I saw a story on the news earlier today about a thwarted school massacre in Georgia. I was at work and not really able glean all of the details because they were sketchy at the time. I’d only heard that the gunman was in custody and that no children were harmed. I said a prayer for those folks that were fortunate enough to not have to endure losing a child to violence.
A little later, I got to listen to the woman that pretty much single-handed got this 20 year old man that came into the school office and demanded this secretary call the local news station so that they could “film him killing” children. He came in with an assault rifle and the woman got this kid to listen to her and eventually, put his weapon down and give himself up to the authorities. She said she’d talked to him and commiserated with his feelings about being angry. She also shared a recent personal tragedy with him. After watching this story on the news, I cried. I saw the interviews of some of the parents that had gone to the school to pick up their children; the worry, the distress and the fear. I can only imagine the anguish they felt on the ride to the school.
I watched another story from North Carolina of 3 young “men” – teenagers, that were “bored” and randomly chose a jogger to shoot to relieve that boredom. The young man they killed was a student – a visitor to our country from Australia. I’m horrifed and disturbed by their act and the callousness of it. I’m sure these teens parents are facing the realization that the parents of the Australian student are facing: Their lives are over. His very promising career and life was snuffed out by 3 people that apparently had no appreciation for human life.
How does this mindset happen? Is this mental illness? What kind of disconnect with the world do you have to have in order for you feel justified in taking a strangers life? I can’t say that I’ve never been mad enough at someone to think about killing them. Believe me, I’ve been beyond pissed at a couple of folks that I would have been just fine with never seeing again. I thought about it and realized that relying on karma to dole out just punishment would have to do. I don’t look good in orange jumpsuits and I knew my mother would be heartbroken. Makes me wonder who’s teaching this kids? What are they teaching them about their fellow man? I just can’t wrap my brain around the fact that there are people – young people that want to kill someone that hasn’t done anything to them – because they have nothing better to do? Or, thinks that they are best able to prove a point by killing innocent children? Both acts are sick, callous and disturbing. These are only two stories that were on the news today. Without a doubt, there were countless more that we didn’t hear about. This has got to be a sickness.
I know that there are times that as children, we sometimes see and are victims of things that we do not speak about. Things that we don’t tell anyone about for various reasons. No doubt, there are children that you’ve either grown up with, known since childhood, perhaps have children of your own that have experienced things that shape how they see the world and how the world sees them. I’m praying that people will look at their children and teenagers with a more critical eye. That they start talking to their kids to find out how they see the world, fellow man and their own place in it. The young men from these two stories obviously didn’t see a place for themselves and had no compassion for their fellow man. We need to wake up. These may not be our children today, but the thing about sickness is it spreads – and it spreads quickly, especially when it’s allowed to run unchecked among children.