Wednesday, October 10, 2007

What in the World?

Yesterday afternoon, I was happily writing a letter to the Commissioner's office when I received an NBC email alert about the shooting in Cleveland. Since the initial notification, I've learned that the shooter, all of fourteen years, killed himself after injuring four others. I'm thankful that it wasn't worse and my heart goes out to the parents of this child.

It seems like school shootings are popping up left and right. The truth is that they have been happening for quite some time, some claiming more lives than others. Certainly, the Virginia Tech shooting instantly pops into my mind. I wrote my senior paper on Cho, school shootings and the very fine line between protecting the lives of citizens and protecting the civil liberties of individuals. The research concerning various school shootings was extremely emotional and disturbing. I simply cannot wrap my head around it, especially when dealing with shooters of a very young age. How do they get to that point in their young lives?

Yesterday's incident is thought to have been prompted by the school's suspension of the shooter and evidently, he'd had several incidents prior to yesterday's shooting. What about Columbine? They strategically planned their attack. These young boys shot their crying classmates while joking, "Who's next to die?" Chilling. I have been seriously pissed in my life and have wanted to severely injure someone. There is one person in particular I can think of that I would imagine beating their head with a bat. I'm not proud to admit that. I certainly never acted on it. It was a lot like the imaginary thoughts of a tv character. It ended there. So, what does it mean when these young kids pick up guns and carry them to school? Why doesn't fear click in?

2 comments:

Tiburon said...

I wish I had the answer. I would say it is a combination of things. They lack accountability and a conscience.
It is one of my greatest fears. That one of my kids will upset some other kid and that other kid will show up at school with a weapon. It really is senseless - especially when school authorities were warned that the child was a menace.

MrsGrumpy said...

I sometimes think that our children do not realize that the consequences for their actions are very real ad devastating. I know my son's school "says" they have a "zero tolerance policy" for bullying...and yet you see it on the playground...between the youngest of children. Sometimes I think these up and coming generations are realizing (whether due to social, environmental or family influences) what it means to respect one another. A small example (considering your topic) is that, when I was a child, you respected your neighbors by not walking through their yards. Now I see children using the yards of others to get to where they are going. They even "hang out" on my next door neighbor's yard because it is across from the school. My own children are guilty of this lemminglike, follow the leader, mentality. It is hard to swim upstream, as a parent, in this environment. Sorry for the long post, but you have posted an interesting topic here.