First, it’s unfortunate that there was yet another school shooting on American soil. It’s troubling whenever a young teenager is enraged enough to want to murder kids in school as if it would mean something in the end. It’s even more troubling that school shootings have become so frequent that I can guarantee you that there will be another next month. Is it wrong for me to be able to make that claim so coldly, sure? But it serves as a reminder of how fucked America is. More worried and triggered by the reaction to a tragedy versus taking measures to explore the hows and whys that led to the tragedy.
This post will offend you, and it should.
When I heard the news about the shooting in Townville, SC and then heard the death count, I thought I missed something. I though I heard incorrectly. I thought that my ears were playing tricks on me. A school shooting and only ONE person died and it wasn’t a kid at school but the shooter’s father!? Well, I almost wanted to celebrate. Good thing the shooting took place on National Beer Day or whatever (people need a hashtag to drink beer now?). I did release a sigh of relief and thought about how fortunate the whole school was that the shooter was a 13 year old boy whose gun experience came from playing Call of Duty (not the real thing and I bet he didn’t account for recoil). The kids and teachers at Townville were fortunate that life does not have auto aim!
How horrible for me to say that when two kids and one teacher were injured, right? What kind of monster am I? The kind that growing up in America has made. I was in high school when Columbine happened. The Columbine kids were my age and had a similar pattern of favored activities: metal, gaming, and much like me were a social outcast. Though they had a few past time activities that should’ve been a red flag like (I don’t know) make bombs and target practice. The kids harbored so much hatred and needed help from their teachers, family, and most of all their parents. But no help was received and then everyone wants to blame media instead of the dumb as fuck parents. Seriously, how do you not know that your teenager is making bombs in YOUR basement? My point is that America did not learn from Columbine of how to prevent but instead implemented more security measures at schools. But added security doesn’t address the why behind these horrific tragedies. After Columbine came Red Lake, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook and over a dozen others that i haven’t mentioned.
You can say that I’ve been desensitized, and if that makes me a monster, then so be it. But at least I’m not pretending.
In comparison to other school shootings, Townville, SC is sort of a dud, and it wasn’t just because the kid had like the worst aim ever. No, a huge contributor to the 0 school deaths was a volunteer firefighter that just so happened to be present when the shooting took place. Whereas officers might’ve shot the kid dead, the firefighter tackled the homicidal boy and deescalated the situation. That is awesome, and shows that perhaps we don’t need armed guards, but a few tough All-American 80’s style bad asses stationed at each and every school. Except it didn’t take an 80’s action hero, it took a dude with balls of steel and a willingness to risk his life to save others. Jamie Brock needs to be on a Wheaties box!
I mentioned before that we should concentrate on the whys. The boy used his dad’s handgun so stricter gun laws wouldn’t do a fucking thing, unless you want every gun safe in America to register and log activity to the local authorities. Do you have any idea how unlikely that would ever be? Just as insane as the idea of removing ALL guns. That’s just going to create Civil War part II. Addressing the whys means understanding why the child did what he did, and what could be done to prevent that in the future. A bullying ban is pipe dream. Kids bully. You’ll never stop bullying 100%, because kids love making fun of one another. Honestly, reflect on your childhood and tell me you and your friends didn’t bust each other’s balls once in a while, and sometimes it may get out of control and feelings get hurt. The boy needed open communication with his teachers, counselor, and parents. There had to have been signs that he was troubled. A boy doesn’t just go into a murder spree without giving away signs.
I’m no expert, but I know that if the boy had received help early on that this could’ve been prevented. Yeah, Captain hindsight, but it’s true. We (the system in general) need to foster more of an empathetic approach and help remove the stigma associated to boys seeking help or talking to others about our dreaded feelings.