Stop Promoting The End of Hope

Yesterday my high school age daughter told me a classmate was pulled from a class because it was suspected he had a gun. They were interrupted while taking a test, and the kids were angry this boy was searched because he was a “straight A” student known to never be a problem.

However, he spoke about owning or having access to guns.

I thought it was an isolated incident, related to increased awareness due to the Virginia Tech massacre. However, tomorrow, at her school, the police department will be on the premises all day. The school will be searched for bombs before they arrive for classes. The kids may be subjected to searches for weapons.

Friday marks the eighth anniversary of the Columbine school shootings, when 15 people, including the two student shooters, were killed in Colorado. School officials at my daughter’s school know the kids are talking about Columbine and Virginia Tech, and are preparing for “copycat” acts. We live an hour from where our Amish neighbors suffered unbelievable loss when a mad man lined up the girls and killed them in a one room schoolhouse earlier this year.

Who can blame the students for talking? The video, letters, and photos of the Virginia Tech murderer have been replayed and discussed everywhere, as if he’s a celebrity. As if spreading his message has some sort of productive value to the public. Or our kids.

My mind wanders. As usual. The kid who was searched was pointed out to me by my daughter yesterday as we watched my son at his track meet. Had that “I have access to a gun” boy showed up outside the school, with a death mission, pickens would have been easy. Kids and adults from two schools were there. Several hundred of us.

I “woke up” at around my daughter’s age too. Only I did because of Vietnam and the huge pictures in Life magazine that came to the house every month. We didn’t have CNN, video games in which killing animals and people are the point, and kids weren’t being shot to death during English class.

I came of age during the days of “flower power” and the Kent State killings. College kids were putting flowers into guns, not pointing them at each other.

Twice, in the past two weeks, my eldest asked me about what would be left for her, because of global warming.

I’m hoping that she just gets through the day tomorrow.

Alive.

4 thoughts on “Stop Promoting The End of Hope”

  1. I think the police are right to be concerned about copycat acts. Here in NC, a day or two after the VT shootings, a student was arrested for bringing a gun to school and taking it out and pointing it at others.

    When I was a freshman in high school, we had a shooting. Granted it was after school at the park right next door to the school. But that’s just technicalities. There were 150 students gathered to watch a gang fight. One guy pulled out a gun. But he missed his target. A guy in the crowd died instead.

    That was 1993. And yes, it was in April. The year after that was a bomb threat. My senior year someone set a bulletin board on fire. And this is at a relatively “good school.”

    The lives of teens and young adults are volatile. They’re hormonal. They’re impulsive. They’re learning who they are and what good boundaries are. Alot of it is trial and error.

    We simply have to work to reduce stigma to mental disorders. We have to teach our children to love and respect others who are “different.” We have to be on the lookout and honestly admit whether our own children need help. At very early ages. This is something I learned when Bryan Greene died and I have never forgotten it.

    In the meantime, we have to protect them. I’d rather my kids be scared than dead. Bring on the police if that’s what it takes.

  2. Utexas tower shooting happened in 1966. Global warming is at best an accepted theory. I encourage you to drop the anxiety bit and resume talking about websites.

  3. What bothers me most is the senselessness of our lack of gun control. Those who profit from selling guns and making them about as hard for kids (and adult criminals)to get as candy have managed to pull the wool over the eyes of enough US citizens to keep things just as they are.

    So the hand wringing on the part of our politicians every time this happens started striking me as hypocritical a long time ago. But nobody will stand up to the gun lobby and tell the American public the way it really is.

    It just is not ready access to guns by kids and criminals that keeps us a free society. That’s frankly a ton of BS. Somehow western Europe manages quite well without this.

    Just imagine if this disturbed individual had only been able to get hold of a knife or club. He would have been unlikely to have killed more than one person at most before people around him would have clobbered him.

    But we just keep letting this stuff happen over and over again.

    Sorry for the editiorial, I must be a sissy because I’m reacting like the entire civilized world outside of America. I should really be bellowing “Freedom Fries” and “Let’s Go NRA!”

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