Editor's Note: The following is based on Glenn's monologue from April 11, 2017.
May 18, 1927, Bath Consolidated School in Bath Township, Michigan. There was a farmer named Andrew Kehoe. Andrew had quite the plan one day. He set off two dynamite explosions at the school, killing him, six adults and 38 children. It was the first mass killing at a school in America --- 1927.
Kehoe was a school board member and the town clerk. He was having financial problems and arguments with the school board. That day, he killed his wife, set his home and farm on fire and then he went to school. He planted and wired hundreds of pounds of dynamite in the basement of the school. After setting off the first explosion, he got into an altercation with the school superintendent and set off the second set of dynamite in his truck. That blast killed him and the superintendent of schools.
School massacres have happened before --- but things seem to have changed.
Yesterday, another school shooting occurred. This time, at an elementary school in San Bernardino, California. An estranged husband apparently entered his wife's classroom --- she was a special ed teacher --- and shot her dead. He also shot two students behind her, killing one and critically wounding the other. He then killed himself.
As I sat in my office yesterday with the guys and we watched this thing unfold on TV, we saw the newsroom at TheBlaze pick up in activity at the very early signs of this shooting. I thought to myself, "When did we get used to this?" Is it the media exposure that just makes us aware of every single thing in every great detail?
School shootings have increased since the 1990s, but they're not a modern phenomenon. The earliest known school shooting in America happened in 1764. Four Indians entered a schoolhouse near Greencastle, Pennsylvania, shooting and killing the schoolmaster and nine children. It wasn't blamed on the guns. School shootings happened through the 1800s, especially after the Civil War, and in every decade of the 1900s. But there was an increase in the 1970s and a surge in the '90s. Was it the guns?
We can throw out the people don't kill people, guns kill people argument, but let me give you the actual stats.
There are 300 million guns in the hands of Americans. That's a new number thanks to the Obama administration and Barack Obama, the greatest gun salesman of all time. Under his anti-Second Amendment watch, American gun ownership rose to 300 million. Yet, gun homicides are down 49 percent and overall gun violence is down 75 percent.
So, if it's not guns causing the increase in school shootings, what is? Why did we have one school shooting or one tragedy a decade since the beginning of our country, and now they seem regular? Is there an increase in school shootings? Or is it just that we see them all the time on television? We know it's not the increase of guns in circulation.
Two clear trends have appeared in school shootings, especially since the 1960s. Most are now committed by a student at the school and they most often end in suicide by the perpetrator. Whether it's a teenager or an adult, suicide is usually the way it ends.
What happened in the 1960s that may have caused an increase in school shootings?
Well, for one thing, in 1962 and 1963, the Supreme Court made some decisions. They removed Bible reading and prayer from public schools. But that seems to be an all too convenient scapegoat. The decline in prayer and Bible reading in homes is probably more to blame. Forget about school, how many of us stopped doing it at home? How many of still don't read the Bible or pray at home? Public education is definitely broken, but so are our homes.
As a culture, our parenting has become pretty lazy. For the most part --- let's admit it, America, let's stop lying to ourselves --- for the most part, parenting has become naive, spineless, lazy. We point our fingers at other people's kids, at other people's doings. We point our fingers at our schools when proper education is our responsibility, not the school's responsibility.
The blame culture is now the norm in our society --- and we've had several consecutive generations of it. We're too busy to care or speak up for common sense values because common sense is now considered bigotry. It takes too much energy and it's too risky. But it's not heroic when a parent indulges their three-year-old son who decides he wants to be a girl. We're told it's heroic, but it's not. It's child abuse.
Maybe we got so busy chasing the American dream that we neglected the things that are most important. What good is it for somebody to gain the whole world and yet lose their soul? You know where that came from? Americans would have known back in the 1950s, maybe even in the '60s, but most people have no idea where that phrase came from. Why? Because we not only took God out of the schools, we took him out of our homes. We left Him in church --- if He was even at our church in the first place. We've abandoned God like he's somebody we left in a nursing home that we visit when it's convenient or just because we have to. It's Christmas. We better go see grandma in the nursing home.
