Discovering root causes is of utmost importance to me. As regarding the plethora of school shootings that occur every day in the United States, I have found the reactions to be surface, at best. Do we really care about our children? Or do we simply pretend to care about our children?
Let’s take a look at the primary reaction: schools have adopted no-tolerance policies toward weapons in school. This was obviously a good starting point, but it led to all manner of ambiguities, which often happens in the process of rule-making strategies. Could a non-weapon be used as one? How do we define what is and what is not a weapon? How would we respond to the perception of threat or to the perception of symbolic nature of “weapon?” In one recent example, which created an internet backlash, a seven-year-old boy chewed his Pop Tart into the shape of a gun, thereby rendering the children around him psychologically impaired due to the imminent threat of violence. The child was suspended for his unthinking action, which was entirely appropriate, but his action still left a strew of wreckage behind him.
How could the psychological damage have been prevented in the first place? A group of parents met to come to a consensus. According to Mrs. Sanders, the teacher who organized the meeting, only the children matter in this discussion. She received a standing ovation for that statement alone, and she was forced to call the meeting to order by opening up the conversation to everybody. “Everybody has something to say!” she said.
One mother (who wishes to remain anonymous) timidly suggested that Pop Tarts be banned. After all, they have no nutritional value, and aren’t particularly appetizing or exciting as a childhood snack food, and are likely to cause a bored child with a sugar buzz to “go ballistic,” as she put it. A mother of five boys countered with irritation, claiming it wasn’t her responsibility to make food exciting. “Food is food,” she said, “and a boy is just as likely to chew a peanut butter sandwich into a hand grenade.” In fact, her son had done so just the other day. It was “masterfully done art, very realistic,” and she passed around a photo of the partially-chewed food to the assembled parents, who were stunned at how much the sandwich resembled an actual, military issue hand grenade.
They didn’t come to a consensus that night, as they were distracted by a tray of cookies that one of the moms had brought, but they did come to one important conclusion: The hand grenade sandwich would have added to all of their annual medical fees owing to increased visits to therapists, as well as a likely need for medicating the children who were exposed to the threat. While eating, the parents casually discussed what they had done in their own homes, such as banning all toy weapons so their children weren’t raised to be desensitized to violence. The teacher made a note on her brainstorming board to gather a team of teachers willing to crusade for the ban of all toy weapons, as well as any toy that could be perceived as a toy weapon, which would involve more brainstorming. For example, could a Disney Princess be perceived as a weapon? She thought it very well could be in the wrong hands. In any case, Pop Tarts were not the problem, she wisely reminded everybody. Children should not be punished for society’s failure to train them up as peaceable individuals.
All of these steps, in my opinion, are baby steps. They are steps in the right direction, but they don’t get at the root cause of the problem. As I was wandering through the toy aisles of Wal Mart one day, I had an epiphany, which is how epiphanies generally occur. This one should have been obvious, though. The weapon toys were all housed in the boy aisles, while the peaceful people-oriented toys were housed in the girl aisles. The problem was not in the toys themselves, but in those who played with them: namely, boys. Over the course of my twenty years of research into hormone imbalances, I’ve developed the kind of biologically identical hormone supplements that could rid our society of boys for good. Rather than crusading for an ineffective measure of banning toy weapons, Mrs. Sanders would find more value in campaigning for affordable hormone replacement for all families.
As I usually do with my best ideas, I bounced this one off my good friend Dr. Hausman, author of the peer-reviewed study entitled “The Physical Properties of a Yin-Yang Universe.” At first, his response was simply, “Ow!” But after further musing, he warned that eradicating maleness from society would leave a vacuum for women to fill. “And let me remind you, women are far more devious when it comes to weapon choices. This may create a backlash you weren’t expecting.” Although his response disheartened me, I soon bounced back with a better idea: What if we could create the Yin-Yang balance in each person? What if the instinct must rise against aggressor was countered with wouldn’t you rather trade that Pop Tart for a Ho-Ho?
Since then, I’ve refined a Yin-Yang drug therapy I’ve patented under the brand name Gynatestrogen. It’s still in the testing stages, but I think Mrs. Sanders and the moms will agree that a world without boys would be a better place, especially if girls didn’t exist either. Root causes are very important to me. Think this one through, and if you agree, please contact your congressman today.