I’m not about to fall into the trap of pretending the past was somehow better simply because it was the past. I recognize that things weren’t necessarily better back then. However, it’s ridiculous to believe that nothing has changed, either.

What was the rare exception back in my day is now an all-too-common occurrence, despite the fact that we had more ready access to firearms at schools back then. It seems that something else has happened, something that has fundamentally changed how people think and act. Clearly, it’s not just the mere presence of guns in American life that’s driving our modern problem. We had guns before we had this sickness.

Lawmakers and activists would do well to try and get to the bottom of this deeper rot, rather than blaming firearms. Then we might actually be able to make a meaningful reduction in these horrific atrocities.

As Christian Adams wrote in 2018: Flashback 30 Years: Guns Were in Schools… and Nothing Happened.

What changed? The mainstreaming of nihilism. Cultural decay. Chemicals. The deliberate destruction of moral backstops in the culture. A lost commonality of shared societal pressures to enforce right and wrong. And above all, simple, pure, evil.

Before you retort that we can’t account for the mentally ill, they existed forever.

Paranoid schizophrenics existed in 1888 and 2018. Mentally ill students weren’t showing up in schools with guns even three decades ago.

So it must be something else.

Those who have been so busy destroying the moral backstops in our culture won’t want to have this conversation. They’ll do what they do — mock the truth.

There was a time in America, before the Snowflakes, when any adult on the block could reprimand a neighborhood kid who was out of line without fear.

Even thirty years ago, the culture still had invisible restraints developed over centuries. Those restraints, those leveling commonalities, were the target of a half-century of attack by the freewheeling counterculture that has now become the dominant replacement culture.

Hollywood made fun of these restraints in films too numerous to list.

The sixties mantra “don’t trust anyone over thirty” has become a billion-dollar industry devoted to the child always being right — a sometimes deeply medicated brat who disrupts the classroom or escapes what used to be resolved with a paddling.

Instead of telling the kid to quit kicking the back of the seat on a plane, we buy seat guards to protect the seat.

If you think it’s bad now, just wait until the generation whose babysitter is an iPhone is in high school. You can hardly walk around Walmart these days without tripping over a toddler in a trance, staring at a screen.

The high school kids who shot rifles in school in 1985 were taught right and wrong. They were taught what to do with their rifle in school, and what not to do. If they got out of line, all the other students and the coach would have come down on them hard. There were no safe spaces, and that was a good thing.

Flash-forward to today: Please don’t judge him, he had his reasons, says mother of Texas school shooter.

As a wise woman once wrote,  “It is the fear best expressed in the precept, ‘Judge not, that ye not be judged.’ But that precept, in fact, is an abdication of moral responsibility: it is a moral blank check one gives to others in exchange for a moral blank check one expects for oneself.”