I wish that I could say that this article from Newsweek was a surprise. I wish that I could say that I’m shocked, but after all my years in counseling, working with at-risk youth, and in property management, all I can do is shake my head.
How many times is this story going to repeat? The Newtown, Connecticut shooter’s mother had supplied her mentally ill son with access to weapons after repeated issues. The Florida shooter still had access to firearms after repeated infractions. This guy’s own father gives him back an AR-15 after he was picked up at The White House for mental issues and weapons violations.
I’m not worried about more laws. I want to know when we are going to start enforcing the ones that we already have in place. Also, when are we going to drastically overhaul mental healthcare in America? What we have is clearly not working.
Today was one of those days where I had to drop kid #1 off at school because Jessica got called out in the middle of the night to help with a birth. As we are making our way around the drop-off line at school, we see that one of the parent’s has driven into the prohibited bus area that has a separate entrance in order to facilitate efficient and safe bus travel for the students. The dude proceeds to park his car right in the entrance and gets out to walk his daughter up to the sidewalk because he can’t be bothered to go though the line like the rest of us. Clearly, the 3 minutes that it takes to get through the line is far too long for this guy…he’s got things to do.
Kid #1 looks over and says, “Hey, they aren’t supposed to park there. That is for the buses, only.” I decided to acknowledge her astute observation and reply with my standard: “He thinks that he’s special and that the rules do not apply to him.” Kid #1’s reply is a thing of beauty. She says, “Yeah, his daughter thinks she’s special, too. She is always really snooty to me.”
In the 30 seconds that I have left before she gets out to the car, I take a moment to remind Kid #1 that it is exactly this sort of situation that reminds us of why we are not to put ourselves before others. What that man did was not only selfish, but unsafe, as it causes a traffic snarl for buses on a busy 2-lane road. Even worse, the behavior is rubbing off on his kid.
No one likes the person who cuts in line. No one likes the person who walks into a restaurant with a line out the door and sends a member of their party to hold a table (which messes up the flow and makes seating impossible). No one likes to person who just leaves their cart in the store parking lot.
I don’t know what happened to being polite and following the same social conventions as everyone else, but I sure wish that we could find a way to restore that practice. If we are all going to live together, we have got to get along. Getting along is so much easier when people aren’t jerks.