By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
Guns have been around for a long time, but these crazy shootings are a new development that point to a failure of culture to produce people with a sense of responsibility and self-control. When I was a kid, a youngster could walk into a local hardware store and buy a gun. There were no restrictions. If a kid was so young that he couldn't see over the counter, the store owner might call a parent for approval. We all had guns, and we never shot ourselves or anyone else.Where did he grow up?!?
One of my grandmothers thought nothing of me and my friends playing with the World War II weapons my uncle had brought back. My other grandmother never batted an eye when I collected my grandfather's shotgun from behind the door and went off to match wits with the crows that raided the pecan trees or the poisonous cottonmouth snakes that could be found along the creek that ran through the farm.
My grandmother never worried about me until I got a horse, a more dangerous object in her view than a gun.
We also all had knives, which we carried in our pockets to school every day. We never stabbed anyone and very seldom cut our own fingers.
We often had fights, more often wrestling each other to the ground than fist fights. No one ever thought of pulling a knife or a gun on his antagonist. Parents and teachers did not exactly approve of fights, but they considered them natural. We were not arrested, handcuffed and finger-printed for being in a fight.