Recently, President Obama grew emotional when making a passionate plea for gun control; many people believe it was fake. I really believe he is sorrowful for the children murdered in the Sandy Hook tragedy, as are most people. In my personal opinion, the thing that President Obama and others are failing to see is that the true issue is not guns or stricter gun laws, but that people no longer have any personal responsibility for their actions.

Here is the thing, I grow tired of excuses, “they were bullied by peers so they shot up the school”, “he has a mental illness”, “police are all racist.” We have become a society that readily provides an excuse for behavior rather than allowing the individual to accept responsibility for his or her actions. I am not a stranger to being bullied, I really don’t know any individual who went through school that wasn’t bullied to some degree; but that doesn’t mean I get to go out and Kill people to make me feel better. If you want an excuse for bad behavior, you can look through enough closets to find one. But what needs to happen is teach individuals to be responsible for their actions and accept the consequences of their behavior.

When I worked for a community program moving individuals from an institution to community placements they would tell me it was their right. For example, I worked with a young man that when upset would break all the windows out in the house. He would say “I have the right to break that window and you pay to fix it. They had been “taught” by some well-meaning advocates that they had rights, but those advocates failed to teach that with rights came responsibility. Sadly, it was a hard lesson with natural consequences to teach that they were correct about rights, but there was also personal responsibility.

I feel very fortunate that I was raised during a time period that respect and responsibility still mattered. If I got in trouble at school, I was in trouble when I got home; there were no excuses that the teacher was mean, because she was the authority and I should respect her. Unfortunately, that is not the case in most homes today. Parents are quick to blame the school and teachers for their child’s grades and bad behavior.

As a society we need to get back to teaching individuals to:

Accept Responsibility for your actions.

Be accountable for your results.

Take ownership of your mistakes.

Randel Goad – Mandt Faculty Supervisor