Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A Picture of School Gun Violence in the U.S. | Who's Shooting + Why


The picture of gun violence among American adolescents is  sobering the morning after a murderous event like the one in Ohio yesterday. The details of that story are yet to be unraveled, so there’s little to be said today about what led to that tragic incident.

Today, we can look at the bigger picture. In 2002, the U. S. Secret Service and the U.S. Department of Education issued the final report of an exhaustive study of school shootings from 1974 - 2000. [1] Here's a summary of some of their findings: 

• Targeted school violence is rarely as sudden and impulsive as it appears.  
— About half of attackers develop the idea for at least a month.
— Most prepare their attack for at least two days.

• Few attackers are loners or losers. 
— Most appear to be mainstream kids. 
— Most live in two-parent homes. 
— Most are doing reasonably well in school. 
— Few have been in serious trouble at school. 
— Few have histories of violence toward others or cruelty to animals. 
— Many are involved in organized social groups in or out of school. 
— Nearly all act alone, but most have close friends.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Do You Know the Ten Things We Should Never Say to Kids?



It's no secret that I think raising children is a drag. Not so much when they’re young. But an astonishing number of parents don’t want it to end; the ones who invoke cheery sayings  like, “Once a Dad, always a Dad...” and, “She’ll always be my little girl...” I don’t know; that creeps me out a little. 

Seriously. Am I the only one who finds it the tiniest bit needy when parents conspire to keep their offspring dependent into their twenties? Because if you don’t, you may not be wild about my counterproposal that the whole point of parenting—THE WHOLE POINT—is raising adults. Right? Our finished product is people who, under our influence, bit by bit, stop acting like children and start acting like grownups. 

What would keep reasonably high-functioning women and men from accomplishing what seems like an obviously beneficial objective? Put another way: Are there upsides to withholding vital information and training from our children, and so raising people who have a higher than economically-necessary likelihood of boomeranging back into our households — or not leaving in the first place? I have as yet found any upsides that aren’t more than offset by negative consequences.

One result of these considerations is a list (of course — I list, therefore I am). I call this list: Ten Things We Should Never Say to Kids.  So, what are the ten things we should never say to kids?

Friday, February 10, 2012

free is good | $3.99 is almost free

Yesterday, nearly a thousand people in the U.S., Great Britain, Spain, Italy and France went to Amazon for a free download of Ten Things We Should Never Say to Kids.

Thanks to my friends who spread the word to their friends. We'll do it again soon.

Meanwhile, Ten Things We Should Never Say to Kids is available at the almost free price of $3.99 U.S.

So, help yourself (and maybe gift a copy for a friend).

— RANTS + REFLECTIONS ON THE COMMON GOOD —

[mostly]