Yesterday was one of those days in which I was completely lost in thought.
About many random subjects.
One subject in particular I thought about was the 10-year anniversary of the Columbine massacre at Columbine High school in Colorado. It’s horrible. It is said to be the fourth deadliest school massacre in U.S. history. Twelve students and a teacher dead, but it’s still only the fourth worst. Can you imagine the other three?
There was the 1966 shooting at the University of Texas that resulted in the death of 14 students and hospitalization of 32 others, while the Virginia Tech shooting of 2007 actually claimed the lives of 32 students. The worst school massacre is said to be the Bath School bombing of 1927 that killed 45 people and injured 58 others.
It’s one of the saddest things to think about. So many innocent people die every day, but when mass amounts all lives are taken at once, it really makes you wonder: Why did this happen? How did we not see it coming? And what drove these people to commit these horrendous acts?
Well, if you think about why, there are many answers that may come to mind. The people who committed these terrible acts obviously were mentally unstable, and put through a life time of torment that eventually drove them to what they believed to be the only option they had left to take control of their lives.
How did we not see these things coming? Well, because quite honestly until massive events like Columbine occurred, the United States was blind. Completely oblivious to the torture that some people went through every day. Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold were bullied, and teased into this unspeakable act.
Am I making excuses for them? No, because I know good and well that what they did was, quite honestly, evil. But maybe if someone had tried to help them before it was too late, they would be alive, as well as the other 13 people whose lives were lost that day.
In society today, we are more guarded in regards to what goes on in our schools. There is more security to help prevent anyone from doing something like this again. But why is it we’ve had school shootings as recently as Nov. 12 in Fort Lauderdale? Tightening school security isn’t enough.
Just take a second and compare school shootings to the common cold. The signs start to surface, and then it happens. You feel terrible so you take some cold medicine to dull the aches, but really there is no cure for the common cold. The only thing you can do to prevent a cold is to take care of yourself before the virus has time to spread. Only then can you truly be healthy. In comparison to school shootings, people saw the signs, but chose to ignore them.
After it erupts, however, we take the cold pill, in this case, tightening security, instituting zero tolerance policies for bullying. All it’s doing, though, is covering up the aches of the cold ... no really curing the virus. The cold pill makes you feel more secure that things will get better, but in all reality, the virus is still there and can hurt you. We need to go to the source of the problem.
But who’s to say what it is? Stopping the bullies or medicating the mentally unstable? I even heard on the radio a DJ theorizing about supernatural forces or devil possession driving these people to their homicidal rages. No one knows completely what causes a person to want to take the life of another person. We’re no closer to figuring it out than we are to curing the common cold.
But until that day comes when we can rest assured that schools are finally safe environments, then we’re just going to have to keep taking that cold pill, and pray to God the virus will stop spreading.