As if being a teenager doesn't have enough difficulty; now thanks to a couple of extremely disturbed teens, all teens that show a modicum of peculiar behavior have become suspects in The Next Shooting.
Which will probably lead to more shootings.
I read an extremely disturbing article through Excite about how schools and parents throughout the country have reacted to the tragedy in Colorado. I also read another related article at Slashdot (who maintains old articles). And, typically American, we have reacted with stupifyingly moronic emotion rather than with any modicum of rationality.
Clinton hopes to use this as an opportunity to push more laws onto us, rather than research and address the real problem underlying the issue. Schools have taken to wildly reacting to everything from school journal entries to wardrobe. And some parents have taken to banning their children from using computers (as if that will solve anything).
I'll admit, a freaky element exists to this issue. While we might understand that these two students had typically high-school-like cliqueish dislikes for certain other students, we do not entirely understand why they opted to Go Postal about it. When you factor in the fact these students had good grade point averages, and strong technical skills, the issue becomes even more confusing (to our American mindset).
From what I've heard, the parents were deeply involved in their children's lives, or at least they thought they were. But the parents had no idea their kids were capable of this. Well.. DUH. I think most parents would be so appalled at the idea that their little boy could become a mass-murderer that they'd be more likely to block such ideas from their own mind. It isn't like a parent holds the greatest measure of objectivity about their kid.
But I pose this question: if your child made consistently positive statements about the rightness of Nazism, the goodness and sound judgement of Mr. Hitler, wouldn't you at least sit down and try to have a chat with the kid? I mean, really.. I know we should allow our children room to become their own individual, and I also know some kids will go through a phase where atrocities are glorified, but the child should at least be given some kind of hint that such ideas fall outside the social norm (at best). At the very least, folks who exhibit an undo interest in hatred should be watched as carefully as an unwell loved one.
But I am not joining in the Blame Game here. I know only what I read and hear about, I wasn't there. And frankly, I suspect too many variables exist to really pin anything down. However, I feel certain that our general reaction to this has been even more emotionally trying for a group of people who are already dealing with the tremendous pressures inherent in adolescence. Folks, try to have some understanding here; little Johnny is most likely not going to become the next gunner. So rather than laying anything heavier on the kid, like forcing him to see a counselor for mentioning that he understood where the murderers were coming from, why not just chat with the kid for a while, to get a better idea of who he is.
Because, in the end, a person who is granted humanity values it enough not to try to steal it from others.