Monday, October 27, 2014

Just A Little Bit Older

This past Friday (October 24th), there was another school shooting. 

The scariest word in that sentence, other than "shooting", is the word "another".  

Once more someone who was troubled decided that the best way to alleviate those troubles was through the barrel of a gun. 

You can click here for a review of these events posted yesterday (Sunday, October 26th). While there are certain facts of Friday's tragedy coming together, there is still not much clarity or understanding of why freshman Jaylen Ray Fryberg decided that a group of students at Marysville Pilchuck High School in Washington state needed to answer in blood and death for some real or perceived transgression. There does appear to be some evidence from social media that Jaylen was not coping well with the break up of a romantic relationship. 

I remember high school. Despite my best efforts, I remember it and it was a cauldron of hormonal confusion and social frustration. I can only imagine that the modern world for teenagers  is even more of a pressure cooker that it was in my day. 

Still I remember the pains and torments of thousands slings and arrows of the outrageous fortune that is high school. And I remember how much I wished someone would just die, myself or my tormentors, I wasn't picky, just as long as the torment stopped. 

I never acted on that. Why? Well, there are any number of answers that can be traced back to various elements of nature and nurture. But principal among those answers was this: I did not have a gun. 

Think about how many times you've heard of an argument or altercation that turned deadly because someone had a gun. And you've wondered, "Somebody was shot and killed...over that?" 

Police did say the gun used in the attack was "legally acquired" although given that Fryberg was 16 years old, I doubt he was the one to do the legal acquiring.  

I'm sure the 2nd amendment advocates will rise up to proclaim the answer is more guns, that school officials or maybe even the students themselves need to be armed or some damn thing like that. Someone will point out that tougher gun laws do not stop people from being killed by guns.  I mean, look at Canada last week, right? 

True that but I don't recall any headlines regarding the tragedy last week invoking the word "another". Meanwhile this has become such a thing in the US that we do have the include the word "another" when describing a travesty as horrible as a school shooting.  Therein lies the reprehensible part of this story: it keeps happening. And it will keep on happening as long as the the cries of the many for justice are drowned by the bleatings for the few determined to hold on to their little corner of power. 

Meanwhile, before the next one hits, let us grieve for our losses, the lost lives and the lost innocence. Here is a quote from the NBC News website article I referenced earlier: 

Cindy Honeyman, the mother of an MPHS student, attended a vigil for the victims Saturday. She said of her son and all the other students who had a deadly act of violence shatter what should be carefree days: "It's unfortunate. They are all just a little bit older today."

Be good to one another.

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