Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Can we stop this?

The "Hero's Welcome" editorial cartoon by Canadian artist Pia Guerra.
I'm one of those discouraged adults who reacts to mass shootings, even to school shootings, with a jaded sigh: "nothing will change." Our national devotion to a right to own weapons with which to kill our neighbors is just too entrenched. Let's hear it for the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School young people who are out to prove that change is possible.
***
Erudite Partner teaches college students barely older than these Parkland survivors. I've asked her more than once whether she's afraid of a shooter on campus, even among her students. She says "yes."
***
There's much commentary on the fact that these survivors are from a generation that grew up after Columbine, that meaningless massacre in 1999 of 13 students, by students, outside Denver. Columbine is considered the archetype of the school shooting. But I ponder ...
  • A friend I worked with told me the story of being escorted out of elementary school by a policeman and rushed past the murdered body of a teacher in the yard. The schools have never been entirely free of the violence around them. This was in Texas in the 1960s. They [preferred pronoun] may never have gotten over it, eventually taking their own life, by handgun.
  • At Columbine, the crux of the horror, on top of the slaughter, was that no one knew that these two white suburban boys from middle class homes had gone over the edge. At Parkland, it seems that most everyone knew, but no one could do anything.
We're never going to be willing as a society to put out enough resources to enable us to heal every troubled teen -- but we sure could keep them from having access to lethal armament.

2 comments:

Rain Trueax said...

I hope there will be change but listening to the new health and human services guy from the right and i wasn't so sure it'd happen on background checks or mental health issues. He talked of the student's rights and how they must be protected. So when you have a troubled young man, who was also a troubled child, they tell him, no, that's not good to do, expel him, but heaven forbid they would put him on a list of those who can't buy guns. To me, this is a twofold problem-- guns on the one hand but mental health on the other. Because each partisan side has picked their issue to defend, nothing happens. Too many today say 'something' must be done, but what that 'something' is, they don't define and would it really fix anything. The recent shooter had gotten 3 guns illegally and 7 legally. Isn't there some warning bell going off when a young man wants to buy 7 guns in a year? Shouldn't there have been with all those calls from his mother about his violence and the threats he made? Nobody does anything until somebody else pays with their rights-- and we keep going on.

There are simple things like:
Meaningful background checks with the kind of computer system Amazon has
making guns seem less cool (but since the newest popular action film has 163 shootings) not sure how we make that happen
real help for the dangerously mentally ill and yes, there is a difference and this kid clearly was dangerous
admittance to school only through a central door and dare I say it-- metal detector there...

Somebody argues against every one of these things. So, we do nothing, and there will be another shooting-- with the guy likely already cradling his gun and everybody around him knowing he's dangerous. :(

Celia said...

It's not just our children. If one has been assaulting a partner they are still allowed in many places to own/possess guns.

"The CDC analyzed the murders of women in 18 states from 2003 to 2014, finding a total of 10,018 deaths. Of those, 55 percent were intimate partner violence-related" and "54% were gun deaths."

https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2017/07/homicides-women/534306/"

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