I've done a lot of hockey blogs lately (duh - playoffs!!), but today I've decided to write about something else, believe it or not.
Yesterday, as you probably already know, there was another school shooting in the U.S. at Virginia Tech. This one was the worst in U.S. history, with 32 dead (last I heard), including the gun man, who was VT student. Everyone always remembers the Columbine shooting in Colorado in the late '90's - well, this one was much, much worse.
School shootings always kind of hit me in the gut everytime I hear about them. There are so many tragedies around the world every day, that we hear about in the papers and on the TV and radio. Wars. Natural disasters. Genocide. Mass murders. But for me, hearing about a troubled young person opening fire on their peers amidst the "safe walls" of a school - it always makes me stop and wonder, What the hell is the world coming to??
Reactions here at the office as the news broke were varied. One person said, "Oh well, just another one. Until the Americans get better gun control laws, this is what they can expect." Another said, "The worst part of these school shootings is that the coward always ends up putting the gun to his own head. I wish one of those freaks wouldn't get the chance to take his own life, and that he could be locked up in a room with the parents of the kids he killed, and let them exact their own justice." Yet another said, "Makes me wonder why I brought kids into this world. It's a scary, screwed-up place."
It's hard to argue with any of those statements. Tragedies like this always bring up the same topics of discussion - gun control laws, retribution, the state of the world. What scares me the most is that each time this happens, I'm reminded that there are some twisted kids out there who are able to take weapons into their schools and open fire on their classmates. In the aftermath, there are always people - family members, teachers, and friends - who come forwards and say, "I never would have predicted this. He was a quiet kid, very shy, very unthreatening."
So how are we supposed to know who the bad guys are? How are we supposed to know when someone's going to snap, at school or in the workplace? How are we supposed to differentiate between the good, happy-go-lucky people, and the ones who can be pushed over the edge and blow us all away?
When I think too much about it, it terrifies me. Schools are supposed to be safe. Since Columbine, they all have better security systems, and in the States, many even have gun checks at the doors. There are cameras and lockdowns and guards and drills.
So why does this keep happening?