WHY SO MANY SCHOOL SHOOTINGS?
By Tom Wise
There are multiple realities in school shootings.
First, why schools? One might say it is the "gun-free zone" which attracts school shootings, but there are other gun-free zones that don't share such dangerous pattern. One might say it is all the children packed in like neat fish in a barrel, but a Little League baseball game or a mall are also similarly populated, and don't suffer such statistics. Indeed, a school or campus is an odd place for a shooting except for one thing: there is a mandatory recurring schedule of a particular person or persons, whether teacher or student. Who would want to know this? Almost certainly, another student or teacher. Why would they want to know this? Almost certainly, someone has been, or believes themselves to be, bullied or persecuted. It makes sense then that school violence erupts from prior violence, whether it be physical or emotional, actual or perceived. That is to say, there are no cheerful stable people shooting up schools.
Second, bullying. Can we acknowledge that bullying is terrible, and not downplay the role of bullying on the lives of children? Regardless whether it's children or teachers tormenting other children or teachers, schools are brutal places where dissimilar people are forced to congregate, and work out their differences under mostly casual supervision. This is not to justify school shootings as natural consequences of bullying or schools. Gun ownership and bullying have both been prevalent through all eras of history, but the gun has only recently been the tool of revenge. In fact, bullying has coexisted even in schools which provided gun (and archery) training and team sports. So if it's not the availability of weaponry which is the catalyst for school shootings, what might it be?
One possible problem which has been increasing is mental illness, and treatment of it. How long have we been drugging our "ADD" and "ADHD" boys with Ritalin (1960's) and Adderall (1990's)? How has this affected overall societal aggressiveness, either increasing it in volcanic lads, or submerging it too deeply so that one day it explodes like Vesuvius? What about Xanax and other benzodiazepines? This 2017 article (https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/over-130000-us-toddlers-and-children-aged-0-5-are-prescribed-addictive-anti-anxiety-drugs-300538185.html) says that 130,000 TODDLERS have been prescribed benzos! What about SSRI prescriptions for manic-depression, clinical depression, and other disorders? This 2017 article (https://psychnews.psychiatryonline.org/doi/full/10.1176/appi.pn.2017.pp9b2) estimated that about 8.8% of people between 18 and 44 were on SSRI as of 2014. Although SSRI prescription percentage for children and teens with depression is unclear, even 2% indicates one person on such medication in every classroom of 50 people. These numbers do not even count the number of children and teens with some form of mental illness which is not being treated which may cause violent tendencies anyway. Some may downplay violent tendencies as "harmless" growing pains, but the victims don’t think so. Thus, the dilemma is, to drug or not to drug.
The core of treating mental illness today seems to be to "stuff it down," especially where it concerns anxious, angry, or hyperactive boys. This should be a cause of concern for all of us. It has never been a very good mental health strategy to stuff. It is good to teach kids to behave correctly but it serves no purpose to drug them to get what the inconvenienced adult wants, which is essentially peace and quiet. It is a condemnation of adult patience and effort that drugged is a common go-to. Perhaps that's why teen drug use has become more acceptable; not that it has been proved harmless, but that it keeps them quiet or busy that much longer. Sad!
There also seems to be an uptick in criminal mindset. I don't mean criminal statistics, which have actually been falling for many years (http://www.disastercenter.com/crime/uscrime.htm). I mean the gangsta stance, the craving for respect which most times has not been earned (see Jordan Peterson for more), and the glorification of Mafiosi in film and music. Add to that radical behavior which is not classified as criminal, including violent activism of Antifa and other such groups. Add to that behavior and actions which cause minds to become broken, including adultery which breaks up homes, underage sex and abortion, and other loose activity which sets no boundaries and causes moral confusion. Some may classify these behaviors as merely erratic, some as moral issues with no true connection to childhood and teenage violence, and some may think this is all perfectly normal and natural. This too is a problem in our schools, the disunity of our society, and the making of enemies along lines which adolescents traditionally did not, as a rule, think about. Since the 1960's, this "us against them" mentality has pervaded not only normal teen angst and rebellion, but also teenage politics, socio-economics, and religion. Some might say this is good competition to societal norms, but much of it is coerced and fostered at the adult level, for example, when a teacher threatens student grades for having this or that view on capitalism or conservatism or Christianity.
This is not to say that conservatives are the perpetrators of school shootings. Indeed, it has more often than not been the work of a Left-leaning mentally-ill person who (again, more often than not) is on prescription meds for that illness. So it is that the combination of a permissive society that likewise glorifies criminal behavior, coupled with an inconvenienced adult population that medicates its agitated and depressed sons, finds itself faced with homicidal and doped-up (primarily) male shooters.
Some say this is the intentional work of the government, a conspiracy to create such shooters for the express purpose of banning guns in America. This implies that all it takes is a shocked populace to change the Constitution, when in fact it would take three-quarters of the States in an Article V Convention to make such amendment to the Amendments. It also implies that an armed American populace, including its criminals, would voluntarily give up their one billion arms and 1 trillion bullets. It also implies that such a disarmament Amendment would not immediately be followed up with a reversal through the more numerous concerned citizens who treasure their personal safety and freedom. So while communism indeed has plans to disarm America, their shrieking voices are louder than their actual numbers. Nevertheless, communism must be destroyed because it uses such things as school shootings to bolster its ranks under the banner of "caring" and "sympathy."
Is there a solution for school shootings? Ten million marching for "the children" (actually, for disarmament) cannot stop a random mentally-ill homicidal male from taking the lives of those he believes have irreparably harmed him. Perhaps a greater police or guard presence, or armed teachers, makes some sense to us, but it only acknowledges reality without changing it. That is, a determined mentally-ill shooter will find his target sooner or later. The only permanent solution is to change the way we handle perceived mental illness, and to decide if we want to continue glorifying criminal behavior.
On that latter point, there is one more element: attention-seeking. For not only is it the objective of the school shooter to be rid of his perceived tormentors, but also to garner some attention for himself which affirms his plight, which the media are only too happy to accommodate. Thus, the short but blistering fame of the school shooter is glorified, even immortalized, as useful fodder by such attention whores as CNN and other communications outlets, as well as the Communist Party, and Hillary Clinton, to name a few. We pick only on the Left here because the Right does not benefit in any way from school shootings, neither in its politics or religion or rights.