Its been a couple of days since the Santa Fe High School shooting, and three months since the last known high school shooting in America. Of course, tons of people, including my friends, are taking to FaceBook once again to “discuss” their stance on the gun debate. I choose not to discuss my views on that platform since discussing is probably not on my friend’s agenda, and it would more or less be berating and making me feel like I’m a deranged, gun-loving lunatic.
I understand that this particular community is taking a completely different approach than what their Floridian partners have done. So far, I haven’t heard of any organized protests (although I know that are a few people who have decided to peacefully protest) or that these Texans are ready to jump the gun-ban bandwagon. It would actually be more of a surprise if Texans suddenly became readily available to dispose of their guns like that. Instead of getting angry about it, it seems like the community just wants time to grieve and heal their wounds. Then talk more about the issue at hand. Its human nature for people to lash out when they’ve been hurt or something precious has been taken from them, and I understand why it’s so emotional after every mass murder. However, when we’re full of anger, we can’t think clearly. So I have full respect for this community on how they’re handling the situation. They shouldn’t be criticized on the way they choose to do things since everyone goes through greivance differently.
This community taking its time to discuss the gun-debate issue is not what makes it weird, its whats being reported on the news. I’ve seen articles about how one of the victims were potentially targeted because she turned down and publicly humiliated the gunman a few days before the shooting occurred. Yet, there are counter articles stating that the gunman did not “recognize” the name of this said victim. Further, the gunman’s attorney goes on to state that the victim’s mother is said to be estranged from her daughter, therefore there is questioning about whether or not this fact holds some truth. Are estranged parents using these dark times to gain some sort of attention through their “loss,” or are attornies making claims in ways to attack those that are attacking their client? In the same article, it states that when the gunman was asked about her specific name, he was not familiar with who she was. The same article paints a picture that the gunman is, in a sense, delusional to what has recently happened and incapable of comprehending his actions. Basically, he could be playing the mentally insane card, or he truely is mentally insane.
Many articles have stated that the shooter allegedly kept certain people he liked alive so that they could go on to share his “story.” Honestly, it seems like the gunman is using this horrific event as a means to gain popularity, much like the said estranged mother of a victim. At that point, it seems to be apparent that now, our younger generation seems to equate popularity with doing something tragic like school shootings in order to be famous. Can we please stop using the gunman’s name when reporting shooting events like this? Also, again, as basic human tendencies, we are more inclined in wanting to hear a criminal’s punishments after committing a crime. We are just nosey. However, the fact that now everyone wants to know who this kid is, it gives him some sort of popularity, even though that is not your attention. Lets focus more on the victims and how we can support the survivors. “Highly notable” news agencies are also reaching out to the gunman’s family to get a few words out about his overall character. It doesn’t matter how he was as an individual before. He committed a crime, therefore he should be punished appropriately. Prior “good behavior” should never be taken into account when events like this occur.
All in all, this recent shooting is confusing on many levels. While the Florida shooting publicly screamed about tougher gun laws and more restrictions on preventing guns landing in the “wrong” hands (by the way, the underground market is really a thing, too), parents who are also gun owners should really be cognizent on locking up their firearms and ammunition. Collectively, we should be aware of the way we store our weapons and whether or not our kids have access to it, because it seems like that’s how kids are able to bring weapons to school… But nonetheless, if kids are wanting to hurt their classmates, they will find a way, and it doesn’t always involve using a gun.