No. 1236



If you have ever worked on a project and had to scrap it because it was not working out and “go back to square one,” you will relate to what I want to talk with you about today.
To be very realistic, this is exactly where we are in our nation today. The recent mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, where more than 30 people lost their lives to senseless violence, have served to highlight the tremendous need we have to scrap many things in our current system and go back to square one. What follows are some ideas of how to do that -- just one man’s opinion.
In the 1940s and 1950s when I was growing up, we never, ever had anything close to what is happening in our country today. We live in a different age now, but there are some things we can use from that era that will make life, and our future, better for all of us. I believe we need both short-term and long-term plans and approaches.
First, we need a system of universal background checks for anyone purchasing a firearm, including at gun shows. We need to ban assault weapons for anyone except those in the law-enforcement community. We need to ban violent video games, movies and television programs that are poisoning the minds of our children. This would send a life-saving message to this industry. We also need to develop mental health programs to help those who have needs before it is too late. And for those convicted of a “mass shooting,” we need the death penalty carried out in less than one year. This would alleviate some of the mass fear that permeates our society.
Now, that is the short term, and here is the long term. Our real problems stem from the breakdown of the home and the family. This did not happen overnight and we won’t fix it overnight, but we must begin to encourage and focus on family values that were much stronger in the day when I was growing up. We have some of that today, but we certainly need much, much more.
Without shame, I am going to tell you about my new book “The Best of Jim Davidson” that contains many of the principles and values that were taught by parents and grandparents when they were rearing their children. One area specifically is the teaching of respect and manners. One of the chapters in my book is titled, “Teach kids to say ‘Yes Sir, No Sir, Please, Thank You, and You’re Welcome’.” This chapter was written from my first-hand experience.
Back in the decade of the 1970s, I taught more than 50 six-hour seminars to high school students, and when I would begin each seminar I could tell those who were willing and eager to learn simply by my interaction with them. If they answered my questions and other directives with the simple words, “Yes Sir, No Sir, Please, Thank You, and You’re Welcome,” I knew we were in for a great time of learning. The reason this was true is because this is what these students were taught at home, and their future was much brighter because their parents cared enough to do this. Unfortunately there were a few schools where students were not taught respect and manners at home, and administrators and teachers did not reinforce it. I had to spend a good deal of my valuable time preparing these students to learn. This is an age-old problem. Students who are disruptive are really stealing opportunity from the other students who want to learn.
Now, what I have just said is not easy but really simple, and most any parent or guardian can do it. Why not order a copy of my book from and get started.
(Editor’s Note: JIM DAVIDSON is an author, public speaker, syndicated columnist and founder of the Bookcase for Every Child project. Since its inception in 1995, Jim’s column has been self-syndicated to over 375 newspapers in 35 states, making it one of the most successful in the history of American journalism.)