Ironically, the progressive movement sees God as the problem because he's outdated, an old wives' tales. We've got this. We're men of science now. We left Him behind to teach the gorillas and we follow the march of mankind. Man's ingenuity has the answers, not God. And America is morally much worse off. Our culture is crumbling. Why? Because we abandoned everything that we used to believe in.
Once you remove God from the house, once you remove God from the culture at large, and then you add technology --- remarkable technology --- well, then you add fuel to the fire. We adopt new tech so quickly because we like sparkly new things. Have you seen the new iPhone 8? I mean, the new iPhone 8, got to have that, right? We don't even stop to consider the pitfalls of what virtual reality will mean. We don't think about the consequences of anything. We just dive in.
We're just beginning to reap the dark harvest that we are sowing --- the availability of pornography on handheld devices, available to our children whenever and wherever. It's not just porn, but violence pornography as well. We've let our collective guard down so long, our guard doesn't even work anymore. Hollywood, the entertainment business, has long been the convenient scapegoat for influencing the violence in our culture, but it's not Hollywood. It's our partnership with Hollywood. They wouldn't make it if we didn't buy it. We're buying it. We're watching it. It's not their fault. It's our fault. We buy a lot of it, and it's like giving drugs to our kids.
A growing body of scientific literature documents the negative effects of exposure to violent media on children adolescents and adults. There was a study released by researchers at Dartmouth University, published by the National Institute of Health. The work was conducted with diverse methods and samples. So this isn't crazy talk. This is the National Institute of Health. Short- and long-term outcomes consistently find that exposure to violent video games, television, violent films and music have been linked to aggression and violence. Taken together, a clear picture has emerged: Exposure to violent media increases the likelihood of aggressive thoughts, emotions and behavior.
It goes on. The weight of the scientific evidence has led organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Psychological Association and the American Psychiatric Association to sign a joint statement on the negative effects of exposing children to media violence, which "at this time, well over a thousand studies point to overwhelmingly causal connections between media violence and aggressive behavior in children." That's quite a list.
You want to talk about science deniers? We are science deniers. It's not just the holy rollers. Science is proving that we're putting poison into our system. What is happening to us? Can you even imagine dealing with the things that your kids have to deal with?
I was laying with my son on the bathroom floor the other day. He was having a bad day and his mom said, "Hey, what's going on?" He went into his bathroom and just laid down on his bathroom floor. I walked in and laid down next to him and said, "Buddy, what's happening?"
He said, "Dad, I'm all jumbled up inside."
I know what that means.
I said, "You been on the internet?"
He actually begged me, "Please, Dad, is there a way you can control and filter?"
Our children are losing their identity. They don't know their family's history. They don't know the history of our country. They don't know where they came from. We relegate American history to be taught by our coaches in public schools. That's not a great base to start kids with.
American history in college has been hijacked by zealot professors with axes to grind against their own country. Do you know that becoming a history professor at George Washington University now only requires one semester of American history? To be a history major students only need one semester of American history. You can graduate from George Washington University and have a good shot at not knowing who George Washington.
We don't care anymore. That's why, when you're going to places like Harvard, asked last week whether President Trump's rhetoric or ISIS is more dangerous, that's why the people at Harvard, the students at Harvard, picked Donald Trump's rhetoric. His words are more dangerous than the actions of ISIS.
Why are people shooting each other? Yesterday, in San Bernardino, it was just a crazy man who had an out with his wife --- but we are walking around soulless.
We are walking around being told the lie that there is no connection between God and science. We are being told the lie that there is no hardship in life. This is the first time in American history that we've had several successive generations that have not faced a significant hardship at all, like the Great Depression or war or both, while at the same time enjoying rising prosperity. Yes, we've had the long-running war of terrorism in Afghanistan and Iraq, but that didn't affect us at all like it did in World War II. Most people don't even realize we're still at war.
Affluenza is real and, increasingly, we're a wimpy, morally bankrupt nation of entitled entertainment junkies. When did this happen? When did we stop looking at the TV with shock and horror?
Listen to this segment from The Glenn Beck Program: