I guess before I delve back into last month’s stories I’m behind on, I should talk about the school shooting that happened in Ocala, Florida, yesterday. When I first heard a shooting took place my heart initially filled with dread. Before I read any news about it, my mind immediately went to the fact that yesterday was the 19th anniversary of Columbine. For a moment I thought after so many years of cretins and troglodytes planning school shootings and other crimes for April 20th, one of them was finally successful. However, after reading the news I wouldn’t say the streak was broken.
Yesterday, 19-year-old Sky Bouche carried a sawed-off shotgun inside a guitar case into his former high school, Forest High School. He fired a round into a classroom door striking a 17-year-old student in the ankle. The student suffered minor injuries. After that, Bouche is said to have dropped the gun, walked to a teacher and waited for his arrest. So far, it is not believed yesterday’s date had anything to do with the reason behind the shooting. Instead, it’s believed Bouche has a history of mental illness. However, his mental illness isn’t to the point where he didn’t know right from wrong.
Due to the fact there was minimal damage in the shooting, and Bouche surrendered without incident, I wouldn’t be opposed to Bouche being sentenced to a mental health facility to get the help he needs. He doesn’t seem to exhibit the traits of a typical school shooter so I don’t think he’s beyond rehabilitation.
Well, at least this time it was only a week-long break I took, but what a hell of week to take a break. Lots of big news to catch up on. I’ll be honest, it’s my depression and anxiety that’s been keeping me away from working on the website, but this isn’t about me. I just thought you’d like an explanation. Anyway, rules are the same. Dates are from when the story was published and not necessarily the date of the threat.
I know we’ve all heard about the many breakdowns and failures that led to the Valentine’s day shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 dead. However, I want to talk about one glaring one that may have been missed with all the superfluous stories about the shooting grabbing most of the headlines.
Lynda Cruz told Del Barrio that she had no worries about her son as a gun owner.
“I’m not concerned and I’m not afraid,” she said, according to counselor Anna Del Barrio’s report. “My son has pellet guns and he’s always respected the rules of where they can and can’t be used.”
This was after many documented outbursts of violence and self-harm by Cruz himself. This was also while Cruz was 17.
If a child has mental health issues and has thoughts of suicide, why on earth would you encourage them to own a gun?
I know hindsight is always 20/20, but let her mistake be a lesson to parents who are thinking of allowing their minor children to own a gun. They’re not toys, they’re not a phase, they’re not a hobby and they’re not safe. They are weapons whose only real purpose is to kill whatever it’s pointed toward. To allow these instruments of death to be in the hands of children is the ultimate in parental irresponsibility.
Back in March, two different fathers were arrested in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles for the alleged school shooting plots of their sons. In the home of a 16-year-old, two revolvers, one semi-automatic handgun, a rifle and 90 rounds of ammunition were found to be unsecured in the home. In the home of a 17-year-old, police are said to have found a loaded semi-automatic handgun unsecured in a bag. Both teens had threatened to shoot up their respective schools. Both fathers were arrested on charges of unlawful firearms storage.
Since Columbine I’ve been saying that parents need to be held more responsible for what takes place under their roofs. How many times have kids like this have gotten their guns from parents who either gave them the guns or improperly stored their guns around the home and didn’t even notice they were missing? That’s a rhetorical question. The answer is too many. If these kids had gone on to kill using their parents’ guns, how could we not hold the parents responsible?
Maybe if we had started pressing criminal charges against the parents of school shooters who allowed the shootings to take place, parents of future shooters would have gotten involved in their kids’ lives and prevented further bloodshed.
Michael Bever’s defense team recently announced they would not be pursuing an insanity defense for their client. In 2015, a then 16-year-old Michael Bever, and his then 18-year-old brother Robert, stabbed and killed their parents, 52-year-old David Bever and 44-year-old April Bever, in their Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, home. However, they didn’t stop there. They also killed their siblings, Daniel, 12, Christopher, 7, and Victoria, 5. Surviving the attack was 13-year-old Crystal, who had been stabbed, and 2-year-old Autumn who was unharmed.The motive the brothers allegedly gave for the killing spree was they wanted to be ‘more famous than Columbine.’ In 2016, Robert Bever pleaded guilty to murder in order to avoid the death penalty and was sentenced to five life sentences without parole. Michael Bever has been charged as an adult in the murders.
Bever’s defense contends the parents were committing psychological child abuse which is not totally out of the realm of possibility. However, that doesn’t explain why they killed their brothers and sister as well. Not to mention that according to their surviving sister, the duo were allegedly planning the murder at least a year in advance.
Previously, the defense has tried saying Michael only went along with the murders because he was scared of his brother, but investigators say that Robert feigned he was in danger in order to get his siblings to open the door to the room where they were hiding so they could be killed.
Michael Bever’s trial has been delayed a number of times, but it looks like it’s finally set to start on April 16th. Unlike his brother, since he was a juvenile at the time of the crime, Michael Bever is not facing the death penalty. With any luck, he’ll receive the same sentence his brother did.
Back around the 8th of March, 17-year-old Courtlin Arrington was allegedly shot to death by 17-year-old Michael Jerome Barber at Huffman High School in Birmingham, Alabama. It was originally thought to be an accidental shooting, however, police have said after reviewing security footage that doesn’t appear to be the case. Barber has been charged with manslaughter and has been released after posting $75,300 bail.
Witnesses say Barber had been robbed at school and that’s why he had the gun. Where Barber obtained the gun from has not yet been made public as far as I know. No motive has been released of yet as well. Barber has been charged as an adult.
Accidental or not, this guy took a gun to a school and reportedly ended the life of a promising young student. The fact that he’s not currently in jail is a travesty.
There hasn’t been much news about this story since the killing took place, but I’ll post updates as they occur and as time allows.