Like many parents, I imagine, I get emotionally riled up after hearing about school shootings. I’d like to think that any human being would, and especially if you have children attending school.
Sadly, there have been so many that the numbness is now what moves me. It moves me into the anger and desolation at the thought of someone actually making a decision to load a weapon/weapons and walk into a mass attended venue and begin destroying lives. Where has humanity gone so wrong that this is a. an option for someone and b. it’s hardly news anymore unless the toll is ratings worthy.
Predictably these shootings bring forth all the gun protectors. Under the guise of fiercely protecting the rights of the constitution, people get all preachy and accusatory over where the blame lies. Admittedly, both sides tend to use the same tactics. Gun-protectors are adamant it’s the person wielding the weapon that’s to blame. Anti-gunners are equally adamant that if a weapon was not made available, the assailant would presumably be deterred or at least not inflict as much tragedy.
Lately, however, there’s some strange and dangerous new argument. “Walk UP, not Out” Meaning walk up to the loner and befriend them. Walk up to the outcast and include them.
I’m gonna go ahead and take issue with this. No one has solved the horrifying issue of something that we all took for granted before Columbine; school safety. Because we as a country refuse to work out a solution that suits real life, now the discussion is being dropped in favor of pointing fingers at the students who have been attacked. This is bewildering to me. Everyone wants a clean cut, easy to swallow solution that leaves everyone happy and satisfied. Because there is seemingly no way to make both pro and anti gun groups happy, the easier thing is now the focus; blame the kids. They haven’t endured enough being shot at, burying friends and teachers, let’s blame them for their own terror.
This is wrong on so many levels. I am having trouble articulating how many ways this is wrong, but I’ll do my best.
The outcasts. These are kids who are not just left of normal. They are left, down the block and a few dead end streets. Think of what mental capacity you have to live in day in and day out to actually carry out shooting up a school full of peers. It is not the responsibility of your peers to handle your mental state. Teenagers are not the mental health police for other teens.
Do you then, as an adult, take responsibility when a homeless person attacks another person? Did you go provide housing and care for that person? Surely you are at fault, then, right? Is society a factor in shaping an individual? Absolutely. Is it one hundred percent solely responsible for raising, molding, modeling and nurturing? Absolutely not.
If we are to expect that bullied kids become shooters, why aren’t all the shooters harassed, ostracized gay teens? Why aren’t they African American teens in predominantly white schools? Why aren’t they special needs kids with physical disabilities? These are the bullied and harassed kids. Always have been, and I’d like to think not so much anymore but that is supremely optimistic. It’s been a decade or two since I was in high school, but I think it’s pretty logical reasoning to understand these are the bullied kids across the board. These kids are not the ones taking horrifying action on campuses.
The individuals who enact these terrible crimes are imbalanced. They have been missed or dropped or pushed aside by families, peers, friends, and professionals. The blame cannot absolutely be put on one group, but it most certainly should start in the home.
Regardless of how these people have slipped through the cracks, it is in no way acceptable to think that justifies the actions of taking lives and forever destroying the lives of everyone involved.
If these individuals did not have access to weapons, it is logical to think that the level of atrocity could be very much lessened. There will always be the argument of “they will find a way, regardless” but you know what? We don’t know that for sure, and to use that as a reason not to enact change is irresponsible on us as a community. How about we change the access and then work from there?
I am marching this Saturday in support of demanding new gun control laws and regulations. We have to start protecting our kids and stop arming them. It’s gotta start somewhere, and I am happy to do what I can to help prevent any more school shootings.