Noblesville school shooting is another case of ‘it can’t happen here.’

Noblesville school shooting another case of 'it can't happen here.'

Noblesville West Middle School

In late May, not too long after the shooting at Santa Fe High School in Texas, there was a school shooting at Noblesville West Middle School in Indiana. I haven’t done much research on it yet, but from what I gather a male student from the school shot a teacher and a female student. Thankfully, there were no fatalities.

However, in this article from USA Today, a parent whose child attends the school said something that still permeates the American psyche even after the year we’ve had with some of the most lethal school shootings ever. This parent said…

“Never thought that this would happen,” she said. “Not in Noblesville.”

For years I’ve been advising against having this mindset. In the grand scheme of things, school shootings are actually rare occurrences compared to the number of schools we have even though they’re ever increasing. However, they can and do happen anywhere. If school shootings hadn’t happened, how many of us would be aware of the towns of Littleton, Parkland, and Newtown if we didn’t live near them? That’s not even taking into account lesser remembered places like Chardon, Ohio, Aztec, New Mexico, Red Lake, Minnesota, and the like.

I’m not saying any of these are factors in the Noblesville shooting, but until we tackle the issues of lax parenting, mental health stigmatization and ease of access to firearms, we’ll never be able to say it can’t happen here.

UPDATE: According to Indiana law, since the suspect is 13 and has not been charged with murder, his case will remain in juvenile court.

Another case of “It can’t happen here.”

Another case of "It can't happen here."

Earlier this week, a 13-year-old girl was arrested for allegedly planning a school shooting against Tonkawa High School in Tonkawa, Oklahoma. I wasn’t really even going to post about this story because it’s unclear how close the suspect was to carrying out the attack. While reports say that she did have a hit list and her family did own guns it’s not exactly clear if she had unrestricted access to these guns or not. Not to mention the fact that females rarely ever carry out a school shooting. I’m not being sexist, those are just the statistics.

Having said that I did feel the need to post this story because the headline I was greeted with by KFOR was “You don’t think something like that’s going to happen.” That was a quote from another student at the school. As I have said many times in the past small towns like Tonkawa are exactly the places where school shootings can happen. Some of us can name the schools where the more violent shootings took place, but can you name the municipalities? I mean places like Nickel Mines, PA, Littleton, CO, Newtown, CT, Red Lake, MN, DeKalb, IL, and so on.

That’s not to say that every town in small town America is due for a school shooting, but we can’t have this attitude that any place is immune to such violence. If we continue to have that attitude we’ll continue to ignore the signs of imminent violence.
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