Everybody’s talking… Contrary opinions like tracers flashing across the night sky in a war zone. We need to Do Something about school shootings. Of course we do. But are we willing to do what really has to be done to create a catalyst for authentic change?
Yes, we need to do some things about mental health. We need to help parents who don’t feel they have options with troubled kids. We also need to make some drastic changes to how school is done. Maybe we could start by not locking a bunch of hormonal, confused, immature kids up in boxes 9 hours a day, subjected to a rigorously enforced caste system and grading metrics that look nothing like real world success.
And, yes, there’s needs to be more societal pressure on “not my kid” parents.
But it’s simply not true that “violence was not this bad” before… Columbine happened 20 years ago. Before that, you remember the 70s. Remember the bombings?
It’s not guns or video games, violent or otherwise. Or music or TV. We have “responsible citizens” gunning each other down in traffic, and other guys getting shot over texting at the movies… Dads fist fighting in the deli line at Publix… Sports fans climbing over little girls to attack their grandfathers… Women screaming obscenities at teenage cashiers who won’t accept their expired coupons… Most people are stressed, distracted, exhausted, and chemically addicted. Humans are not meant to operate under those conditions. And we can’t… and least not in a healthy manner.
In schools… Some kids have an awesome time. Other kids are locked in hell every day for years. We have teachers who idolize the popular kids. Some of those kids are pretty awesome. They’re talented, smart, going places, and kind to the other kids. Some of those kids, both the popular ones and the outsiders, are monsters. And everyone looks the other way.
Yes, we all need to look to ourselves and take responsibility. We also need to stop pretending someone else needs to change.