What to do with all the guns? That’s the question. Perhaps it’s time
to say enough’s enough! What with so many school shootings, so many
murders, so many suicides—all involving guns—maybe it’s time to
simply outlaw them all, once and for all. After all, we do have a
problem in our country, and when Andy Williams strolled into Santana
High this past month and began blowing away everyone in range, we
were all reminded once again just how serious our problem is. This
time it was Andy Williams, but what difference does the name make.
It’s just another gun-toting tot, shooting up his classmates.
Tomorrow it will be Billy Jones; next week, Johnny Smith. It’s not
going to stop. Only the names of the shooters will change.
Where did Andy get his gun? Clearly, there are just too many guns in
the world today! Why, had it not been for that gun, two children
would still be alive and, rather than being in jail, little Andy
Williams would be free to go to school, attend classes, and do all
the things that normal children do in America today.
A Normal Kid
Andy or Billy or Johnny (pick your favorite gun-slinging youngster)
would have gotten up tomorrow morning—like a thousand other
mornings—to the voice of his stepdad telling him to get a move on.
The sun never rises before Billy does. Ever since he was a child,
he’s been being roused at 5:00 AM. Even when he was as young as
three, his real dad used to throw his covers aside to get him up on
those cold winter mornings. There would be just enough time for a
Pop Tart and a juice box before Baby Billy would be whisked off to
daycare. Nine hours later, his mommy would arrive—exhausted from her
day at the office—to pick him up. Billy can’t remember a time when
he wasn’t being carted off at the crack of dawn to that little brick
building behind the chain-link fence.
After the divorce, Ted moved in; Billy was just seven years old when
Dad moved out. Now his dad has a new girlfriend; Billy is allowed to
visit him from time to time during the summers.
Anyway, these days stepdad Ted drives Billy to the bus stop on his
way to work every morning. Billy doesn’t mind the drive. With his
headphones, he starts his day with a little help from Marilyn Manson
and Nine Inch Nails—his two favorite rock groups.
Ted doesn’t say much. He’s real busy with work and all. Besides, Ted
always listens to the Beatles on the morning drive. Ted and Billy
ride in the same car every morning, but it’s pretty obvious that
these two are in very different worlds. They never talk. Billy hates
So, it’s off to school. Every day is like the last. Billy learns
about global warming and saving the rain forests in his Ecology
class; it’s always hot in California…maybe the earth is burning up,
Billy doesn’t know. In fact, Billy doesn’t care.
Billy’s just a normal, American kid.
His Civics class has been
studying the landmark Roe vs. Wade decision, and the liberation of
women; Roe vs. Wade bores Billy. But Marilyn Manson has a song about
an aborted fetus in a coffee can. Billy thinks that’s a pretty cool
During Human Sexuality class, Billy again learns about alternative
lifestyles. Last Tuesday a gay man visited the class; he held an
interactive seminar in which everyone in Billy’s class learned about
prophylactic application for the gay activities; the guy’s name was
Today, during Sociology class, the people from Make the Peace will
have an hour-long session dedicated to ending hatred. They’ll babble
on about Columbine and then show a video of kids crying after the
shooting. After the video, the class will be asked to express
themselves. All the girls will get a chance to stand up and talk
about how they’re the ones to make the peace. But because new
studies show that boys are three times more likely to raise their
hands in class than girls are, Billy’s teacher has been dissuading
boys from answering too many questions. During the session, most of
the boys pretend to be asleep anyway; Billy listens to Marilyn on
He’s just a normal kid, and this is just a normal public school.
In between classes, Billy hangs out with the three guys from his
“posse.” They all wear black leather jackets and white face makeup.
They’re the only people Billy can talk to anymore. They’re from
divorced homes too, and most of them have seen Marilyn in
concert…something Billy plans to do as soon as possible.
Next week the people from D.A.R.E. are coming to Billy’s school.
They’re going to give some more lectures about drugs and how
everyone needs to talk about drug prevention. Billy and his dudes
like to smoke a little pot before the D.A.R.E. sessions get under
way. It’s risky, but it gives them something to do. They like to be
what they call “generic individuals.”
In the fifth grade, Billy actually got busted for smoking a joint.
He got really mad when someone ratted on him. That’s why he was sent
to his anger-management classes, and that’s also why his
psychiatrist prescribed Zoloft for a few months. He had spent two
years on Ridilan when he was a kid, so the Zoloft was no big deal.
The therapy sessions were what really bugged Billy. For an hour
every Wednesday and Friday, he had to sit down with Ms. Stark and
talk about getting in touch with his feminine side and managing the
“hills and valleys” of his mood swings. “Masculine stereotyping has
heavily influenced Billy; he’s not responsive to appropriate
behavioral modifications; doesn’t deal with his anger in a positive
manner”—that’s what Ms. Stark told Billy’s guidance counselor.
