No easy answers to school shootings

By BRENT MAZE,

This week, there’s a good chance that every person in America has an opinion on why we had the deadliest shooting at a grade school in U.S. history.

Many are wondering why we’re approaching the number of U.S. school shootings since the turn of the century that we saw in the entire 20th century. They blame it on bullying, how the younger generation is so much worse than older generations and how schools are easy targets.

Some say the schools didn’t do enough to prevent it because the shooter had too easy of access to the school hallways. Others also say that it doesn’t matter how much security you have, you can never be prepared for every instance.

Many ask God why he would allow such a thing to happen while others blame our society for trying to push God out of our daily lives.

Some people say that our lax gun regulations are to blame while others say that having more guns on school property might have averted the situation.

We talk about bullying and saying that teachers and administrators need to stop it, but then we go on social media and effectively bully others that don’t agree with our opinions.

Some say we need to do something about mental illness, yet we won’t support representatives that are willing to raise taxes to be able to fund programs that we need.

Then I ask, have the number of school shootings really increased or is it that we have coverage of those incidents in remote areas? With the proliferation of the 24-hour news cycle, Internet and social media, people are now seeing news stories from places that you once would never have known about before. Regular citizens can even become reporters by firing up their live Facebook or Periscope streams.

We’re all angry. We’re angry at the shooter. We’re angry at the school and first responders for not being able to save more lives. We’re angry at Washington for either doing too much or too little gun control.

We’re angry about news agencies being unfair or unbalanced in their reporting of the issue. We’re also angry that we’ve seen too much coverage of it too.

We’re all wanting to point blame at something. We want to do something to bring these 17 victims back, but it doesn’t work that way.

In many ways, everyone is right, but then again, everyone is wrong too. And that includes me too. If we truly don’t want to see more school shootings, it’s going to take everyone coming together. No one side has all the right answers, but then again no one side also has all the wrong answers.

Perhaps there’s something that everyone can do to help with the problem. Perhaps, gun rights activists need allow some gun restrictions to happen while the gun control camp allows schools to seek teachers to volunteer who would be willing to respond in the event of an active shooter situation.

Before parents blame administrators for bullying that occurs on and off campus, perhaps we need to look at ourselves in the mirror and ask if we have condoned or participated in bullying, especially on social media. Schools should increase security measures, but we can’t go so far as to make our learning environments feel like prisons.

We need to lose the stigma of mental illness and we need to try to do our part to help those agencies that are providing worthwhile services to special needs children and adults.

Before we start to condemn our society for being ungodly, perhaps we need to make sure that we are sharing love with our neighbors and trying to love the people in our community.

If we do it right, we can have a win-win situation where we preserve our liberties but secure our schools. We can begin to end the culture of bullying and then give people facing mental illness the help they need.

And when we show love to our neighbors, perhaps we allow God an opportunity to show up in our society.

Contact Brent at bmaze@-newtoncountyappeal.com.

Obituaries

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