I am sitting here and watching the news, and I have had a few thoughts here. I have watched over the last several years, and observed the aftermath of each of the school shootings. They all seem to say get rid of guns. Then I look at who did what and why and in each case you have a kid that has emotional problems, has learning disabilities, is unable to make friends, and is on or should be on medication. Then I look at when I went to school.
Yes I rode the short bus, no I wasn’t a window licker. I had issues that my parents struggled to help me with, and they did. Yes I was one of those that had trouble making friends, and no I never had a girlfriend in school. Luckily I never had to be on any medications or have to go thru massive psychotherapy. I was able to go to a special school that helped me learn how to learn. in all this I was lucky to have my parents backing as well as a few kids from the neighborhood to play with.All this is so you can understand my background so I can bring you thru the next part of my monologue.
Let’s look at these kids one part at a time. They were for a lack of a better term, ?autistic? (mildly?). this leads to problems in the way they look at the world and the world looks at them. They are slower on the uptake if it is not given to them in the best way they process the information. (some need it visually , some in text, some need to hear it.) so this makes the world a little different for them than for you.
Because they have this issue, parents and doctors look for the easy way to help their kid cope with society. This typically involves some sort of pharmaceutical help. These drugs can actually make it worse for the kid to be “normal”, but it makes them easier to manage.
Then because the kid is different from the norm, he will get picked on by his classmates, and ostracized, and made to feel small. this all creates a smoldering anger that the kid thinks I’ll get them for being mean, they will learn. that anger will build over the years and will never be shown to the world.
Now add in what we have today, the internet. the internet while it can open up a brave new world to this kid, also makes it much easier to be bullied and influenced. It can also make this kid more withdrawn into this cyberworld with the games and stuff. They will “make friends” in this brave new world but still be alone. then they go back to the real world and go thru all the emotions again. so they hide, ball up , in an attempt to block the hate. or they will strike out in anger (fights in school, animal abuse). All this because no one hears them and they have no one to talk to.
what can be done? this is going to sound so left leaning it is not funny, but believe me it really isn’t, All it takes is some kid to simply include them in their circle and talk to them. I have heard that in the last shooting the trigger point was something about his ex girlfriend dating someone. ok, in normal’s lives when that happens you talk with you best friend and they blow off the girl as not being good enough for you and all that stuff. In his case who did he have to talk to? No I don’t think for the next 10 years or so it can change, as the age that anything meaningful and actually easy is not 14 or 15 years old. this has to start before the teen years.
How many stories have we heard that someone was contiplating suicide and it was someone that simply said hi to them or helped them with their books or something simple, and they decided not to kill themselves? yes it is that simple and yet that complex. If you want to stop these school shootings think not about taking away guns which are only a tool for the symptoms, much in the way taking pain killers for a bad tooth only masks the pain. But think about this, The guy that seems a little odd of slow, he may not be able to handle the world like you do, but if you stop and say hi or give them a hand, you could change his world or even help him to understand it better. and with that small change, you will have stopped the anger and the resulting problems. If you haven’t helped your hurting, it all starts with you.
So to finnish off this diatribe that no one will read, may god be with you, and , well, Hey how ya doing?
A post script note: after getting some reaction from some on this post,
No we are not asking for everyone to be fake nice. that wont help. what we are asking is for 1 kid to say hi, 1 kid to be nice, 1 kid listen to them, 1 kid to learn from them. 1 kid to NOT bully, 1 kid to NOT talk behind their back. 1 kid to include them where possible. 1 kid to help them. 2 parents to back them, 2 parents to show them the way. It doesnt take that much. It doesnt take the whole of the school or community. just 1 brave kid and 2 parents.