Over the weekend, my wife and I were walking through a mall together for the first time in years. We went into a store called “Spencer’s” for old-time sake … it used to be the place all of the pre-teens went to back in the day.
Just as it used to be … it was filled with kids. There was also a couple in the back of the store with their child who couldn’t have been older than five or six.
What else was in the back of the store? Sex toys. TONS of them. Vibrators. Lubricants. Lingerie. Teenagers hanging out in what was essentially a sex shop for kids.
Keep in mind, we’re not talking about an 18+ shop here. We’re talking about a store in the Buckland Hills Mall in Manchester, Connecticut that lures you in with St. Patrick’s Day pride decorations.
Protecting our children isn’t limited to safety. It all starts with the culture we allow them to be exposed to. And we’re collectively failing.
Sex toys in front of our kids apparently aren’t offensive to people … but God-forbid little kids be allowed to sing “The Little Indians” song.
There was a successful movement to ban the “gun” emoji on the iPhone (it was replaced with a green water gun) – but you can give someone a “middle finger” emoji.
Female celebrities such as Emily Ratajkowski will post on Instagram memes and graphics against “sexual expectations from men” – and then post pictures of themselves naked on that same feed while pretending to be role models for young girls.
Parents demand the removal of all guns from America, and then let their kid spend sixteen hours pretending to kill people and steal cars on video games.
Moms talk about protecting their innocent children from “horrible people” like President Donald Trump … then bring their kids to parades and make them hold expletive-laced signs while dressed up as parts of the female anatomy.
People flip out when a passionate politician swears … but they have no problem letting their kids watch movies loaded with crass language.
Rappers complain about stereotypes and being targeted by police … then drop 50 n-words in a “song” where they glorify drug use and violence.
College professors talk all about the need for free speech … then work to shut down that free speech on campus if it’s not promoting a liberal agenda.
People demand we remove “God” from society – then ask where our “God” was when terrible things happened around us.
We’ve removed nuclear families and strong fathers and integrity and respect and faith and common sense from American culture and replaced it with violence, drugs, and sex.
We’ve replaced hard work with participation trophies … we’ve exchanged an education in capitalism for teachings about socialism … we’ve taken kids off the playgrounds and drugged them to calm them down … we’ve told little boys that manliness is toxic, but that marijuana has only been illegal because of the big mean government … and we wonder why we have problems in society.
We’ve set the example that if you break the law it’s not a big deal if it advances a certain political agenda. We’ve taught that rules can be broken if you don’t like those rules.
We’ve taught that we shouldn’t incarcerate bad guys if it’s going to make mayors and governors look bad to have high incarceration rates.
We’ve taught that people don’t kill people … guns kill people … so we should walk away from the Second Amendment because in doing so, criminals are going to arbitrarily surrender their weapons and become saints.
We’ve taught that gun-free zones convince bad guys not to go in them while ignoring the fentanyl crisis in a country where the drug is illegal.
But we wonder. We wonder why we have school shootings. We wonder where we went wrong in raising children. We feign disbelief and say it must be someone else’s fault. It must be the other kids in school that are a bad influence. It must be lousy teachers. It must be something or someone else. After all – we’ve done an amazing job of raising our children.
The problem isn’t coming. It’s already here. And the only way for us to stop it is to first recognize it.