UNITED STATES—I honestly cannot believe that I am writing these words. It just seems like less than 2 months ago we were talking about that mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, well; it has transpired again, this time at a high school in Santa Fe, Texas. A student unleashed gunfire on May 18 killing 9 students and one teacher. I just don’t understand it anymore; I am simply finding it near impossible to talk about these ongoing issues without wondering where are we headed as a country when we’re not able to protect our children? It is becoming a major realization that the school nowadays is a dangerous place for our kids.
And this is not to just point the finger at the mass shootings taking place at high schools, college campuses and places of employment across the country, we’re seeing the level of bomb threats or school shootings significantly increase across the board. That concerns me greatly because it seems nearly impossible for youngsters to grasp the concept that making a false threat about a school shooting or bomb threat is no laughing matter to say the least.
I’ve gone at length in a previous column discussing the massive problems with this phenomenon. Kids seem to think it’s a joke, but in the end no one is left laughing, not even them. Why? Authorities are taking those matters so seriously that they are delivering fierce consequences to the teens and rightfully so. I’m so sick and tired of hearing these lame excuses that it was just a joke or the person never had any intent of doing such a thing. Well if that is the case, why the hell would you do it in the first place? This goes back to my notion that the parents have to step in and due their diligence on whatever extracurricular activities their child might be up to.
The world of social media has become way too prevalent in our society and as a result it is directly impacting everyone. However, this is where the notion that it might be time to start cracking down on the usage of such outlets becomes a matter of extreme importance. I heard someone bring up a vital point about this trend of school shootings: the warning signs are there, but for reasons many of us cannot fathom, we are missing them. Why? Why is that? Are we not really taking a close look at people’s social media pages? Yes, but at the same time, should we become the social media police to fix a problem that frankly we are becoming far too desensitized to?
I don’t have the precise answer to that, but I do know something has to be done because I don’t like the notion of watching the news once a week, or once a month and having to hear about the latest school shooting and then returning back to normalcy. That is how the psychology of things have transpired in our country; we’ve come to expect such violence, and then with the snap of a finger after digesting what has occurred, we’re back to our lives as if nothing has transpired.
I mean the Sante Fe shooting occurred on Friday, and the big news story of the weekend was the nuptials of Prince Harry and American actress Meghan Markle. Doesn’t something seem wrong there? It does, but that is how our country operates, we like to focus our energy on things that are not negative, that are not depressing, but we need to take a step back and ask ourselves, what are we doing to solve such a heavy problem?
We’ve talked about the issue of gun control and limitations for years it seems, if the Sandy Hook massacre can’t get people to open their eyes to the issues in front of us, I don’t think anything will to be honest. I did see something on the news regarding a statement someone echoed about their being too many entrances and exits that allowed the recent shooting to transpire. That may have been the stupidest thing I’ve heard in years. Really? Why would you even say something so disrespectful to the families of the victims killed? If you can’t address the issue straight ahead or if you’re afraid to do so, just shut up.
I guess the question that continues to haunt me more than anything is when are we going to really take a look at what is staring us in the face and find a way to solve the problem? We need to have more conversations about school shootings, bullying, students with violent tendencies or those who have made threats via social media outlets. If you see someone posting disturbing videos or messages that leave one to question what they may be up to, that is something that we should not ignore. As a country we owe it to our young people to ensure they are protected and safe when they enter the classroom. The sad notion is that in today’s time, that does not seem to be the case, and if your child is afraid to go to school with the recent news events that have transpired in the past 5 years could you actually blame them?