Anyway, that was years ago. Billy’s all grown up now. He knows
everything there is to know about everything, especially sex—he
learned it all in school. They teach all the dirty stuff now; it’s
supposed to stop the spread of STDs. Billy thinks that’s funny too.
Sexual “stuff” is about the only thing he does learn a lot about in
school. But Billy’s on the short side, and he has a terrible problem
with acne. Very few girls even talk to him. He doesn’t care; he
likes listening to Ice T and Snoop Doggy Dog, because they always
rap about beating up “the bitches.” Billy thinks that’s awesome.
Billy’s just a normal American kid who likes normal American pop
“Maybe you’re gay, Billy.” Says Mr. Jonas, Billy’s guidance
counselor. Everyone knows Mr. Jonas is himself a homosexual. “Maybe
that’s why you’re displaying such anti-social behavior. You know,
Billy, it’s okay to be gay. There’s nothing wrong with it. Here,
take this book home with you tonight and keep an open mind, okay
Mr. Jonas was given the “Guidance Counselor of the Year Award” last
year by the school board. Billy and his friends like to “diss” him.
Today the Human Development class will be required to view
“Hannibal,” the sequel to “Silence of the Lambs.” The class project
will be to write down reactions to the film. The students were told
to place special emphasis on their opinions of why cannibalism,
though not evil (since some cultures still engage in it and we must
be sensitive to those cultures that are different from ours), is
still not acceptable behavior in our society. What “Hannibal” has to
do with human development neither Billy nor his friends could say,
but they thought the movie was great, especially the part where
Anthony Hopkins’ character eats human flesh for dinner. Everyone
laughed at that part. It was awesome.
Later on in the afternoon, Billy attended a mandatory Great American
Smoke-out rally in the gymnasium. The principal took the condom tree
out of the glass display case for the day and replaced it with a
statuette of “Butt Head.” This was to remind everyone of the evils
of smoking. Along with everyone else, Billy was instructed to give a
handout to his parents. The headline read: “Mommy, why are you
killing me with your second-hand smoke?” Billy threw it away after
school. His mom doesn’t smoke.
School’s out now in our normal,
Billy and his buds decide to hang out at his
house after classes let out. His mom and Ted never get home before
seven, and so Billy’s friends like to congregate at his place.
Besides, he’s got cable TV. His mom doesn’t care if Billy orders the
fights or even pornographic stuff on Pay Per-view, but most of the
time they just watch the “Metal Shop” on MTV. This is an awesome new
show that features hours of heavy metal videos and behind-the-scenes
road action from their favorite bands. Their music is more important
to the boys than anything else in their lives. They would die
The boys smoke some more pot, listen to Marilyn on the stereo, keep
the TV on with the sound down so that they can watch Kid Rock and
Rage Against the Machine live in Melbourne, and they play video
games on Billy’s Play Station. Billy’s pal Johnny brought over a
whole bunch of new “reality-based” games. The boys’ favorite is
Psycho Killer, a rather obscure game that has totally “rad”
graphics. Man, how they laugh when the blood spurts out of the
lady’s head when they shoot her with the Glock!
For three hours the boys listen to Marilyn and Korn as they shoot
the living daylights out of people in virtual reality. “Sometimes
you need a pill, boy,” the singer screams, “Sometimes you need to
kill, boy. In the end, it’s all just a nightmare anyway. Nothin’s
real, boy. Kill, kill, kill, it’s ok because it’s not real.
Sometimes I got to just kill, kill, kill.”
Seven o’clock rolls around, and the other boys finally wander home.
Still no mom. No Ted either. Billy’s an only child. He almost had a
sister once, but his mom aborted her. She decided that she wanted to
marry Ted before having any more children. Ted was already living
with Billy and his mom, so, what the heck, they got married. Billy
got to be an usher. Whatever!
Billy’s just a normal American kid
from a normal American family.
Come to think of it, that was the
last time Billy was in a church. He doesn’t believe in God anyway.
Marilyn says God’s for wimps and old ladies. Says he wants to
destroy Christianity forever. Nobody in his life believes in God,
although Ted thinks that he was a cow in Germany in his former life.
Ted’s a re-incarnationist. Billy’s mom thinks that’s neat.
Around 8:30 Billy hears the garage door opener engage. Mom’s home.
She had a late meeting at the office. When she peeked in on her son,
only the black light was turned on, but Billy was asleep. The tinny
beat of base and screaming lyrics from Billy’s headphones were all
she could hear. She was glad her son was such a music lover. Arts
are good for the children, she thought. Marilyn Manson’s voice was
the last Billy heard that night. He had nothing to say to his
It was just another normal night, for a normal kid, living
in a normal American family.
