I’m so very tired.
I’ll eventually get around to writing about the two school shootings that happened last week, but first I need to get a few things off my chest.
While many people have become desensitized to school shootings over the past couple of decades, this past year I’ve become overly sensitive to them. Each time another one happens my anxiety kicks in and that makes me withdraw into my cocoon of frustration. I push my keyboard away knowing that I’m going to write the same damn thing I’ve been writing for the past 18 years. I’m so tired of repeating myself yet it’s the same old bullshit time after time.
After every shooting, people keep blaming the same old things that have nothing to do with the shooting themselves. People blame everything from video games to heavy metal to gun free zones to antidepressants to bullying, or whatever their ideological paranoia tells them it is. In my opinion, they’re all missing the real point.
While Columbine wasn’t the first school shooting, it was the first one that really captured the attention of the public due to the fact that not only were the cable news networks all over it but the internet, as primitive as it was, was in full effect.
Columbine was a perfect storm of failure. The neglect of parents and police oversights allowed 13 innocent people to be ruthlessly murdered on April 20th, 1999. While I realize hindsight is 20/20, I am still of the belief that Columbine should have never happened. However, since it did, Columbine has been the catalyst for every school shooting since. Even shooters who weren’t born when Columbine happened are influenced by the Columbine cowards of Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold.
The majority of these shooters all had journals that were either similar in nature to Harris’ or directly copied from them. They make videos of themselves firing guns or detonating explosives much like the Columbine cowards did. The shooters hang around in internet communities that praise the actions of whoever the latest coward is going all the way back to Columbine and in these communities, they continue to propagate the falsehoods that arose from erroneous reporting at the time of Columbine, like the shooters were bullied, which they weren’t. The shooters almost always display some type of erratic behavior that reveals their fondness for violence. Then after the shooting happens while families bury their dead someone always says ‘The signs were there.’
If there’s anything to blame for school shootings, it starts with Columbine. Every school shooting since then has been a copycat. Another thing to blame would be failures in parenting, whether it was a lack of oversight, wanting to be friends rather than parents, or even supplying the kids with the firepower they needed to commit mass murder. Let’s also not forget the parents who refuse to believe there’s anything wrong with their child. Whether it’s discipline problems or mental health issues, too many parents are too quick to look the other way as if admitting their child had a problem was some kind of bad reflection on the parents. What would the neighbors think?
Until we start disciplining these kids in the right way, getting them the psychiatric help they need, and severely limiting their access to guns, the cycle will just continue.