"Aim high" usually means dream big. But with all the school shootings, the phrase takes on new meaning. Reporters at Education Week tracked violence in K-12 schools for this year and found 30 – and 22 just since August! What's going on?

To hear the New York Psychiatric Institute tell it, there's a link between TV and violence. A 2002 study showed that when teens watch the small screen for more than one hour a day, they tend to become violent adults.

If that's true, there must have been an awful lot of TV-watching last year because Time magazine noted that 2020 was one of America's most violent year in decades.

But wait, wasn't there a lot of bloodshed long before the advent of television? I'm thinking way back when the world's first teen Cain murdered his brother Abel and then all the slayings that followed in the Old Testament. If you follow the Psychiatric Institute's logic, teens who read the Bible for more than an hour a day could also become violent.

Museum get away with murder

In that case, maybe art museums should be off-limits to school children because paintings often tell the story of savagery in scripture. Just think of Peter Paul Ruben's "Cain Slaying Abel" depicting the first homicide in human history. Seeing Abel's mouth opening wide as if howling for Cain to stop is enough to give you nightmares.

While you're at it, also consider Caravaggio's "Sacrifice of Isaac", which pictures a father forcing down his son's head on a bed of rocks wielding a dagger to slay him. To make the scene even grittier, the painting shows Isaac's mouth agape to suggest him screaming, "Please, father, don't hurt me!" Then there's Jusepe Ribera's art, the bloodiest of all.

Discuss this news on Eunomia

Would an emotionally unstable teen look at paintings of Cain killing Abel or Isaac readying to kill Isaac permit him to shoot up a school in the belief that if murder is in the Bible, it's OK if I do it? Is this too far-fetched? Of course, it is.

What I really think

The increased number of school shootings reflects a sense of lawlessness in the land – all without consequence – ever since Trump came into power.

The list of his crimes is long. I'm thinking of him violating federal law by claiming proceeds from his products go to charity when they don't. Or when Trump broke an IRS rule by using charity money to buy a Tim Tebow helmet.

Or when Trump ignores elections laws by soliciting political contributions from foreign officials. Or when he used campaign contributions to pay $6 million to his own businesses. And I'm not even mentioning the insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6.

Trump said it himself when he said he could kill someone on 5th Avenue and get away with it. Now his top aides are following his lead and refusing to comply with congressional subpoenas. Teens, rebellious by nature, are likely taking their cue from all these punishment-free abuses of the law.

Maybe The New York Psychiatric Institute was right to link TV to teen violence, but it’s likely from watching the daily newscasts.