A letter to Mike Matthews, the school board and community:
Although I agree that a tragedy may have been avoided at Malibu High School recently, we should keep this all in perspective. My daughter is a straight A student at your school so I believe I have some perspective in raising a good child. Not only is she an excellent student, she is an inspiration to those who know her. Morality and discipline are the difference.
I was never a good student like my daughter, in fact I may have been a bit of a trouble maker in the 1970s. One day I went hiking in the hills above my high school. I caught a rattlesnake and brought it back to school in a box. When word got out about the snake one of my teachers went to his car and pulled out a loaded .44 magnum. He found me with the snake, took it from me, threw it on the ground and shot it three times.
Nobody thought this was odd at the time and neither of us got into any trouble over this incident. The point of this letter is to give anyone a bit of perspective on how dramatically things have changed in only 25 years. As for the boy who brought the gun to Malibu High, I thank God he didn’t use it. I am not as worried as most parents because in the end he made the choice not to use the weapon. On the other hand the young man who kicked the other boy senseless as he helplessly lay on the ground does worry me, I hope the rest of you can see the difference.
Morality and discipline for all intents and purposes cannot be taught without religion. Religion cannot be taught in school, so everyone shrugs their shoulders and hope draconian punishment and expulsion works. This only works for the smart kids. No amount of punishment works for a troubled or slow child. So many parents are afraid or incapable of teaching their children morality and discipline that we have to take this young man away from his family for years, take away much of his future and pay for his care in prison while he learns to hate society. All of this because he broke a law that theoretically was supposed to be a constitutionally protected right that our founding fathers thought most everyone would have the moral discipline to honor.