OK. I don’t have anything snarky to say today. And I’ll forgo my generally lame attempts at humor. I’m extremely saddened and troubled by the shootings at Chardon High School yesterday. And this is a tragedy that strikes home more so than other similar school shootings elsewhere in the country — mainly because it did happen close to home. That somehow makes it real and personal, more so than just watching reports on national TV.
As it stands now, two students are dead and three remain hospitalized with gunshot wounds — and with the trauma of surviving an experience that most certainly will remain with them forever.
One unanswered question is why? And the temptation now is to speculate about the shooter: a loner, someone who was bullied, an at-risk young person barely hanging on in our education system and so on. Or basically a good, quiet kid who hadn’t been in any trouble previously. We’ll see. And we’ll see if there are clues from Facebook posts, Tweets and so on that might provide a guide for preventing these shootings in the future. (See post in The Daily Mail, “‘Die All of You’: The Rantings of Ohio School Gunman Posted Weeks Before Brutal Cafeteria Spree as Second Classmate Dies.”
And another question: why here? Why in Chardon, a small community 30 miles east of Cleveland that most view as being a residential area without the problems or violence associated with large urban areas? The answer: this kind of tragedy can happen anywhere. All it takes is one person with a weapon and a grievance, real or imagined.
So I know that we’ll embark now on the mandatory navel-gazing about the need for stricter gun control — and the benefits of turning our schools into fortresses where students enter and exit by way of weapons screening devices and metal detectors.
Better that parents pay attention to what their sons and daughters are saying and doing. And that applies to the hours and hours young people (and just about everybody else) spend these days online and on smart phones and so on.
We also need to pay more attention to the problem of bullying. This strikes me as a situation getting worse, not better, mostly because of social media. Here’s an informative website.
And I can’t stop thinking about the parents, friends and other family members of the dead and wounded children. Imagine saying goodbye to your son or daughter as they leave for school in the morning — and then hear the words later in the day that they have been killed or wounded by a shooter in the cafeteria.
What a tragedy.
And one that yesterday struck close to home.