I have gone back and forth about writing about the tragedy that happened on Friday. I never shy away from a conflict, I suppose, so here goes.
Everyone can agree on one thing; this was a senseless tragedy that could have been prevented. The reason that it could have been prevented is where everyone seems to disagree, including me and the boy.
I think that this country has reached a point of sensitivity to a fault. Am I proposing that we all go back to being racist, sexist ass holes? No. No I am not. But, I think that we have become so sensitive that we are scared of rocking the boat. We are scared to say, hey, there is something the fuck wrong with that kid and someone needs to address it. Because that is bullying. That is picking on that kid. That is mean. And then that kid kills 27 people.
As a country, we have become so politically correct we are not addressing major issues in our society. We are instead avoiding them. We absolutely need to love our fellow man. I truly believe that. And part of that is calling our fellow man out on their shit. I don't know if this kid exhibited any kind of mental illness prior to shooting up the school. But I can guarantee you that there is someone out there who sensed something was off. Somebody knew.
So, yes, lets address mental illness. Let's stop being scared to talk about it and just talk about it. Because it is real and it happens and sometimes it ends in the death of a lot of innocent people. Sometimes it ends in suicide. Regardless, it never ends in a pile of rainbows and unicorns. Let's start talking about it in a very real way.
On the flip side of that, there is the media. Absolutely there were not people shooting up schools when my parents were kids. I was a senior in high school when Columbine happened and our school was locked the fuck down. Metal detectors were installed. You couldn't blink without somebody looking at you funny. It was a terrifying time. You know what else it was? A media sensation. Those boys were all over every single form of media all over the world. They were famous. To an extent, it was glamorized. I have no idea who the victims were in that shooting. But I sure as shit remember the names of the two kids who shot up that school.
People were angry that traumatized kids were being interviewed and I agree with that too. The media definitely needs to cover it. But, people with mental illness to this degree want the fame. They want to be plastered all over every newspaper and TV show. We have to figure out a way to make this about the victims, not their killers.
Lastly, and most controversial, I believe that gun control is a big part of the problem. Nobody, and I mean nobody, should be allowed an automatic weapon in their home. I even take issue with semi-automatic. I am not going to fight with anybody about this because I understand that everybody has their own rights to their own beliefs, just like I do. But, if you feel the need to have an automatic weapon in your home for your own protection, you are fooling yourself. Those guns are meant to kill. And I take issue with anybody owning anything for the sole purpose of using it to kill another human being.
As a country, let's hug our kids and be grateful for what we have. But, let's also get our heads out of our self important asses and make sure shit like this doesn't happen again.