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Dodge County, Wisconsin, Sheriff Dale Schmidt had a few ideas to share on his Facebook page about the “root cause” of teenagers carrying out mass shootings at schools. Perhaps it’s time, he suggested, for parents to discipline their kids, teach them respect, and stop giving trophies out just for showing up.

“Following every mass killing, I ask myself, what has happened to our society? I also wonder what the solution is to ensure our families do not become future victims,” Sheriff Schmidt began his post. “Many have pointed out that years ago, people would go to school and have hunting rifles in their vehicles. Yet, mass violence in schools and other locations did not happen as in society today. It makes me think that there must be a root cause that we are not addressing that has led to this change.”

Schmidt says the grieving students of Parkland, Florida, who are staging nationwide walk-outs to protest gun violence is not “a quick and easy solution.” Something else is causing kids to reject authority and devalue life.

“It’s my belief that the root cause starts with our youth lacking basic skills including respect for authority figures like parents and teachers, the ability to cope with conflict and the ability to handle rejection,” he wrote, also acknowledging mental health issues at play as well as drug and alcohol use.

To parents and authority figures, Schmidt stated:

I believe it is imperative that we raise our children in a manner that instills respect for authority. While we all love our children, we need to get back to a society of parents who expect a level of respect toward both them and others in authority, including teachers. Discipline needs to be reintegrated into our society. Parents, don’t ever let anyone tell you that you can’t or shouldn’t reasonably discipline your child in a non-abusive manner. Teachers need to have the support of parents when they make disciplinary decisions and parents need to resist the urge of running to the defense of their children when a teacher feels the need to discipline. It undermines their authority and will likely be treated as an example for actions toward others in authority in the future.

Schmidt also argued that kids no longer know how to handle rejection in the “we’re all winners” culture:

What about inability to cope or handle rejection? For years we have watched as competition has been replaced by participation awards that are given to make children feel good. While no one wants their child to ever be disappointed or upset, when they are young, they need to face conflict and disappointment and learn to resolve it appropriately under the guidance of adults. It is part of developing their personality and dealing with conflict in the future. When youth are not taught how to handle difficult situations, they must find their own way to cope, which without guidance may be result in unhealthy or even dangerous future behavior. I am no expert and am merely giving an opinion of what I have seen in my own experience, but I feel that my opinions have merit as I have witnessed people dealing with difficult situations at the worst times of their lives.

As for gun control being the answer, Schmidt doesn’t agree. 

“Many have strong opinions about gun control but realistically gun control will do nothing more than place a very small band aid on a much bigger problem,” he stated. “It is imperative that we have serious discussions on what we can do to change the norms of our society and positively impact the decisions our youth make.”

The sheriff immediately received pushback from one reader who commented, “Very good points made! But, assault guns have to go.”

Schmidt replied, “There is no such thing as an assault gun or assault rifle. That is a made up term. Automatic rifles are already banned. There is no difference between the capabilities of an AR 15 (stands for Armalite not Assault Rifle) and many hunting rifles.”

It seems as though once the “gun control now” blinders are on, some people are unable to process all other information. Full post below: 



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