How bad parenting led to the Uvalde, Texas mass shooting

Ruben Nararrette
Liberal Opinion

Ruben Navarrette

Columnist, host & author
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Mass shootings in the U.S. are on the rise and while there’s debate surrounding the root causes, one thing seems apparent: Most shooters are young men of similar age. But what motivates these crimes and is there a trajectory towards violence that’s common among mass shooters? Straight Arrow News contributor Ruben Navarrette believes poor parenting plays a large role and cannot be ignored:

Show me a screwed up kid and more times than not, I’ll show you the parents who screwed him up. Often the problem isn’t the parents were too hard, but too soft, too accommodating and too permissive. 

Dr. Jillian Peterson, professor of psychology at Hamline University, studied 180 mass shooters. She found what she calls a common pathway to a mass shooting. It starts with a rough childhood, full of abuse or neglect or both. Mix in self-destructive behavior by the parents, maybe drug or alcohol abuse. You get social isolation and self hate that morphs into hatred for everyone else. The perpetrator looks for people to blame for his misery. Then he finally comes to see violence as the only way to mete out justice to his tormentors. Then the ghouls and the gun lobby provide easy access to the hardware, because they treat the Second Amendment like a national suicide pact.

In Uvalde, in the months leading up to the vicious attack on Robb Elementary School, Ramos was acting out in defiant and destructive ways. According to friends and families, he fired his BB gun at passing cars, egged buildings and cut his own face. His parents, Adrianna Martinez and Salvador Ram, who had been divorced – they had their problems. Mom had battled drug addiction. Dad had a criminal record. And these are the “responsible adults who are supposed to observe and correct their son’s behavior.” Well, obviously they failed. After the shooting, Martinez wept as she spoke to Televisa, the national language television network.

“I have no words to say. I don’t know what he was thinking,” she said. “He had his reasons for doing what he did. Please don’t judge him. I only want the innocent children who died to forgive me.”

Parents like these are so wrapped up in their own lives that they won’t confront teenagers over behavior that’s illegal, wrong or harmful. The bloodshed in Uvalde shows where this kind of hands-off parenting can lead straight to the gates of hell.

Warning bad parenting may be hazardous to your health and everyone else’s. Being a parent means making mistakes to mate account. It means never getting the balance quite right between being too tough and too lenient means giving our kids enough so they can do anything, but not so much that they can do nothing. It means being stern, but tender, helpful, but not smothering. Its Father Knows Best meets Tiger Mom. Finally, being a parent means accepting that it’s your duty not to be your kid’s BFF. But to produce good humans who make the world proud and not bad ones who make the world weep. It means not giving up or checking out. Even you’re feeling beat up and out of ideas. It means being present in your kid’s life and sometimes right up in their face. The family life of Salvador Ramos Jr. The teenage gunman who killed 21 people, including 19/4 graders, and two teachers and the massacre in Uvaldi, Texas last month was a disaster area that should have been cordoned off from civilized society by little orange cones. Instead, the familia Ramos is now separated by the yellow tape use a crime scenes. That’s because Salvador took advantage of American stupidity over guns by waiting until his 18th birthday to buy an AR 15 assault rifle that should not be sold to civilians of any age. Show me a screwed up kid and more times than not, I’ll show you the parents who screwed him up. Often. The problem isn’t the parents were too hard, but too soft, too accommodating and too permissive. Dr. Jillian Peterson, professor of psychology at Hamlin University, studied 180 mass shooters. She found what she calls a common pathway to a mass shooting. It starts with a rough childhood, full of abuse or neglect or both. Mix in self destructive behavior by the parents, maybe drug or alcohol abuse. You get social isolation, and self hate that morphs into hatred for everyone else. The perpetrator looks for people to blame for his misery. Then he finally comes to see violence as the only way to mete out justice to his tormentors. Then the Googles and the gun lobby provide easy access to the hardware, because they treat the Second Amendment like a national suicide pack in a vault Uvaldi. In the months leading up to the vicious attack on Rob Elementary School, Ramos was acting out in defiant and destructive ways. According to friends and families, he fired his BB gun at passing cars, egged buildings and cut his own face. His parents, Adrianna Martinez and Salvador almost senior who had been divorced. They had their problems. Mom had battled drug addiction. Dad had a criminal record. And these are the quote responsible adults who are supposed to observe and correct their son’s behavior. Well, obviously they failed. After the shooting, Martinez wept as she spoke to Televisa, the national language television network, quote, I have no words to say. I don’t know what he was thinking. She said. He had his reasons for doing what he did. Please don’t judge him. I only want the innocent children who died to forgive me and quote, parents like these are so wrapped up in their own lives, that they won’t confront teenagers over behavior that’s illegal, wrong or harmful. The bloodshed and evolving shows where this kind of hands off parenting can lead straight to the gates of hell. I’m Ruben operetta and this is not resonation


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