What has changed?

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What has changed over the past 60 years?

1955 – The freshman class at a Morris County regional high school is invited over the PA system to try-out for various interscholastic teams. “If you are interested in the rifle team, report to the rifle range in the basement of the north wing.” The teacher/advisor was a WWII veteran who was proud of his team.

1958 – A fifteen-year old young man goes to his father’s unlockable gun cabinet, takes out his recent Christmas gift, a .22LR semi-automatic rifle with a 4x scope and ammo. He then proceeds to put the gun in a canvas case and leaves his home. He walks about 2 miles on public streets, waves at police officers driving by, crosses a state highway and passes by a school. Upon arrival at a farm, he meets up with a couple of friends who are also armed. The farmer shows them where he had an infestation of ground hogs in his crop and wishes the young men “good luck”. After a successful day of saving the farmer’s crop, he walks home, cleans his rifle and puts it away.

That Fall during hunting season, the same young man and his friends put their shotguns and ammunition in a car and head for a day at high school. They locked their ammunition in the car trunk and walked into the school with their encased shotguns. They go to the office and the guns are logged in for retrieval after school.

These same young men played board and card games, watched what TV was available, went bowling, performed in the HS band and in stage shows. They liked cars and girls, even sneaking peaks at Playboy. They were protected from bullying by their peers without school or even parental intervention. They went on to college, the armed forces and became teachers and first responders.

What has changed? Let’s take a look at violence in media and technology. Let’s look into early professional interventions. When we talk “inclusion” let’s not forget the obvious. Everyone, even fourth generation Americans, not just the prolific vocalists, need to be included.

Eskil S. Danielson, MA


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