June 27, 2017

When The Mass Shootings Will Stop

mass shootingsBy Julie Samrick

As I sit stunned and heartbroken with the rest of America, my prayers so strongly with the people of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut that I get an irrepressible lump in my throat every time I think of them, I’ve also been thinking about 13 years ago when the first American school shooting occurred in Columbine, Colorado, and how that news forever changed our country. That terrible day also opened the door for many more violent rampages. When will the mass shootings stop?

 

Since Columbine, these mass shooting rampages are happening with more frequency and on a larger scale they’re reflective of what’s going on in my very own small community.

 

You see, the  high school my own children are supposed to attend in a few short years has had three suicides in less than one year.  I asked the mother of a current student there just this week about what the tone has been like at the school since this has all happened. I expected her to say the teens are mostly shell-shocked or even that they’re transferring from the school in droves.

 

No, she said, “What’s scary is they’re becoming desensitized to the violence. It’s become a way of life, a new normal to them.”

 

Is this what’s going on in America as well? Each time a shooting massacre happens we stop for a while, grieve, and then move on.  School shootings have happened so regularly they aren’t given as much attention as before. It wasn’t until the Aurora theater shooting last summer that the different circumstances (that it happened at a movie premiere in a crowded theater) gave us pause.  And with the latest school massacre in Connecticut the stakes have been raised once again, shocking us into attention because most of the victims were so young- tiny, elementary school children this time. Will these tragedies have to keep getting worse to keep our attention?

 

Another friend whose son goes to our city’s high school told me kids are even picking up new phrases since last January when the first suicide occurred.  “Why don’t you go kill yourself?!” is a common taunt heard on campus today, when it would have been unheard of to hear a decade ago. It makes sense, though- violent death has become a part of these kids’ world, so it’s now entered their realm of possibility just as we’re seeing with copycat murderers who go on these shooting sprees.

 

I don’t profess to be an expert. I’m not a police officer, a detective, or even a licensed psychologist.  I’m just a mother who is doing the best I can to raise four young children today.  I do see that some trends are evident, however. For instance, the perpetrators of these crimes are almost always male who, if not plain evil, have suffered with depression that has turned inward into rage for years.   Working with sad boys and troubled young men is where we need to begin working to stop these tragedies, not by making more laws.

 

 Related post: Kids Need Our Guidance, Not More Legislation

 

 Julie Samrick is the mother of four young children and the founder of Kid Focused.

 

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Comments

  1. Ann Van De Water says:

    While I certainly agree that we should helped troubled boys, more laws regarding gun-control WILL help. Twenty six lives were lost because a troubled youth had easy access to his own mother’s semi-automatic guns. Had he not had such easy access the situation he caused probably would not have happened to that extreme. There is NO reason people in our country should be able to buy these weapons. If a person wants to hunt, buy a rifle. If a person wants to buy a handgun to protect oneself from a possible intruder, a shotgun will do the job. If a person is at war, he or she can be given a weapon that will fire 20 plus bullets without reloading is necessary. There is just no reason a non-miltary American citizen should be able to purchase such a weapon.

  2. Ann Van De Water says:

    I meant to write handgun in place of shotgun. I am obviously not a gun enthusiast.

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