Letter: Prepare young people to deal with threats

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Graphic by Lori Deaton

Reference the recent letter about militarization of youth and eternity [“The Militarization of Our Children,” May 23, Xpress]: The ideals of peace, freedom, wisdom, culture and education have always struggled side by side with the threats imposed by man’s inhumanity to man, aggression, cruelty and selfishness.

History clearly demonstrates over and over that the ideal culture can only exist and thrive in a secure, well-defended situation. The late St. John Paul II once wrote in a historical thesis that over a period of 3,380 years, there were only 240 years without a war. That’s because there will always be those tyrants and aggressors who think they can succeed by taking advantage of weaker or unprepared nations. They seek better resources, nicer weather, access to warm seaports, revenge or “Lebensraum,” in the case of Adolf Hitler.

But it doesn’t take 3,380 years to show this factor in human existence. Just look at the last 100 years. World War I, “the war to end all wars,” had hardly ended when Hitler was already plotting the next war. He only succeeded as far as he did because no one else was ready when he attacked. If Hitler himself would have been more educated, he would surely have realized that eventually the world would turn against him and come back and destroy his own country. But such “leaders” are very shortsighted.

The list of dictators and aggressors is very long, and their death toll on the world is counted in the millions. We already mentioned Hitler; then there was Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Saddam Hussein, etc., etc.

There is another very disturbing trend in the history of conflict, which has become apparent in recent history. As world population increases, not only the number of people killed in wars has increased, but more alarming is that the percentage of the world population killed has also increased. Thus we face the threat of self-extinction if these trends continue.

So wisdom demands that we acknowledge these risks to freedom, civilization, culture, etc., in our education system so we have the capability within our country to defend ourselves.

There is one thing aggressors respect, and that is someone who is prepared and ready to defeat them. That capability comes with the requirement that we prepare our young people to deal with these very real threats to our own existence. Preparing young people to defend our country is not keeping them from learning. It is making their education more realistic and comprehensive.

— Paul Lang
Salisbury, Md.

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5 thoughts on “Letter: Prepare young people to deal with threats

  1. boatrocker

    Hey Kids How to Stay Safe 101:
    -Stay off social media. It is worse than cigarettes
    for being designed to hook you.
    Every school shooter you see on the news got hooked
    on neo Nazi websites.
    Tell adults to take their claims of ‘fake news’ and shove it.
    -Read books. A $2 library card can yield books
    which are checked by editors and verified via fact checkers.
    Specifically, history books, the Constitution and banned books. Look up the list of 100 banned books in US schools and read them.
    -Get involved in ’causes’. Right wing loonies will call you
    ‘paid crisis actors’ but you are American citizens with a voice too.
    Use your voice or lose it.
    -Boycott causes you do not care for- whatever they may be.
    Most adults don’t care about anything but $ and weaseling out of
    paying their fair share of taxes, so hit them where it hurts (the wallet).
    -If you are old enough, vote. Don’t believe the internet conspiracy
    libertarian/sovereign citizen type loonies who claims voting doesn’t matter.
    Voting resulted in all the presidents that matter.
    -Lay off the video games/clean your room/don’t sass your mother/take out the trash
    but you kids get that every day.

  2. Jason W

    I question your conclusion. Steven Pinker, Professor of Psychology at Harvard University says in his book, The Better Angels of Our Nature, about the decline of violence in the world:
    “I looked at homicide, looked at war, looked at genocide, looked at terrorism. And in all cases, the long-term historical trend, though there are ups and downs and wiggles and spikes, is absolutely downward. The rate of violent crime in United States has fallen by more than half in just a decade. The rate of death in war fell by a factor of 100 over a span of 25 years.”
    https://www.npr.org/2016/07/16/486311030/despite-the-headlines-steven-pinker-says-the-world-is-becoming-less-violent
    We perceive the world as being a more violent place because our information technology allows us to nearly instantaneously read or watch very violent acts being committed half a world away. It’s an illusion that makes the violence seem closer to us, and thus makes the world seem like a more violent place , and some parts of the world are. However the statistics say a different thing.

    • boatrocker

      Well that ‘less violent world’ study is good news!
      For becoming less of a violent world can we finally blame
      Obama for that (snicker) as that happened within the past ‘decade’?

      Also, for the world being a less violent place, maybe now ‘Murica can slash instead of
      inflate our military budget in order to fund education, Veterans’ Affairs hospitals
      and mental health professionals so our kids aren’t murdered in school.

      Maybe alternative energy research would be something to look into as well but ahhhhhhhhhh!
      That might upset the Powers that Be- best not push our luck.

      A little good news goes a long way I suppose.

      • Lulz

        If America slashed its military budget, it means your idolized European countries have no protection. Dontcha realize it was American capitalism backing up European socialism? Of course not. Were it not for the trillions American spent on European defense and to equip and train them, why there would be no Europe now.

        Lemme guess, fake news and neoNazi conspiracy LOL.

  3. Big Al

    During my 9 years of Army & Reserve service, I saw NO evidence that JROTC made any difference in the caliber of recruits. In fact, the most vocal JROTC member of my Basic Training cohort was one of our WORST recruits because he spent so much time talking about “When I was in JROTC…” that he never listened to what his instructors had to say.

    JROTC is not just parade ground soldiering, it is PLAY GROUND soldiering and we would all be better off without it.

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