America Must Value Family, Men Again To Avoid Future Uvaldes: Dakich Deep Thoughts

I’m a sports guy. But today, sports is not what’s on my mind.

Let’s not sugar coat it: I feel like our country is in trouble. Deep trouble.

Folks say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Well, here we are on this Memorial Day in America, almost a week removed from another mass shooting. More kids dead in our schools. A dark and troubled young 18-year-old kid chose the path of death and destruction at an age when life is really just starting.

The aftermath is something worse than awful. Families ruined forever. A nation angry, divided and fearful. What’s our solution? We blame. That’s the endless cycles of our country -- BLAME. The Left blames the Right, guns, the gun lobby, politicians who get money from said lobby, police, schools, parents… Hell, one guy on Twitter blamed OutKick.

Yet while folks blame, posture and politicize, not a damn thing gets done. Our nation’s celebrities run to Twitter to express outrage and, of course, thoughts and prayers. But again not a damn thing gets done. God forbid someone post something on social media that goes against the current narrative. They, of course, are vilified and in some cases threatened. Statistics are posted to reflect one viewpoint to be superior. None of it gets a damn thing done.

So let me try to suggest a path to get something done. We are a nation with a serious mass murder problem. Why do we have this problem? What can be done about it? My life experience tells me we have this problem, in large part, because we as a nation no longer collectively value the family anymore. At least not enough.

“Where were the parents?”

“Where was the family?”

“Didn’t anyone close to the shooter know about this?”

These are all familiar cries after a child or young adult commits heinous acts. In my world, these are all absolute reasonable asks.

Look, I totally understand that you can’t stop a crazy person from acting crazy and sometimes even tragically violent. But this also leads me to point number two: Our abominable lack of attention to mental health.

I use to word “attention” intentionally. Those of us who are a member of a family or a teacher, coach, boss or, say, just a human being … how about we pay attention to those around us?

That “crazy uncle”? We’ve heard that. That neighbor of mine is “crazy.” A familiar refrain. Pay attention to them. See what’s really up. We had a “crazy guy” in my neighborhood growing up. He walked around our block barefoot, sagging jeans, playing guitar, seemingly always high. He eventually murdered a little girl behind my house. Stabbed her 33 times with a screwdriver.

I pay attention to my kids, my co-workers, my family members. I pay attention and ask how folks are doing because of the guitar-playing, “crazy” neighbor.

Of course the most divisive, most discussed reason is guns. I have no problem with Steve Kerr, or anyone else for that matter, having an opinion on guns. Second Amendment folks don’t want the government to “take our guns.” Their opponents say guns are the problem. On and on, both sides go.

Say it with me: AND NOT A DAMN THING GETS DONE. My solution is seemingly simple. If the Senate is sitting on a bill that would stop or seriously hinder school and mass shootings, then pass the damn thing. If there is pork and nonsense in the bill that is prohibiting it from being passed, remove it. Want to get something done? Lawmakers need to act like adults with a conscience. Operative word: CONSCIENCE.

I live by something I call “The Mirror.” If I do something supposedly controversial or am criticized for something I did, “The Mirror “ decides how I feel. If I ever run for office, my only promise would be to live by “The Mirror.”  I have no idea how a person in power with the opportunity to help slow or stop these mass shootings lives with themselves if they don’t try.

Now onto another, even more sensitive topic: the lack of fathers.

That’s right, I said it: LACK OF FATHERS. Former President Obama said it and was damn near given sainthood. Last month, Tony Dungy said it and was vilified. The difference? Obama is on the right side of the media, while Dungy isn’t.

Any reasonable person knows the importance of a strong father figure. I know the fantasy world of Hollywood, Twitter and politically correct jackasses are trying to make our nation’s men more effeminate. But we all know that’s not real life in real communities. Strong male role models are sorely lacking and their immensely positive impact on boys and young men are intentionally marginalized. This must stop.

It’s time for men to step the hell up. If you are “man” enough to conceive a child, then how about being man enough to raise the child. All men out there should read Wild at Heart by John Eldredge. This great novel gives you permission to walk like a damn man. While you’re at it, read the Bible. It also gives you permission to walk like a damn man. Notice I didn’t say it’s OK to be an abusive jackass. I said like A MAN. Responsible, caring, passionate, strong, truthful and protective. These are some of traits that men must get back to.

More male role models means fewer problem children. Which means fewer troubled and potentially dangerous young adults. Political correct bullsh*t deters too many people from echoing these thoughts. But statistics back all of them up.

There are many more reasons the country is still reeling from this horror. I do not claim to have all the answers. But I damn sure have enough life experience to have an informed opinion that these ideas will get us on a far better path.

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Dan Dakich is the host of the Don’t @ Me podcast where he provides his take on all the latest trends in sports, and interviews a variety of high-profile sports figures including Tom Izzo, Urban Meyer, Jim Boeheim, among others. Previously, Dakich was the host of The Dan Dakich Show on the Indianapolis radio station WFNI, a studio analyst for the Big Ten Network and covered college basketball for ESPN. Before stepping into broadcasting, Dakich served as the head basketball coach for Bowling Green State University and had brief stints with West Virginia University and Indian University. Dakich also spent many years coaching under Bobby Knight. Dakich graduated from Indiana University.