WEST BOUNTIFUL – Kids today need to be taught solid family values, something that has been waning since the 1960s.
That’s what Bountiful City council member Richard Higginson told members of the Bountiful Breakfast Exchange Club last week, saying he’s given the matter a lot of thought since the mass killing of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut more than a month ago.
“People blame easy access to guns, “Higginson said, “but the question needs to move beyond the Second Amendment.”
The Sandy Hook tragedy caused him to reflect on several questions, beyond the political realm, he said
There are a number of factors contributing to mass shootings, Higginson believes after having done research since then.. Among them are music and movies which he said often center on violence.
“I think they are contributing factors,” he said.
Mental illness also needs to be examined, and so do the effects of psychotropic drugs and social alienation or isolation.
He quoted Harvard-trained attorney and author Joe Klein, who said that technology is creating a weakness in children because they spend more time with it than they do reaching out and connecting with others.
Higginson said it seems to him that the video game industry doesn’t want to take responsibility for its violent games.
“If there’s no connection with a simulation, than why are we (the United States) spending time training pilots with them?,” he questioned.
Even taking into account mental illness and technology, there still must be other causes. Even among those who play videos or have some mental illness, “not everybody has the impulse to kill,” he said.
That means good (parental) controls must be in place, including family time with no technology intruding, he said.
“On trips, Kera (his wife) and I don’t let the kids watch movies and all devices go away,”
He believes society in the United States began to break down in the 1960s, when several movements changed the face of America.
“The bottom line is if you take all the guns from society, there will still be mass killings and we’ll still have issues if we don’t give kids a basis to build their self-worth.”
“If we don’t fill our kids’ heads with values, they’ll fill them with something else.”