AMERICA’S ANGRY YOUNG MEN

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Rusty Strait • Hemet

WHY ARE AMERICA’S YOUNG MEN SO ANGRY?

I am not surprised at all the massacres at the hands of young men with firearms. They are not limited in race, color or ethnicity. However, the leading force is white young men. There are exceptions, of course. White young men are angry as hell and they are responding in a way to get attention. Believe me; they are getting the attention they attempt to draw.

So you ask, why are they so angry.

You may differ with me, and that’s okay. We come to answers by differing. The problem didn’t just pop out of the sky without reason. I have a firm belief that it is too easy to say they are mentally ill. I ask the question: Was God mentally ill when he drowned most of the world and allowed only a few in Noah’s Ark to survive? No. If you believe the Bible, he was angry, not crazy. You can call that apples and oranges if you please, but the result is the same.

Now, as to the angry young white men. They were once considered the cream of the crop, the future of the country and American civilization. What happened?

Prior to World War II, most women were home-makers who handled the family morals and taught their children to respect others and led them along the moral highway to adulthood and good citizenship. The attack on Pearl Harbor changed all of that. America went to war and those young men, the cream of the crop, were quickly grabbed up along with their fathers. During the next four years, there was a shortage of manpower on the home front, so women moved into the workforce as they never had.

With daddy at war and mom muscling into the factories, young men for the first time were left pretty much to raise themselves. Life Magazine railed at those young men hanging out on street corners, smoking reefer and getting into trouble.”

But don’t go away. There’s more and I don’t take a position on this; it is merely a fact. When the war was over, along came the G.I. Bill and many of the veterans chose college to seek an education and better-paying jobs. Women in the workforce grew and the fifties changed the family situation more than any other decade in memory.

Many fathers were getting an education; mommy was working, junior was on his own in so many cases, being educated with rock and roll, pot and pills and generally once again on his own. No sooner said and done,” causes” arose in America. First came Brown vs. the Board of Education (which was long overdue) and the educational system was thrown into shock. I remember that as a schoolboy, I went to the school down at the corner and my friends next door had to go several miles to school. I never understood that. However, that is a side story to why so many young men are so angry.

Women’s rights, gay rights, black rights and a variety of other “rights” became the language of the nation.

Everybody had a “right” except young men, predominately white young men. It has festered for several decades. More and more women and girls have moved into an area that traditionally has belonged to boys. The Boy Scouts became the “Boy Girl Scouts.” Discrimination became an everyday throwaway word. Young men continued to be squeezed out.

Guns were being tossed at young men like popcorn at a ball game. Single-shot became multiple shots. Ordinary guns became military guns. The streets were flooded with them. Rock and roll became angrier with each generation. X-boxes filled with violence became the new game replacing Monopoly and learning games. Television became more violent; discipline was abandoned in the home and school. Tools to inspire anger permeated the lives of these young men.

Does it surprise anyone that one day there would be a volcanic eruption? These young men want to be noticed and they’re going about it the wrong way, but to them, it seems like the only way to be seen is to do something that will get them the most attention.

It ain’t right. I hear the worn-out adage, “Guns don’t kill people.” Guns in the hands of someone who shouldn’t have them kill people and will continue to kill people until America starts paying more attention to our disenfranchised young men.

As long as the NRA finances White supremacists who are more interested in getting re-elected than protecting the people they represent, nothing is going to change. Just a few days ago, there were three mass shootings across the country. Tomorrow there will probably be more.

I’m not talking off the top of my head. On my next birthday, I’ll be 99 and I’ve watched this happen over the years.

To put an end to this savagery, I would suggest the following:

1. Parents, pay more attention to your young men. They need you now more than ever.

2. Congress, get off your duffs and pass legislation to take military weapons off the streets.

3. Enact red flag warning laws.

4. Require training and a waiting period before selling guns to anyone. If you want a gun right now, and are not willing to wait, that should be a red flag. You wouldn’t give anyone a torch unless they knew how to use it. You can’t get a driver’s license without a written and driving test.

5. Don’t sell guns to anyone under 21.

Until the voters become angry enough to force Congress to take guns out of the hands of inexperienced young people, don’t expect anything different. I don’t pray, but I’m tempted. Just sayin’

rustystrait@gmail.com


• DISCLAIMER: The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the various author’s articles on this Opinion piece or elsewhere online or in the newspaper where we have articles with the header “COLUMN/EDITORIAL & OPINION” do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints or official policies of the Publisher, Editor, Reporters or anybody else in the Staff of the Hemet and San Jacinto Chronicle Newspaper.

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