Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Another mass shooting

with 2 comments

He planned, after killing 5 family members, to go to the nearest Walmart and gun down people until he was killed by police.

Story here, with a fair amount of detail.

Written by LeisureGuy

21 January 2013 at 10:00 am

Posted in Daily life, Guns

2 Responses

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  1. Saw this yesterday, then woke up this morning to read about this one: http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/22/justice/nevada-police-murder-suicide/index.html?hpt=hp_t3

    While I have no objection whatsoever to the banning of assault weapons, hi-cap magazines, etc I am VERY concerned that gun restrictions are the primary focus after these shootings. We need to remember that Columbine happened during a AW ban, as proposed by the Democrats, and there was an armed officer assigned to the school, as proposed by the NRA. It seems clear, then, that neither gun restrictions nor putting more guns in schools will adequately address the issue.

    I am in no way suggesting that we should not impose a ban on assault weapons- however I think it should be looked at as only a small part of the process our society needs to go through to address this.

    I graduated high school in 1999, the same year as the Columbine killers would have. I was luck- my parents were able to take me out of the large public high school I attended Freshman year, and send me to a small private school. That said, my freshman year in a large school much like Columbine was pure misery. Though I could never condone the terrible crimes committed by Eric Harris, Dylan Klebold, Adam Lanza, and those like them, I can understand where the rage comes from. I’ve been pushed around, bullied, and mistreated for not know what color shirt to wear, or being on the football team. As I said, I was one of the lucky ones- even at 15 I was over 6 feet tall and pushing 175lbs. Those who were smaller did not fare so well. The teachers didn’t do anything to stop the abuse- because they were rewarded for having the sports kids do well in their classes so they could go on to wow everyone of Friday night.

    There can never been any justification for murder. I’m not trying to excuse it, but I feel that as a society we have an obligation to try to understand what drove these kids to kill. And though there is nothing we can do to save Eric, Dylan, Adam, or any of their victims, we CAN work to create an environment where children feel safe at school, and are allowed to pursue their talents and interests without fear of retribution from those who have a higher social position.

    I recently had an opportunity to spend some time at a local high school. It was, frankly, a bit depressing. In the nearly 14 years since I graduated, there have been huge advances in technology. The school has wifi everywhere, each student has a laptop and access to some of the finest technology our society has to offer. Yet in many of the ways that count, nothing has changed. As I walked through the halls at a class change, I saw the smaller kids slammed into lockers, heard racial and ethnic slurs hurled by teenagers, and noted that often the “jocks” would scream derogatory comments insinuating that anyone not involved in sports was “gay” (though they used a much more unpleasant word). Through it all, now just as when I was in school, the teachers and administrators watched and smiled, saying things to the effect of “boys will be boys”

    It’s truly sad that one of the few places in our “modern” society where it is still acceptable to hold prejudice against people based on their race, sexual orientation, or ethnic background is in our schools, where we are supposed to be shaping the next generation. I was especially troubled by the number of teachers I saw who are roughly my age- it seems that even those who lived through the same situations I did as a teenager, now in positions of authority, lack the courage and decency needed to make a change.

    Jeff Beyea

    22 January 2013 at 6:22 am

  2. Gun restrictions are only part of the solution. I think such restrictions ultimately can help, based on the few mass killings we see in nations that have strictly enforced gun restrictions, but I certainly agree that a moral education and a way to impart empathy will ultimately do more. It’s a tricky issue, the teaching of virtue—the opening question of Plato’s dialogue “Meno” is the question of whether virtue can be taught, or comes to one by nature, or some other way. But we don’t seem to be seriously addressing that issue, and surely modern behavioral psychology could contribute. Our educational system, is resistant to change and is organized in a way (control by local school boards) to make change difficult. Moreover, we are watching public education being defunded and dismantled with teachers demeaned and their unions vilified, while their pay is forced ever lower. I don’t see the US as capable at the present time of truly addressing this problem—along with many others.

    LeisureGuy

    22 January 2013 at 8:11 am


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