With the many shootings which have happened, such as the Jonesboro, Parkland, and Santa Fe school massacres, it has been placed on my heart to write about something which needs to be discussed but, sadly, isn’t by many. It should be no surprise that bullying is almost always a factor in the uptick of school shootings, which have plagued our country for the last twenty years. Before we go any further, let me remind you that being bullied, no matter how severe, is absolutely no excuse for taking human lives, and I would never condone such an action!
However, many shooters have been victims of bullying, who were pushed to the breaking point. They finally snapped after many years of relentless and repetitive abuse by their peers and being rebuffed by school staff in their attempts to report bullying incidences and get help. Therefore, they resort to bringing a gun to school and leaving death and mayhem in their wake! The shooters then turn the gun on themselves to avoid prison, and the end result is that families and loved ones on both sides and entire communities are left devastated!
One such example is the Columbine Shooting in April of 1999. I have read many articles about this particular case. It was stated by many experts that the perpetrators, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, had for years been bullied outcasts, who’d only gotten fed up with the continuous negative treatment and finally went into a rage and lashed out, as have so many other victims since then. Again, I cannot stress enough how wrong and counterproductive bringing a gun to school really is, much less using it to shoot people! However, I believe there is something we’re missing here- the issue of mental health and bullying, which often leads to these tragedies.
Before the pandemic, school shootings had become so common that they’d become a political issue and fodder for the agendas of both the left and the right wings, with the left pushing for gun control and the right’s push to arm teachers and tighten school security. Although these certainly are legitimate issues that need to be addressed before the end of the pandemic and schools are fully functional again, it seems that almost no one is discussing the root cause of these shootings- bullying and/or mental health.
I believe that “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”! Perhaps if we reach these bullied and at-risk youth and show them that they are not alone and that they matter just like everyone else, we will be able to save them from the possibility of becoming violent and, ultimately, bring down these horribly high statistics! I will explain this in more detail in part two.