We wish we had the answer to this question. We need the best and brightest minds to focus on preventing another school shooting. We need to fix it now . . . not tomorrow, not next school year, and certainly not after it happens again.
Every article out there suggests a different approach, such as securing schools like airports, giving teachers and staff defense weapons, strengthening gun laws, lessening violence in the media/video games, enforcing zero tolerance for threats, etc. The problem is that not one of these solutions is immediate. Tomorrow we will send our children off to school with the real risk of them being shot and killed. That is not a risk parents should be willing to take. We need to take immediate action.
One drastic solution suggests that parents ban together around the nation and remove their children from the threat by boycotting schools. Then what? Will we have to boycott movie theaters, concert venues, walking on crowded streets? The threat is everywhere.
Another drastic solution suggests that we deter any future mass shooters by implementing zero tolerance. We swiftly and concisely make an example of this latest shooter using capital punishment without trial. Then what? What about the shooters who take their own lives?
Unfortunately, there seems to be no quick fix. Our society created this problem over decades and it may take that long to remedy. If you think about it, it’s not hard to understand why teens are killing other teens in schools. Here’s a very simplistic explanation:
Jacob gets his first toy gun at age five. He pretends to shoot and kill his little sister.
Jacob starts playing video games with his friends at age 8. He virtually shoots and kills his friends online.
Jacob, who now goes by Jake because it sounds more tough, plays paintball/airsoft/laser tag at age 10 and runs around physically shooting and virtually killing other players. He also becomes an avid action-movie buff and watches his Hollywood idols kill each other on screen.
Jake joins a sports team at school at age 12 and is taught by his coaches to embody the characteristics of a warrior; be strong, brave and relentless. His father also takes him out to the gun range to learn how to use a gun, so they can do some father-son deer hunting.
Jake is addicted to social media at age 13 and watches inappropriate and violent videos on a daily basis …. maybe even an hourly basis. He also listens to music with lyrics that literally glamourize shooting and killing other human beings.
Jake is bullied at school at age 15 and he thinks about killing his oppressors because that is all he knows. He no longer makes the distinction between reality and virtual reality. The other students are just like the enemies in his games. He kills them, and he wins the game.
It does not take a rocket-scientist to understand why Jake commits a mass shooting at school. He has very little positive influence in his life. Everything he is taught, everything he experiences and everything in his personal reality makes it seem ok to commit such a heinous act.
We have become a violent, rude, society where absolutely nothing is off-limits. Religious institutions, social reform movements, and self-help websites like this one have been warning the public about the dangers of modern media in our society. We have been constantly touting the need for change, but not enough people are listening. We have to start somewhere, and we have to start NOW.