Baby Boomer Gives Gun Protesters Something to Think About

Demonstrators participate in the March for Our Lives rally in Los Angeles on March 24, 2018.

By John Horvat II Published on March 28, 2018

Dear young friend,

I have watched your protests against gun violence and could not help but recall my own youth.

As a child of the Sixties, I was born of a generation that also had protests. I recall my desires to change the world and make it a better place by challenging everything. I remember my frustration in the face of a world in chaos.

Now I am of the older generation, and you are on the streets. However, matters are much worse. I hope these words might warn against the repetition of a tragic mistake.

A Well-Worn Path

It was my generation that helped unleash the violence that you find in your schools, culture and lives. My generation produced your generation. You are following in our footsteps. You are the later phase of a process my generation began. Don’t continue on this path.

It was my generation that redefined freedom as “doing your own thing.” We overturned society norms, morals and manners in an attempt to achieve this freedom. However, this quest only made us a self-centered “Me Generation,” demanding everything instantly regardless of the consequences. It filled us with resentments when the world failed to bend to our needs.

We tried to make love free, and it came at the high price of shattering families and destroying individual lives.

Today, many of the younger generations are taking our mistake to new extremes. Today, it is no longer “doing your own thing,” but “being your own thing” since you can identify as whatever you perceive yourself to be. Anything can be the cause of resentment, triggering instant snowflake meltdowns. Tragically “being your own thing” today can now include acting out fantasies… or killing others.

Smashing the Restraints of Violence

It was my generation that looked for a world of peace and “free” peace. To obtain this goal, we destroyed family structures, sexual morals and marriage. We tried to make love free, and it came at the high price of shattering families and destroying individual lives (including those not yet born).

Far from producing love and peace, this shattered world is engendering bitter fruits in a society that is coming apart with great violence. You can see this in the sexual harassment scandals. It is found in the political landscape that is polarized and fragmented. It finds tragic expression in the lives of lonely individuals who seek revenge upon society by killing other students.

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We have violence in society because our culture is immersed in it. Once my generation adopted an anything-goes attitude toward culture, it unleashed the forces of violent films, pornography, frenetic substance abuse and video games that you now see and suffer. You are given false role models that glorify this violence and make it glamorous and popular.

Your generation feels threatened by violence because we have no defense against it. We have torn down the structures of family, community and faith that once protected us from it. We have smashed the rules that restrained violence and kept society safe. We have excluded God, the source of all good and order, from the popular culture.

Time for a Return to Order

Let’s both reject the premises that brought us here. Now is not the time to repeat the sixties, but to reject them.

And so as youth nationwide gather to demand action against gun violence, I would ask you to consider the cause of this violence, not only its tragic consequences. Let’s both reject the premises that brought us here.

Now is not the time to repeat the Sixties, but to reject them. Let us join together to declare the Sixties over. They have brought us a catastrophe, full of violence and politically correct intolerance. People are tired of its old rhetoric and superficiality that has led us to our broken times. They yearn for order.

Now is the time for a return to order — but not the false materialistic order of the fifties.

It is time to find our roots and go back to what Russel Kirk called those “permanent things,” those calm norms of courage, duty, courtesy, justice, and charity that owe their existence and authority not to a self-centered “Me Generation,” but to a loving and transcendent God.

Just something to think about.

All the best,

A Baby Boomer Looking to the Future


P.S. Please excuse the long explanation. I had no time to reduce the above considerations into a single tweet.

John Horvat II is a scholar, researcher, educator, international speaker, and author of the book Return to Order, as well as the author of hundreds of published articles. He lives in Spring Grove, Pennsylvania where he is the vice president of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property.

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  • Sapient

    Great piece!

  • John Sutherlin

    Thank you John. A well stated view on today’s society.

  • Beth

    Well done! Would that the young leading the way read and heed. But unlike the boomers, these young people do not have anyone in their lives who are counseling them in any meaningful way. For the most part, young people are being used. They have always been used by their parents to fulfill their, the parents, desires.

  • Lisa

    Good letter.

    FYI, there are some parents raising young people with old fashioned, American values…counter cultural nowadays. Our kids study history and have thick skins and a sense of humor as well as perspective. My only concern is whether/how they will find like minded spouses someday.

    • Andrew Mason

      They definitely can, how is the question. I know of several who found spouses overseas, and at least 1 was not looking when she found her husband. It can help to be heavily involved in ministry etc since common interests draw folk together.

    • Bella Gray

      You are increasingly rare, as the liberals have control of our schools to such a degree they are forcing their idealogical subversion even on the home-schooled.

  • Todd Detry

    Wonderfully written piece that hits home. Way too close to home.

  • Linda

    First, put down your weapons of mass destruction, then these teens will listen. They can’t hear you while they’re being massacred. There are 75 million of them ready to cast their first votes and no doubt their votes will put all the gun-lovers out of congress. All because you didn’t take any common-sense measures after babies were slaughtered at Sandy Hook.

    • Cody

      You must live in a dark dark hole your so misinformed.

    • NellieIrene

      Your post is hyperbole on overdrive. Teens are much more likely to die in motor vehicle accidents, drownings, by suicide, even being murdered by their own parents is more likely then getting shot at school. We need to make our schools safer by security measures. Not by taking weapons away from law-abiding citizens.

      And there is great doubt that “75 million teen voters” will even vote at all, let alone put “all the gun-lovers out of congress”. Americans tend to like the ability to protect themselves from the evil that exists in this world. And the number one way that most of us prefer to protect ourselves is with the most effective tool known to man, The firearm.

      • Bella Gray

        You are so out of touch with what is going in it is pathetic.

        • NellieIrene

          I don’t mind if someone disagrees with what I say. Or if they think I am so “out of touch…it is pathetic”, but it is nice when they explain WHY they think these things. If one doesn’t explain, then it’s just blather. Significant of nothing.

          • Bella Gray

            Sorry NellieIrene I meant to click on the post above you that was deleted somehow just as I click and it reverted to you.

          • NellieIrene

            I’ve done that before. I don’t know why they deleted the post. I disagreed with it but I didn’t find it delete worthy.

    • Cody

      Maybe you should consider all those babies that are murdered by abortion every year, the weapons of mass destruction you must be talking about are doctors who murder tens of thousands babies every year.

  • Bella Gray

    Yes, and an army organized by Obama, Michele, and Jim Messina are right down from the Capitol. Paul Sperry, writing for the New York Post, says, “The OFA will fight President Donald Trump at every turn of his presidency and the ex-president will command them from a bunker less than two miles from the White House.”

    Sperry writes that, “The ex-president is setting up a shadow government to sabotage the Trump administration through a network of non-profits led by OFA, which is growing its war chest (more than $40 million) and has some 250 offices nationwide. The OFA IRS filings, according to Sperry, indicate that the OFA has 32,525 (and growing) volunteers nationwide. The ex-president and his wife will oversee the operation from their home/ office in Washington DC.

    Think about how this works. For example: Trump issues an immigration executive order; the OFA signals for protests and statements from pro-immigrant groups; the ACLU lawyers file lawsuits in jurisdictions where activist judges obstruct the laws; volunteers are called to protest at airports and Congressional town hall meetings; the leftist media springs to action in support of these activities; the twitter sphere lights up with social media; and violence follows. All of this happens from the ex-president’s signal that he is heartened by the protests.

    If Barack Obama did not do enough to destroy this country in the 8 years he was in office, it appears his future plans are to destroy the foundation on which this country has operated on for the last 241 years.

If the Foundations are Destroyed, What Can the Righteous Do?
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