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With Loughner, Time to Talk Parental Responsibility

We need to confront the elephant in the room.

by
Kyle-Anne Shiver

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January 17, 2011 - 12:00 am
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Just so we’re clear from the start, dear reader, I am not — not — about to opine that Jared Loughner’s parents could have definitely prevented their son’s mad rampage with a gun last week in Arizona. No human being could ever make such a godlike assumption. Believing that one has the ability to read others’ minds is one of the markers of insanity.

This is a fact of life — which makes the entire progressive meme of the past week no more enlightened than an actual witch hunt. Who did this? It was a witch! I’m sure it was a witch! Why did he do it? It was a spell! I’m sure it was a spell! What to do? What to do? Burn the wicked witch! Burn her! Burn her!

Now, there’s simply no need, among sane, reasonable, modern human beings, to debate this any further. The “let’s see how far we can dumb down progress” progressives have been shamed — first by Mom-in-chief Sarah Palin (otherwise known as the witch of confused imaginations), and then by the progressives’ own leader, President Obama.

Of course, these mad romps into the wilds of witchdom will continue just as long as there are fools who can be persuaded that illogic and insanity can be forced into the orderly space where logic and reason reside.

But for the rest of us, there remains an elephant in the room with the Loughner tale: parental responsibility.

Palin, for her part, skirted this issue as much as she possibly could. In her kitchen-table speech (otherwise known as Facebook), she took the childish witch-hunters to task on the most crucial point in this entire public debate — personal accountability.

Collectivists of the socialist bent will always see societal responsibility as both the cause of and the remedy to every problem, because this is the foundation of their entire worldview.

Most Americans, however, still abide by a Judeo-Christian moral code that puts parents in the first line of accountability for minor children. Jared Loughner is no longer a minor, but while he was still a minor, grave signs of mental, spiritual, and behavioral decay were apparent to all who knew Jared. As more and more details have become known through interviews with friends and neighbors, there were many indicators that Jared needed major intervention in his life.

Now that The New York Times has actually reported a few real facts regarding Loughner, his own parents’ failure to intervene before tragedy struck is all the more glaring. From the Times’ in-depth article:

Not long after showing up intoxicated at school, Jared dropped out. He also dropped out of band. Then, in September 2007, he and a friend were caught with drug paraphernalia in a white van.

Something was happening to Jared Loughner. It was clear to his friends, clear to anyone who encountered him.

Apparently, Jared’s deterioration was “clear to anyone who encountered him” except the two people with both the legal and moral authority to get him the help he needed. This is not only sad. In any Judeo-Christian universe, it is a gravely sinful disregard for one’s own parental duty — one’s duty to God, to one’s child, and, yes, also to the society of which that child is to become a productive part.

No one can say from afar, much less in hindsight, whether Jared’s parents could have prevented this tragedy. But it is entirely within our purview to ask why Jared’s parents so shirked their own duty as parents. Why was Jared’s obvious deterioration left unaddressed by the only people who could have stepped in?

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