Upon reading last Sunday’s issue of the Cincinnati Enquirer, then scanning the Editorial Pages my eyes were drawn to thick black letters entitling a column “Time to pick on bullies”.
This editorial of Bill Thompson immediately laid claim that after a school shooting, news follows that the shooter was “bullied” by fellow students. Seeing where this topic was headed, I was intrigued to read on. After a short reminiscent review of how kids used to either tolerate the ridiculer, or as Mr. Thompson wrote, resort to an “old fashioned schoolyard fist fight.” He then began fortifying his stand on the issue. Three schools, which, fell victim to such a crime as a school shooting were used as examples. The first, Santana High School in Santee, California. Secondly he mentioned a Catholic school in Williamsport, Pa. And finally, the school which broke in this sick trend, Columbine High school in Colorado. Now, by this point I was wondering if I had picked the wrong columnist, but out of nowhere I saw his whole case fall apart.
He writes, and I quote, “We are ready, willing, and able to blame the epidemic of school shootings on the right to bare arms, on the shooters parents, on violent music, video games and TV shows. Why don’t we want to place some blame on the bullies who drive these kids to murder?”
It was after reading that statement that I knew I’d picked a winner. I mean, was this guy serious? To place blame on our right to bare arms makes for good sense because it answers the question of how these kids are arming themselves. As for blaming the shooters parents, that topic alone spans the spectrum of parented morality. Our environment growing up whether it is where we live, to how our parents cared for us, all aspects of our childhood good or bad carry with us through life eventually molding us into adults. And when it comes to the level of violence in music, video games, and television that simply boils down to parental decision. The entertainment industry rarely slows its money machine to consider the welfare of its listeners and viewers. To be perfectly honest, I don’t feel it should have to.
These quotes left me even more aggravated at how society is viewing this problem. It’s as though they’re reaching for explanations as to why. Well how will we ever be able to answer that? This epidemic is exactly that, an epidemic. To end an epidemic you must eliminate the host and in this case the host is the schools. Surveillance, guards, weapons detection are all options we as a nation don’t want to admit to. But, these are the times we live in and these times require certain steps to ensure our children’s safety.
In closing, I just felt every example Bill Thompson expressed was not just a cop-out for why mainstream violence has become an epidemic. Every one of them can affect and supply a young impressionable mind with the means to murder. But to say we must now place legal blame on those so-called “bullies” is just madness. We are all individuals capable of making choices. Our laws are made to punish those who chose poorly not our poorly chosen influences.