It is interesting how the news headlines tend to get dominated by themes over the course of a few days.
As the media is digesting the shootings of two teenagers in London, Unicef’s damning report on how we are failing our children is released. Within 24 hours a third teenager is shot dead in his own home.
The big question is how long will this particular theme stay towards the top of bulletins and news lists before it begins the inevitable slide down the agenda?
There is already signs that the problem of Britain’s gun culture and how it is seeping into younger generations is already being muscled out by other themes.
It is currently jostling with a broad environmental theme – the agreement reached in Washington to seek new solutions to climate change; the story on how the over-50s in the UK leave the biggest carbon footprint but are also the generation most concerned about the environment; and the Government receiving a bloody nose over its failure to consult properly on the future of nuclear energy.
The issue of gun culture and teenage crime is still bubbling away niceley for the time being, however, with Conservative leader David Cameron wading into the debate with a suggestion that society as a whole must shoulder the blame for tackling the problem and fathers in particular must take more responsibility.
Thanks, once again, Dave for giving us a lesson in the bleeding obvious (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/6367273.stm).
Some far more pertinent, relevant and positive comments have come from those working with teenagers in this country – as invariably tends to be the case. Just as inevitable is the fact that our decision-makers seem unable or unwilling to listen, take the sound advice being offered and build on it to come up with a clear, considered and constructive solution.
Instead we get cosmetic solutions, media-friendly soundbites and the problem slips down the agenda even though it still exists and more often than not intensifies.
The gun culture gripping a growing section of today’s younger generation has not suddenly crept up on us. It has been with us for a number of years.
Crackdowns in London and other major cities, such as Nottingham, Manchester and Birmingham, have identified certain gangs and reduced their threat. But, inevitably, those gang members get replaced by a new generation and it so it continues until we have today’s situation where young teenagers have access to firearms and have a willingness to use them.
Discipline is something this generation has little or no understanding of nowadays – whether that is in the home from their parents, at school or from any sort of authority.
But the major issue is the lack of self-discipline which encourages them to walk the streets armed and display a complete lack of respect for others and an utter disregard for the lives of others too.
This is a generation fast losing hope. Haven’t we stated this before and seen the implications, but without the gun culture we are witnessing now?
This country has been failing its children for generations.
So is it the case that many of the first crop of teenagers abandoned without hope are those who are now seeing their own children slipping into an ever-increasing and ever-more deadly spiral of discontent, disinterest and despair?
We can probably expect the issue to be debated for another few days before it is succeeded by another headline grabbing story – maybe bird flu and food hygiene will dominate again; or perhaps we’re in for another round of Blair-baiting over when he will step down and the on-going cash for honours scandal?
Whichever stories rise up the agenda, the problems affecting our young generation will not go away and will more than likely worsen.
Of course, most of us will remain oblivious until we get another burst of gunfire that claims a few more lives and the story is splashed across our morning newspaper or beamed into our living rooms on 24-hour news channels.
Out of sight, out of mind.
But also out of control.