Everyone in Billy’s normal world is
deathly afraid of death. Death is the end. Death’s the great
disease. Death, then, is powerful. Billy’s heavy metal music is
fixated with the idea of death. Billy thinks a lot about it. Maybe
death is the only thing people respect anymore…because they’re
scared of it.
And, so, one morning, after a thousand days like the one just
described, little Billy packs a gun in his knapsack and heads off to
school. He didn’t sleep at all the night before…just sat up
listening to Marilyn. By six o’clock that evening, he thought, I
could be enjoying Andy Warhol’s fifteen minutes of fame. I’ll be
more famous than any rock star, even Marilyn. I’ll be on television.
I’ll be on the front page of every newspaper in the world. I’ll be
immortal. Why? Because at noon that day, Billy planned on becoming
someone everyone would fear and, in Billy’s mind, respect. He’d
instill terror where there was none seconds before. He’d hold the
power of life and death over everyone around him. And, best of all,
everyone would have to shut up and listen to him!
But ultimately, Billy would be trying to accomplish something else
that day with his gun in hand: he’d be killing himself…. He’d be
setting himself free. Perhaps, in that moment before he’d be taken
out (as surely he would be), the fear of death or the pain of
bullets would serve to let him know that, despite all the emptiness,
Billy had been alive after all. At that moment, he would no longer
be just another normal kid. He would become powerful—not by merits
of his intelligence, nor because of his faith or his
accomplishments—but by his ability to instill terror in his peers.
Now that, thought Billy, would rock!
“What went wrong at Santana
High today?” queried Peter Jennings that night. “How many normal
kids will have to become the victims of guns before we’ll learn to
enact stricter gun laws?”
Such is a portrait of a normal American
youngster named Billy, living in Anywhere, USA. He has problems,
sure. But his problems have little to do with the gun he brought to
school; that gun was just the mouthpiece through which this young
man screamed everything that is wrong with America. Sure, many kids
today don’t wind up standing on a lunch table and popping off rounds
at fellow classmates in school cafeterias. But, to varying degrees,
most are tainted with the same rot that led Billy to snap. Respect
for life is fading away and being replaced by notions of limitless
“choice”; sexual deviancy is regarded as “normal”; lack of belief in
God and family is inevitable; killing souls through heinous sins is
commonplace. Some children act out, many commit suicide, but nearly
all have lost the light that used to shine in their eyes.
We’ve outlawed God, we’ve legalized the murder of millions of
babies, and we’ve declared ourselves free to govern ourselves and do
whatever feels good, sans input from God or His law. Billy is our
creation. Billy is our monster. But, more than anything else, Billy
is a microcosm of our society—so “free,” so equal, so affluent, so
lacking in moral restraint and personal responsibility. Liberalism’s
great inherent irony is that it ultimately consumes all who embrace
it. Whether through world wars, atom bombs, road rage, drive-by
shootings, or school massacres, we have all around us ample evidence
of what the “liberal” society will do to itself when it finally
succeeds in throwing God aside—it becomes suicidal.
We are a critically ill society now, and Billy is but a messenger
warning our world of what we can all expect in the future. He
demonstrates just how profoundly modern public education has failed;
he shows us precisely what legalized abortion does for kids’ respect
for human life; he teaches us all about the consequences of divorce;
he acts out the effects of rock music, violent video games and
television on the young mind; he shouts out the great “benefits” of
unbridled democracy, equality and total freedom from moral
restraint. He illustrates that, now that the orgy of revolution is
over in our “enlightened” society, it’s time for the hangover to
kick in. In our race to prove to the world that we don’t need God,
we somewhere along the line began to turn on His “image and
likeness”—ourselves. We’ve begun to hate what we’ve become, and so
we concentrate our energies on killing the beast that is us. Billy
needed discipline, order, restraint, and guidance; instead he
received permissiveness, lack of structure, sex education, endless
self-esteem training and unchecked self-indulgence. The feverish
application of this Godless new “morality” gives way to savagery.
Billy is the tragic savage that the revolutions in the Church and in
the State created.
Take away the guns, they say. That’ll do it! You can take away all
the guns in the world if you want, but tomorrow Billy will bring a
bag of bombs to school. It’s not the guns. Guns have been around for
centuries. It’s the “trigger men” that do the killing, not the guns.
God is the only answer for the students at Santana High, but He’s
not allowed inside those walls. It’s “unconstitutional” to even
mention Him where Billy goes to school. But, as the children of
Columbine, Jonesboro and Santana are now discovering, there is no
safe place for any of us in this brave new world. When even the womb
has become a dangerous place, why should anyone be surprised when
high schools become war zones? Only God knows what to do with our
“wondrous” new age and its insatiable lust for blood. But, who’s
The future of the brave new world is here, my friends; there’s no
going back now. We’re “free at last”! Welcome to the jungle! No…
welcome to utopia!