I am not writing this as an op-ed piece. This has nothing to do with opinion, sadly it is based on experience
My son was in Springfield Oregon during the Thurston High School Shooting May 21, 1998. My cousin was sitting next to her boyfriend when he was shot. My son is in prison because he can’t overcome the trauma and my cousin still has nightmares about trying to wash his brains off of her face.
I can not tell you the horror of watching the TV screen from Burien trying to see if anyone looking like your son or your family would appear alive on camera or being wheeled out with a blanket over them.
Closer to home there was the Marysville Pilchuck shooting.
Now comes the news of the shootings in Roseberg where 13 people were killed and 20 others injured at Umpqua Community College on Thursday.
I see the news station making a big to do over “not naming the shooter” that is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard of.
Human nature is having the need to have a name, to have a face, to have someone to demonize while they try to wrap their heads around the horror that they now are faced with.
Then of course here come all the folks trying to kill the 2nd Amendment and pointing their gnarly little fingers saying “See we told you so”.
NO ONE ever wants to address the underlying issues. Most of these kids were bullied, terrorized and tormented to the point where they thought pulling out a gun was a good idea.
NO ONE will talk about the pain that they endured, the feeling of desperation that drove them to that point, or about the mental illness they were suffering from.
They are human beings, too. Like it or not.
We have raised a generation of kids who are mean and cruel, they are so desensitized that they have lost a good deal of what makes them human. They have not been taught to value their own lives, and being treated cruelly does nothing to help them value yours.
I want you to look at this picture
Take a good look…
Now imagine this was your son who had endured years of abuse from other kids, then he finally managed to make a few friends but as mental illness and puberty took over he lost those friends and the abuse from the other kids became even more brutal.My son, my cousins, and their friends had all turned their backs on him.
Then what the media WON’T tell you is that Jaylen Fryberg was also tortured and brutalized. I can not understand why the members have turned on each other, I know they are angry, and they are hurting beyond belief but it used to be these kinds of things brought the tribe closer together.
The kid who shot everyone was said to be a supporter of the IRA and a Nazi sympathizer. His name is Christopher Harper Mercer. He was a special needs student. His parents tried to do what they could for him but he was out in the world on his own and this is a choice he made.
Children aren’t born hating anything except for gas and wet diapers. Yet they are playing video games where you get extra bonus points for killing prostitutes, ones where they die or kill but get eternal lives.
The one thing that remains is that there is ALWAYS those folks that say “Oh we knew he wasn’t right” or “I always thought he was a little off” or worse yet “I seen the threats but I didn’t think he’d do it” The saddest part is that the kids who get hurt or die are usually not even the ones who did anything wrong.
In the case of teenagers you are dealing with people who’s entire brains haven’t even formed yet and we’ve all seen the stories of the kids who kill themselves after being bullied, and we feel so bad for them. Those same kids could’ve very well have turned a gun or knife on others.
The only way we are going to stop this is if we pay attention to the kids and adults who are acting out or reaching out.
We need to teach our kids not to be such a bunch of cruel little bastards.
We need to spend as much money on mental health as we do on jails, law enforcement and courts.
We need to teach our kids to watch for those signs as well as teachers, counselors, and even parents so that we never have to see another story like this ever again. (or at least fewer of them)
Sadly bullying is the most popular thing on prime time as well: All of these reality shows advocate the complete tearing down of individuals, morals and families.
The saying “It takes a village to raise a child” is not just a saying: It is the truth. If the parents won’t take the responsibility on teaching a child kindness or empathy the village must: That old line about not my kid, not my problem is no longer valid. In the case of the parents who have lost children once they have gotten through some of their grief most of them start to realize that this demon who took their child was also someone else’s child, and in an effort to find some understanding or make some sense of their own tragedy they learn what the other child went through.
The problem isn’t guns… It’s man’s inhumanity to man.