The Dec 28th 2012 Detroit News carried two opeds on gun control, one by Charles Krauthammer and one by Clarence Page. While Mr. Page blames the NRA and Mr. Krauthammer blames Hollywood, neither gentlemen focus on a mindless injustice that certainly contributed to such horrific events as Sandy Hook. I’m talking about the absurd practice of putting up signs that read ‘gun free zone.’The existence of such signs I contend, stems from modern progressive educations’ focus on trying to develop students’ self esteem in the wrong way. Instead of teaching kids that self esteem must be earned through productive effort and the achievement of goals, many teachers take a shortcut around such effort and attempt to instill self esteem directly by telling youngsters that they are automatically and causelessly special, great, good, awesome etc.
But what happens to a child taught to believe his self esteem–which is how humans experience their moral worth–doesn’t have to be earned, that it comes from the smiling faces and approval of others without any effort on his part? What happens if that sanction is not forthcoming? What is he to think of a reality that is supposed to make him happy but doesn’t? Will he withdraw from it or strike out at it?
A third and proper option would be to check his premises but Prog Ed makes sure no one develops that ability. Several generations of adults have gone through Prog Ed. Many have survived this aspect of today’s public schools having learned that true self esteem must be earned. Others will be affected in some way but few will be totally unscathed. Some of these will get together and decide to declare their schools to be gun free zones. This they think will show others how much they care about children and thus how morally good and noble they are. Some such people will find posting such attention getting signs to be nearly irresistible.
There is of course, nothing wrong with enjoying the approval of others between rational people as long as said approval is based on some earned values. But I want to urge that we purge from our schools the insane practice of instilling in children a false sense of self worth. It’s my understanding that a push in this direction has already started. Recently a teacher gave a commencement address to a graduating class telling them “No, you are not special.” This is a baby step in the right direction.
But the real solution is easy enough to see. All we have to do is look at the constantly rising quality and falling prices of Information Technology like cell phones and I-Pads and so on. We should all want this paradigm for our kids’ education. So, lets place education on the free market by taking it out of the hands of government, getting rid of regulations while retaining rights protecting laws and watch the ensuing explosion in quality and plummeting costs affordable to everyone.