“I shot that bitch dead!” Those are the words of the six-year-old student at Richneck Elementary School in January shortly after he shot his teacher Abigail Zwerner, according to recently unveiled court documents reported by The Virginian-Pilot. One has to ask: in what kind of world does a six-year-old child think that way? In what kind of world would a six-year-old who thinks that way actually carry out his violent intent? Somehow, we have come to live in a world in which many families fail to teach the most basic norms of civilized behavior. I apologize: I shouldn’t have used the word “civilized.” Even in so-called uncivilized societies, young children don’t behave that way. The United States of America has reached a new stage in human social evolution that is more debased than any other.
Parents’ rights and social media. Speaking of plumbing new depths of depravity, there is a growing sense that social media has a corrosive effect on America’s children — mainstreaming pornography, violence, and reckless, self-destructive behavior. Social media was a major topic of conversation in a “parents matter” town hall meeting that Governor Glenn Youngkin held in Hanover County yesterday. Said one participant: “It is like closing a door with all the windows open. I feel like anyone can come in at any time, and as much as we try to protect our children, it’s really hard and you feel incredibly vulnerable.”
I have seen no indication that the infamous Richneck Elementary six-year-old was influenced by social media, so the problem is bigger and more pervasive than anything that takes place online. But if you think of social media as enabling a digital island of the Lord of the Flies where the norms of the adult world are forgotten, you won’t go far wrong.
In a world gone mad, expect to see more laws like the bill signed into law this year that restricts access to PornHub and other pornographic websites to anyone who cannot document that they are 18 or older.