School shootings. It’s not a subject anyone wants to think about.
In fact, we would prefer to have the disturbing and troubled images we have seen on the world news surgically extracted from our minds. But, the truth is, we HAVE to think about it if we want to put our finger on the causes of these violent crimes. For there isn’t just one cause that can be fingered and removed.
School shootings are a symptom and by-product of an increasingly dysfunctional and troubled society. There are certain factors that keep cropping up as impetus to these retaliatory acts. Let’s examine a few of them.
Bullying is nothing new; it’s been around for centuries. It’s as old as time itself. But what’s different today is the intense and crippling anger some young people are carrying around inside. Not every young person who is bullied is going to grab an Uzi and start shooting. It is this, combined with a certain mindset or personality type that is the trigger.
Perhaps it’s a person who never learned to cope in a healthy and and well-adjusted way. Perhaps it’s someone who has grown up with dysfunction. But being bullied cuts deep. Our schools are now addressing the issue of bullying and cyberbullying through education and laws in hopes of eliminating it as a factor in school shootings.
This was mentioned above, but let’s be clear: Not every disturbed young person who goes on a shooting spree is a result of poor parenting. Some parents have struggled for years with their child’s anger and conduct. They have even sought help from experts, but sometimes the young person simply cannot be reached.
In other cases, the parents are clueless either due to poor parenting or just an inability to communicate with their child. But if a young person grows up with dysfunction in his home environment, whether through alcoholism, physical abuse or simply neglect, at some point dysfunction becomes the norm. Parents and young people need somewhere to turn. Help should never be unattainable due to economics – lack of funds.
Video Games and Current Trends in Entertainment
Yes. They do have an effect on our young people. True, just as in the case of bullying, not every kid who plays a violent video game is going to go on a shooting spree. But, parents – Have you seen the video games your kids are playing? They are very realistic these days, and extremely graphic! For the wrong person – someone who is already on the edge and disconnected with his peers – these games can be very dangerous although we know there are learning advantages of nonviolent video games for all ages.
To see so much bloodshed and violence on a daily basis eventually hardens a person’s sensitivities to suffering and death. Their judgment becomes impaired. It’s like scar tissue; it has become desensitized, unresponsive to the pain and suffering of others.
All of the above can have a seriously damaging effect on young minds, especially those already in pain or deeply resentful. School shootings are often their way of “coping” with these negative feelings. It is up to us, parents, educators, and other caring human beings, to help each other and to carry on the cry for change, so none of our young people will be motivated to perform such a horrendous act in the future.