Paul W: Our society can’t dumb down any further

Paul W. Smith

“Outta’ My Mind on a Saturday Moanin’”

Once again the news of the day brings to mind a truism someone once uttered, “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun, is a good guy with a gun.”

No law-abiding citizen had a gun in the Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, South Carolina. There and in many other places, no guns are allowed in church.

It’s just another sign of the dumbing down or lowering of the standards we expect of people to the lowest point we can go. Instead of expecting the best of people, we expect, and often get, or at least prepare for, the worst. In the church situation, the good people obeyed the law. The bad guy who killed many did not.

Shocking news. Again.

It’s kind of like having a curfew.

Expecting, and preparing for, the worst behavior of all kids. Not just the troublemakers.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t blame the police on this one at all. We expect them to control a few punks that their own parents can’t, or won’t.

An impossible task for the police, without following the prevailing assumption now in our country that we must dumb down our expectations of behavior to the lowest common denominator.

This became apparent to me several years ago when I went to the pharmacy to get cold medicine for three members of my family, all different ages and with different symptoms.

The cold remedy aisle was daunting, to say the least.

Hundreds of products to choose from.

I spent a great deal of time reading countless boxes to match the right medicine with each symptom.

When I took the three different remedies to the counter, I was told I could not buy three, that it was against the law. I was certain the checkout guy was joking with me.

He was not.

A law was set up to thwart people running meth labs.


Of course I could have walked out the door several times and come back in to buy many more boxes.

Thank goodness someone running an illegal meth lab couldn’t figure that out.

Paul W. Smith is host of The Paul W. Smith Show on WJR-AM (760) from 5:30-9 a.m. Monday-Friday.