Warning: The following post is not funny in any way. If you are looking for something amusing, go elsewhere today. The funny(ish) posts will return tomorrow.
Who’s to blame?
This question was everywhere my fifth grade year. As I wrapped up my career as a child and moved nearer that dreaded “teen” category, news spread around our school.
In Colorado, two high school kids had walked into their school building. With weapons strapped to their sides, they proceeded to murder 13 people before turning their guns on themselves. The entire nation was enraptured by this story. Fear permeated every school district in America as principals and superintendents worried about a repeat incident.
Extra security surrounded every school. Districts enacted metal detectors at every entry point. All the while, parents, students, teachers, and government officials continued asking that open-ended, highly explosive question.
Who’s to blame?
Some people quickly turned the blame to the media. Violent movies and video games had desensitized these boys. Musicians like Marilyn Manson had done their part as well. Even the news that reported on the shooting became a target. These accusations led to angry parents, furious lawmakers, and entertainers desperately grasping at any chance they could to explain their art.
Other’s blamed the students at the school. Both boys had been bullied throughout their school career. This bullying, they said, had grown so intense that this was their attempt at freeing themselves from constant physical and emotional beat downs. The teachers had let things go for far too long, allowing a tragedy like this to, eventually, become the outcome.
More blame came to the boys themselves and their families. Everywhere you looked, a new person was at fault. In the end, everyone had been blamed, but no one had actually found the cause of such a catastrophe.
Since that day, a great deal has changed. Stricter gun control laws were put into place and a new police tactic was developed that would allow for immediate reactionary measures by local police in the event that there was an active shooter on the loose.
The one thing that has not changed, though, is these shootings themselves.
Since that deadly Columbine day, 148 people have been killed in shootings at their school, a building where the usual disaster involves lost homework or a forgotten test. These students and teachers never saw it coming until it was too late. All of these shootings shared that same question.
Today saw another disaster take place. In a Chardon,Ohio high school, 15-year-old T.J. Lane walked into his school cafeteria, opening fire. One student was killed, four were injured. Just days earlier, he had posted melancholic poetry to his Facebook page. This is not an unusual activity for teenagers, but it is not a sign that all is well.
With the damage once again done, the debate will again rage. Students have already begun to dispute whether Lane was or was not a bullied student. Some say the shootings were random, some say they were targeted. No one says they saw it coming.
So what causes a seemingly average teenager to resort to this? Is it the media they consume or is it the environment they are put in?
There is no easy explanation. No one will ever be able to point their finger at one thing that would lead a teen to this kind of senseless solution to a very temporary problem. No doubt, this community will try to search for the answer. Some politician will use this disaster to their advantage, trying to push their pet-project from bill into law. Schools will try to explain this to their students and try to explain how it they will never let it happen to them.
None of these people know the answer, though.
The answer is very simple: there is a lack. A lack of something, a lack of everything. With more caring from their families, things might be different. With more attention from their school, this might never happen again. More community with the students, more awareness of the student’s media intake, more of everything.
Maybe this will be the last of these disasters I ever have to hear about. I’m not holding my breath. Until there is a change at a deeper level, something that will pull people away from their natural inclinations to show concern for only themselves, things will not change.
There is no law that will prevent these students from the feelings of desperation that lead to this. There is no school regulation that will end loneliness or prevent distress. The only thing that can change this is genuine caring. Until then, we will just find ourselves asking that same, answerless question.
Who’s to blame?
- The Bullied Becomes the Bully (zwingliusredivivus.wordpress.com)
- High School Shooting Tragedy Today in Ohio (collegecandy.com)
- Chardon High School Shooting Leaves 1 Dead and 4 Injured Video – Watch Now! (binsidetv.net)
- Bullied Ohio teen arrested after going on murderous rampage (bazaardaily.com)
- Ohio School Shooting Leaves 1 Student Dead, 4 Others Injured (dreamindemon.com)
- Shooting at suburban high school in Ohio (samyueruiriamuzu.wordpress.com)
- OHIO SCHOOL SHOOTING: 5 Students Wounded at Chardon High School (VIDEO) (blippitt.com)
- Columbine Students Hurt In Attack (myfoxphoenix.com)