branded the following labels: "slow learner," "emotionally disabled," or "below average." The idea is that if most young individuals can succumb to the inherent coercion of the educational establishment and embrace the pervasive mind control that forces them to become model student citizens, why can't every child be associated with it?

Third, the pupil is constantly bombarded with subliminal messages, which espouse the tenets of American socialism. It would be considered politically incorrect and blasphemous if the pupil simply discarded the belief that welfare constituted wealth, control was the equivalent to freedom, and that capitalism was the cause of the Great Depression.

Fourth, with the absence of technological innovations and a fresh batch of quality methodologies in the learning process, a dumbed-down curriculum becomes an acceptable way of life in the schools. According to many studies and the MEAP tests, students are not proficient in the top skill levels of subjects such as arithmetic, mathematics, reading, social science, social studies, handwriting, spelling, and English. What good does it do if a young child cannot perform simple mathematical calculations or use correct grammar in speaking and writing?

The problems worsen when the student graduates from high school. Employers are complaining that students who are graduating from the schools are not being prepared for work. This is largely due to their inability to fill out job applications appropriately and answering questions correctly. Employers are becoming unimpressed increasingly and overwhelmingly. The verdict is in: we are not churning out a first-rate global workforce.

Fifth, impoverished families are coerced to send their kids to attend such hostile environments because the tax system encourages it. Wealthy politicians and entrepreneurs can send their children to secular and religious schools in the private sector. Many parents in many states do have the option of opting their children out of the system, but they do not take action because the tax code makes it exceedingly difficult for them to choose viable alternatives. If school taxes were cut dramatically, one of the parents could choose to stay home to homeschool the children. But if the taxes were repealed, the parents could be empowered to choose the appropriate educational vehicles that fit their values and beliefs.

Sixth, it should be painfully obvious that Ms. Fisher's home life included sexual abuse, which led to her foray into prostitution. Because of the absence of a set of mores instilled throughout her life, she would find herself falling into the abyss of moral degeneracy and become involved with a married man. It would not be long until she found herself committing the crime of attempted murder, which led to her imprisonment.

Finally, lower and middle class parents are forced to return to the workforce, just to earn two paychecks to support their children. As a result they must leave their children into the hands of day-care providers, latch key instructors, and Jerry Springer. If they do not abide by the dictates of the state, they are declared unfit. However, if they abide by the state's dictates but in turn do not spend enough time with their children, they are blamed for not assuming responsibility for their children's moral, ethical, and emotional well-being. In a nutshell, the federal tax code encourages such irresponsible behavior.

Ms. Fisher may be good at identifying her personal failures and mistakes, but she is not necessarily good at identifying the root problem of gun violence committed by children. The only way to rid ourselves of the disease is to abolish the government schools, as well as the welfare state, the gun laws, and the drug laws. That is how gun violence will ultimately disappear.

© 2003 by Todd Andrew Barnett. All Rights Reserved. Permission to reprint any portion of or the entire article is hereby granted, provided that the author's name and credentials are included. Candidate for LEC At-Large Director. Candidate for LMC At-Large Director. Columnist, The Liberty Cap. Contributing Editor, LiberyForAll.Net.


Great deals on great computer hardware—Tiger Direct!
Now accepting PayPal

Great deals on great computer hardware -- Tiger Direct!

Help Support TLE by patronizing our advertisers and affiliates. We cheerfully accept donations!

to return to the previous article
Table of Contents
to return to The Libertarian Enterprise, Number 214, March 10, 2003