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" Youth Violence: Public Letter to 'Tonight Show's Jay Leno "

Re: "Youth Violence" Conversations with guest, Judge Judy (4-5-01)

A topic was raised, to which, when asked, you gave your own opinion. Essentially, 'Why are we having such an epidemic of youth violence like the recent spate of school shootings?'

Mr. Leno, you seem to be of the opinion that it is due to a generation of "crack babies". That the current generation of youth come from parents and/or grandparents who were doing drugs, and thus the 'chromosomes' and 'genes' got "messed up", and now, -THAT'S-WHY- today's youth are massacring their fellow-students and teachers.

Let's see...
The very night before the San Diego shooting, one of the evening TV prime-time "news" shows had a special on youth violence. Up until that evening, things had been relatively calm for awhile. But they continually spoke of kids using their parents' "legally owned" guns. Since the election was finally over, and Bush was in office, as the media was again taking up the "gun violence" mantra, I thought to myself, "Uh oh! It's time for some more shootings. The media is priming its viewership for another epidemic." And sure enough! The VERY NEXT DAY, San Diego was on the news...and now, many others since then.

Let's see...
How many "OJ Jokes" have you and others like you (Letterman, Mahrer, SNL, Mad-TV, etc) told? And rather than being outraged, audiences -laugh-.

Let's see...
How many "Bobbit Jokes" have you (and others) told about whacking off certain intimate body parts. And audiences -laugh-.

Let's see...
When the traitorous ex-president was in office, you (and others) had a never-ending supply of jokes about cigars and everything perverted. And rather than being outraged and insisting on impeachment OUT OF OFFICE, audiences -laugh-.

Let's see...
When a young boy was violently kidnapped by government agents at gun-point and deported away from the freedom his mother died trying to give him, you (and others) mocked. And audiences -laugh-.

Let's see...
When you host female guests, their 'worth' is usually gauged by their level of "sexiness", and the skimpiness of their attire. If they try to comport themselves with dignity, in spite of your ooglings and attentions that in any other place would be called "sexual harrassment", audiences -laugh-.

Let's see...
When our service men/women, whose sworn duty it is to protect your freedoms to make these lewd jokes and comments, are hostages of an enemy regime, you make jokes. And audiences -laugh-.

Let's see...
When violence reveals itself in Waco, Oklahoma City; when a little girl is murdered in Colorado, a girl who was being raised up to be the kind of "sexy" (slutty) symbol you 'require' of your women, and you find things about the violence and murder/case to make jokes about... audiences -laugh-.

And then we wonder "Why?" ??

Let's see...
The media has been having a campaign of illustrating various sitcom actors' "shame" at owning guns. In one episode a man is shown turning his gun in to the police department, hanging his head in shame as he does so. In another, when police conduct a raid on a house and find the closet with guns in it (owned "legally"), but the camera angle shows the child (in the "same house") "where there are guns", the father is shown emoting "guilt" over having guns in the same house where a child lives.

Let's see...
What is one of the prime components of the TV shows and movies that people watch? Shoot-m-up and karate-type violence. Video games' prime component is violence.

Let's see...
And... if a typical parent is approached about their child's behavior, their reaction is usually to attack the one exposing their child's misconduct with the attitude, "My child does no wrong".

No, Mr. Leno; it is not damaged chromosomes and genes. It is "sin". First of all, we are all 'born' in sin. We are "conceived" in sin. (Ps51:5) In that, yes, we all 'inherited' it from our first parents, Adam and Eve. And the reason your audiences -laugh- so much is because "all have sinned". (Rom3:23) When you oogle your female guests, and the audience laughs, it's because you are doing what they wish they could "get away with". You are doing it, and they "approve of" you doing it. (Rom1:32b)

[I am quoting Scripture excerpts here because I happen to be a Christian and a preacher of the Gospel. This is who I am. This is what I do. You use tools of the comedic trade in what you do, I proclaim God's Word. And I know you possess at least a modicum of respect for the Bible, based on how you "rescued" that Bible the time Howard Stern was on your show (several years ago), and he was throwing books around the stage. Before he would have likely thrown the Bible, you respectfully took it and placed it in a 'safe' location on your desk. I wrote you at that time "thanking" you for your sensitivity in the matter.]

Short of everyone turning to God (which isn't going to happen), what is the solution to the epidemic of youth violence? Yes, you were partially right. If you had stopped with the word "parents", and left off the bit about "genetics". Parents are not raising up their children. Children are not being taught morality and self-control. It is not what happened chemically "in the womb" that is the problem... it is what is NOT HAPPENING "after birth" that is the cause. Yes, one's "private life" DOES MATTER. What is in one's heart and thoughts is what comes "out of the heart" and manifests itself in behavior, "evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies." (Mt15:19)

Parents are not saying, "No" to their childrens' selfish indulgences. The over-emphasis on "self-esteem" training is a detriment to learning "self-control". There is a basic Godly principle that (since God has been kicked out of the schools and public places) the children are not being subject to: They are being shut out from "remembering their Creator in the days of their youth". (Ec12:1)

Here it is...
"Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it." (Pr22:6)

Parents need to train up their children. They first of all, need to be "with" their children. And second of all, parents need, themselves, to possess moral virtues with which to imbue their children.

Who are the parents watching? Along with others... You, Mr. Leno.

Plato said millennia ago, "Let me write the songs of a nation, and I care not who makes its laws." Just as music has an effect on society, so do the TV shows they watch.

How about cleaning up the moral tone of your show? I have seen you on nights where you were perfectly capable of getting laughs with "clean" jokes, and non-sleaziness. Humor doesn't need to be in the gutter. How about setting a standard of higher moral integrity for others to follow? No, society's depravity is not 'all' your fault. But you, and others like you, in your comedic niche, are major contributors to it. After all, by your very position in late night, people DO follow you. The question is, "In what?"

Your audiences' CHILDREN, and ultimately the citizens of this nation, need your moral leadership.

How about it?

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