Northwest NEWS

May 17, 1999

Editorial

It's time for all of us to speak out on tragedy and its causes

   Most often, I keep my opinions to myself on matters like this. Aside from the tired old phrases such as "Isn't it terrible?" or "How can people do this?" I've stayed silent.

   The time has come, I believe, to speak out. The time has come for all of us to speak out. To speak out not only against the unheard-of violence that was at the Littleton, Colorado public school on Tuesday, April 20th, but also against the causes of the hurt, anger, and aimless, misguided (unguided?) searching for acceptance that seems to be afflicting our country's teenage children.

   Take a moment to think about this. In what other country do these atrocities occur? With what recurring regularity? It is the United States that once again leads the way, sets the example for the world.

   Also, note it is not restricted to any singular section of America. Rather, it can, and does strike at innocent communities, sedate cities, and their children anywhere and everywhere. These children are preparing to take the reins dealing with the ever expanding problems of a world that seems to have run amuck.

   Children are being cut down and brutally murdered, or in some ways even worse, left damaged intellectually forever. Why does the greatest nation on earth suffer with this? It is very simple. We have lost our way!

   How much money, time, and effort are we as western Washingtonians putting forth to save our salmon? How much? Do we do the same for our children? Do we really? In a state with no-fault divorce and an emphasis on consumerism and the "Good Life," what happens to our social fabric?

   What happens to our families? We quest for eternal happiness, but we are in fact creating the bedrock foundation for just the opposite.

   A generation of children are essentially being left to their own to decide what's right and what is wrong. A generation has been shown that the dividing line between right and wrong is negotiable so long as it benefits us, their parents. People, please, we need to reassess our values and our morals.

   To what end are we here on earth? We will all die. That's a given. What are we leaving behind? Gun control, policed schools, bugged hallways and restrooms, informants, distrust, and paranoia are not, I repeat, not conducive to learning.

   Please, let us all examine what is really important in our lives. All else will eventually pass. Our children won't unless we remain on this course, in which case they very well might.

Douglas Meier, Duvall