Last week, I was fortunate enough to travel with First Tactical CEO, Dan Costa, as he spoke in front of the Merced County Law Enforcement Chief's Association in Santa Cruz, California.
Costa’s focus was on how younger generations have steadily been given more in life, thus creating a sense of entitlement that older generations didn’t have. Costa believes this sense of entitlement directly impacts how youth interact with authority figures like public safety professionals.
“There is less pride in life these days,” reflects Costa, “Children are given everything and there is a huge lack of discipline at home. Hearing ‘no’ from an authority figure is something today’s children just don’t hear.”
Costa believes that one of the big reasons this is happening is because children are beginning work so much later in life. The average age for today’s youth to begin working is around 18, a huge difference to the generations before them.
Dan ties this idea directly into raising drug use in youth; the idea that with so much free time and with a constant lack responsibility, they make bad decisions with little fear of repercussion.
“My friends would ask me if I wanted to smoke weed after school,” chuckles Costa, “‘Weed?’ I said, ‘I gotta go to work!’”
Costa’s first job was a byproduct of sheer necessity, a 12 year old, with no food in the fridge, trying to help provide for his family. His unwillingness to stop working (a “phobia” as he calls it) has made him what he is today.
To close his speech, Costa sincerely thanked the attendees for what they do and in his closing remark showed what makes him such a trusted name in the tactical world.
“You know 9-1-1, has a different meaning to all of us,” said Costa, “But I know that if I call 9-1-1 right now you’ll be there. I don’t know why you do it but I know that if you didn‘t do it we wouldn’t have a country.”