It’s the Culture, People! Why the Debate About Gun Control and Mental Illness Misses the Mark

It’s the Culture, People!

Why the Debate About Gun Control and Mental Illness Misses the Mark

By Dr. Tom Snyder, Editor

Another heated debate about guns, crime, law enforcement, and mental health has been generated in the wake of last week’s murder of 17 people at a high school in Parkland.

Without getting into the pros and cons of this debate (there are good points and bad points in each of the major solutions being considered, even though some of the solutions seem to have more merit than others), it’s clear to us that, so far, the debate has missed the point.

For example, a recent article by Christian Adams at PJ Media revealed that 30 years ago and more, many public high schools actually let their students use guns on campus! They even had gun ranges for students. Apparently, all that ended when Congress, led by Vice President Joe Biden in 1990, passed a bill that turned all public schools into “gun free zones.”

According to statistics gathered by MOVIEGUIDE® at, five people were murdered in one mass shooting (four or more people) at a school in the 1940s, zero people were killed at mass shootings at schools in the 1950s, 22 people were killed in mass shootings of four or more people at schools in the 1960s (17 of those were killed by one mass shooter with a brain tumor at the University of Texas in Austin), seven were killed in one mass shooting of four or more people at schools in the 1970s, six were killed in mass shootings at schools in the 1980s, 23 were killed in mass shootings at schools in the 1990s (13 at Columbine), 53 were killed in mass shootings at schools in the 2000s, and 64 have been killed in mass shootings in schools since 2010.

So, apart from the anomaly of the 1960s, what changed in America between 1940 and 1990?

Well, first, Hollywood attacked Christian evangelists in the notorious 1960 movie ELMER GANTRY. Then, the Supreme Court outlawed prayer in school in 1962. Next, in the mid-1960s, Catholics, Protestants and Jews abandoned Hollywood, and President Johnson instituted a huge social welfare program to fight poverty. Then, Hollywood opened the door to graphic sex and violence in its movies in the late 1960s. Then, the Supreme Court in 1973 ended local, state and federal bans on abortion, the murder of innocent babies in the womb. Then, the self-esteem movement in schools began in California in the 1980s, along with the promotion of profanity, promiscuous sex and violence in pop music, especially rap music and hip-hop. Finally, amoral and immoral political correctness began invading the public schools in the 1990s, just as children began to be medicated by school psychologists, medical doctors and parents.

During all this time, there has been a steady erosion of the American family, along with a steady erosion of discipline in America’s “public” schools.

As they often say, guns don’t kill people, people kill people. That said, it’s perfectly possible to improve America’s mental health system, improve our judicial system (including the ways law enforcement targets would-be mass killers), and stop doctors from prescribing drugs to control children’s behavior.

However, what do we do about improving the culture (especially the rampant depictions of sex and violence), that corrupts the hearts and minds of children and teenagers, especially those children and teenagers who may pick up a gun, or another weapon, to attack their fellow students and the teachers protecting them?

Maybe it’s time for people to start marching on Hollywood instead of marching on Washington.

And, while we’re at it, how about putting Jesus Christ, the Bible, prayer, church, and family back in the public schools and on our movie and video screens?

Editor’s Note:  For more information on how to make America, and your family, culture wise, please read MOVIEGUIDE® Publisher Dr. Ted Baehr’s book THE CULTURE-WISE FAMILY. And, don’t forget to pre-order his new book, REEL TO REAL:  45 Movie Devotions for Families, which will be released in March.