Mass Murders in Schools

ANOTHER SCHOOL TRAGEDY, another implausible, unbelievable killing of youngsters by youngsters, another All-American city desperately searching for answers.

Are there answers? Do those answers lie in the availablility of guns? Or the all-pervasive violence on TV and in the Movies? Or in the wailings of a Rock and Roll band? Is America fatally flawed? Is there too much freedom? Do we need despotic arbitrary government like the rest of the World? Maybe. Or maybe not.

Maybe Americans do need to start taking responsiblity for their actions, and maybe their willingness to deny responsibilty while demanding total justice in every possible situation is at the heart of what happened in Littleton and what has happened in America with these shootings at schools by students in the last few years. Remember a couple of years ago when Japan was horrified by children killing themselves because they were bullied in school? Is it possible that this very small, alienated group of students in Littlefield were also bullied, so that they perceived their lives as not worth living and reacted as who was part of the American culture would react instead of as someone who was a part of the Japanese culture reacted. What, after all, is more American than Gary Cooper standing at High Noon on mainstreet waiting to battle the forces of oppression? The point here is not guns, or cowboys, or reality at all, but rather the battle against injustice as it is seen in contemporary America and as it has been seen in modern America. Gary Cooper at high noon was only doing the right thing, after all, and what would be more American, more natural for Americans than doing what these boys did, going out to right wrongs even though, as in the movie, everyone around them would have disapproved? Didn't Davy Crockett himself say "Be sure you're right and then go ahead"? Right on TV, too. Maybe then, the bullies, and their parents, and their coaches bear some responsiblity for all this. If they do, they'll have to accept it themselves though, because if someone else points it out, they'll be blaming the victim.

Maybe also we might take a look at the role legal drugs played in all this. Maybe it's time to decide that all the drugs that change the chemistry of the brain might have unintended effects. Of course mentioning that some of the drugs commonly given to depressed people have side effects which seem also to cause rage is anecdoctal, but I have a friend who quit taking them because, for the first time in her life she was getting enraged in traffic.

Ah well, a little forebearance, a little smile, the knowledge that there is not an answer to every question might well be the answer.

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