I certainly don’t want to use this space to preach or be political or anything but there was yet another school shooting and as usual I have spent many hours pondering and worrying about it. We should stop being surprised when this happens. It is going to continue to happen regularly. When I was going through a very tough time as a teenager, an adult that I looked up to said that he wouldn’t be a teenager again for any amount of money. He said it was so hard to be a teenager and he understood what I was going through. I promised myself that I would never forget just how much it sucked to be a teenager.
People say that kids have it easy, they don’t have the responsibilities of adults, they don’t pay bills or work horrible jobs. That is true; what is also true is that they have a stunning lack of self-confidence, they have fear and they have a limited grasp on many of the situations they face. They have no control and no one listens to them. They are told by popular culture to be sexual and sophisticated and smart, they are lambasted from the other side for for being such. In their fear and confusion, they lash out at each other by fighting and name calling and teasing. It gives them power to see someone react to the mean things they have said. When you are mocked and teased and hurt so consistently, you will have to lash out eventually. Sometimes they lash out with a gun and they do it at their school. The idea has been planted so firmly in the psyche of teenagers that it becomes a viable option. If a gun was not so readily accessible in their lives they would not be able to use them. Sure, there are other weapons they could use, but none that are as efficient and deadly. They don’t even have to get close to their victim, they dont have to expend any effort except to point and squeeze.
Can we eliminate the guns from this place? No. Ours is not a country built on reason and we don’t have a long standing tradition of thinking things through. I don’t have any reasonable solutions here except that we really should remember that teenagers are not mini adults and shouldn’t be treated like adults but like teenagers.