Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Weapon Doesn't Matter

One place after another I read comments saying, “Thank God he didn’t have a gun,” or “Imagine if he’d had a gun,” which I think is about the stupidest thing that can be said about the event in Murrysville PA. Such commenters are stepping over a dollar to pick up a dime, ignoring the larger issue to ask the more important question, “What in the hell is happing in our schools, our homes, and in our society to make our kids so fucked up?”

They think that they are strengthening some sort of anti-gun crusade, but in fact they are weakening it because they are clearly debunking the theory that it is possession of guns that make school shooters go crazy and embark on killing sprees. The fact that this young man did not kill anyone did not mean that he was not trying to, and the success or otherwise of children’s murderous rages is not our social problem.

Our problem is whatever it is that is creating this kind of isolation and rage in these kids, and if it is so severe in these kids that it erupts into killing sprees, then it surely exists to a lesser but still damaging degree in thousands, if not millions, of other kids. It surely is the symptom of a flaw in the living environment which we are providing for the future citizens of our nation, and we are not even acknowledging that, let alone doing anything about it.

At best, we look at it as individual mental illness, an aberration; but on the scale that it is happening it is clearly something more than that and if we do not acknowledge that and take corrective action this society is heading for serious trouble. It’s not about guns, and it’s not about some poor kid with a miswired brain; something is wrong, and we need to be finding out what it is.

Update: Episodes like this are not the only manifestation of the problem. We see it in the high incidence of rape in our military and on our college campuses. Rape is not a sex crime. It is a crime of violence stemming from rage, isolation and inadequacy.

Part of the problem, I suspect, lies in our passion in protecting our precious little babies from what we percieve as harm. We cannot let their valuable little knees get skinned or their tiny little feelings be hurt. But skinned knees and hurt feelings are part of growing up, and when we prevent that we prevent them from growing up and we wind up with five year old babies in fifteen year old bodies. When we don't deal with that we wind up with five year old babies in twenty year old bodies in our military and on our college campuses and all hell breaks loose.

1 comment:

  1. He used a knife because he didn't have a gun, or access to one or the security measures (if any) were looking for guns, not bladed weapons. Proof enough that guns are not the only thing we need to be aware of, anything can be used as a weapon by someone who has a mind to wreak havoc.

    Thus the point of the post - what about the havoc wreakers? Can we identify, find, defuse, de-escalate, pre-empt, treat, help, etc any of these before the havoc is happening?