Our small community newspaper recently reported: “Four male students are in custody for plotting to gun down students and faculty at an upcoming High School event.” Only one day earlier in Rosenberg Oregon 9 killed in at a college shooting. Mass shootings by young males has reached a tipping point creating a momentum that is beyond horrifying. Today the lack for respect for one’s own life suicide as the end result, let alone others, removes the criminal justice system all together. With no one to left to point our anger and frustration at, the problem becomes one of introspection, how can we stop this madness? While the media would have us believe it is guns, guns are no more responsible for killing people than spoons are for making people fat.
Dr. Sax M.D and Ph.D. who wrote, Boys Adrift, says it this way, “the problem is that we have forgotten that boys do not just become men, they are mentored into manhood. Boys must go through a conscience process, the importance of initiation rights were known by the Navajo, the African warrior Massi tribe and the Orthodox Jews. Otherwise they remain caught in a self-protective attitude that becomes violence against the weak. A mentoring process by a strong male serves to equip them to deal with the difficulties of life and to redirect their energies towards the good of the community.”
Our society does a huge disservice to men from demeaning commercials that portray the head of the household as an incompetent father who cannot manage to find the cough syrup, to the recent lionization of a once great male athlete’s decision to castrate himself and implant plastic orbs on his chest as a symbol of heroism. The attack on males today and masculinity has reached a hyper pitch that is going to take a generation to reverse. Is it any wonder the combination of forces that have combined to create the perfect storm we see today?
The good news is that something can be done about this problem that does not require one new piece of legislation. The answer is to support male mentors. How? If you are a manager, let your male employees off early to coach. Support your local teachers, mechanics, painters and accountants. Gals, got a husband? Encourage him to head up a male youth group he has been thinking about. Perhaps you have noticed a neighborhood with a young man that looks like he needs someone to take him hiking or fishing, get past your fears and take him. If you have a son don’t buy or encourage violent video games and limit the time he has on it. Join or start a boys and girls club of America. And finally get him to church and make him realize that there is something greater than himself that he needs to answer to. People create healthy societies, these are all ways a civilized world creates healthy men and civilized society.