by Diane Rufino, August 14, 2021 (originally submitted and printed as a Letter to the Editor in 2008)
Since the terrorist attacks of September 2001, people have complained about how Homeland Security measures are burdening their fundamental rights. Yet every day I lock all my doors and windows in my house and cars and watch where I go. You see, crime has done more to burden my fundamental rights to life and liberty than anything the government has one. Take Greenville, for example: crime is up, juvenile crime is up, and the high school graduation rate is only 54 percent.
So who is responsible for the greater loss of fundamental freedom – terrorists or criminals? And who’s fault is this – the government’s or bad parents? It’s bad parents. Too many parents are not taking their responsibilities seriously and are passing the problems they create onto everyone else.
In my day, people recognized a basic principle: You don’t have a child if you can’t property raise one. And that means being married before having one, being financially secure, making sure the child finishes school, and instilling good family values. Where I come from, and where my relatives came from, we believe it is no one else’s job to raise children except the parents. And those were good days, with safe neighborhoods.
Already the dynamics in this country have changed. Too many people today are taking from society and not contributing. And too many think this acceptable. It’s not acceptable to me. I’m a taxpayer and the government is subsidizing bad behavior with my hard-earned money. What is going to happen in another 30 years if this mentality is allowed to continue? Will this country go bankrupt? Will people be held hostage by the fear of too many criminals living among them? Will all the professional jobs continue to be filled by foreigners devoted to education and a strong work ethic because American parents continue to de-emphasize these values to their children? Or are we going to continue to let parents have a free pass at raising criminals and ignorant young adults?