Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Save the Kids


When I was about 21 I moved to Oklahoma for a while shortly after marrying my first wife. Yes, I took her with me. She was pregnant at the time with my first son. Why Oklahoma? Because even their license plates said Oklahoma was "OK". A whole state couldn't lie about that, right?
This was about 22 years ago and "Beavis and Butthead" were quite popular on Mtv. I love Beavis and Butthead and their crude humor. Since it was a more adult show Oklahoma had it so that it only aired after 9:00 pm. I thought that was fair, I was a "soon to be parent" so I was thinking as one at the time. Sometimes anyway. 
I remember one morning seeing on the news that a 3 year old and 6 year old had died in a house fire. They'd been left home alone and arson investigators determined matches had caused the fire. The parents were outraged and filed suit to have Beavis and Butthead removed because their 6 year old had seen Butthead saying "fire fire" and laughing. So clearly that's where the fault was. 
What?! Wait a minute?! Was I really the only person who was more outraged that the 3 year old and 6 year old had been left home unattended for several hours? Yet the parents blamed a television show that aired after 9:00 pm. Amazing. 

Recently I saw a video wherein 2 small children were left home alone while the mother and aunt took someone home. In their absence the house caught fire. The cause hadn't been determined yet at the time of the news release. A reporter asks the aunt of the children if she regretted leaving them home alone. Her response? "No". She was, however, laughing when she said she needed to get inside and make sure her purse was ok because it had her food stamp card in it. Really? That's more important than the lives of children to some people? 

In recent years I've seen more and more often parents blaming video games, music, television, anyone they can for their own failures. More and more often parents are using TV and video games as baby sitters. Or maybe just as a distraction so they don't have to engage in their kids' lives. Who knows the reason. 
A kid gets a gun out of the closet and shoots themselves and the parents blame TV while media blames guns. Really? So your not putting the gun in a gun safe and teaching them firearm safety was "CSI"'s fault? 
How about we start taking responsibility for our own poor choices? Oh, and yes, Oklahoma blacked out Beavis and Butthead for a year. Well, Lawton did at least. 

Recently, in the town I live in, a 3 year old child was killed in a hit and run at midnight. The parents left their kid with a couple they were friends with. Apparently they were busy, they said, when the child wandered out of the house and down the dark 2 lane road at midnight

These are our children people. Our children. Pieces of US. Our FUTURE. If they are yours or left in your charge then be the protector they need and deserve. 

We see it on the news every day. Kidnapped children, missing children, abused children. They look to us for guidance and protection. Our society is declining right in front of us while we laugh at it over our morning coffee. Or we whisper about it afraid to speak up because to do so isn't "socially acceptable". Guess what, our society isn't acceptable. Speak up people, let our voices be heard.