Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Cleveland Shooting. Why?

News of yet another high school shooting. This time a 14 year old gunman, apparently upset about being suspended for fighting earlier this week, came to the school with a gun in each hand and began firing.
I don't want to get into a debate about the American gun laws, that argument gets an airing with every alarming occurrence, what i find so shocking is what state of mind these kids are in that they see arming themselves and killing innocent people as way of revenge.
What is it that makes a person explode with such violence and without thought for his fellow human beings that he will grab a weapon and start shooting?
Drugs? Upbringing? Culture? Stress? Gangs? Media? Video games? Access to Guns? Music?
It is an age-old nature V nurture debate whether these killers are simply bad human beings or that their actions can be linked to a corrosive influence.
I strongly believe rather than being born bad, we are shaped by our surroundings, our influences and experiences. The idea that we are somehow creating humans with such little regard to their own life and that of others and whose first answer to life's difficulties is to blow away as many of his fellow students as possible before he is blown away himself, deeply unnerving and horrifying.


Paula said...

I'm sure there will be loads of people gibbering their pop-psychology over this, but I'm okay admitting I have no idea why this happens. Many people have bad/sad experiences, yet they don't resort to shooting sprees. Kids get disciplined all the time at our school -- there was a 3-day suspension the other day for forging a parking permit. Why isn't that kid shooting up the school? What makes some people better able to cope with disappointment and humiliation?

Anonymous said...

I remember when being suspended made you one of the cool kids.

Paula's right, though. By tomorrow, every talking head and columnist will be opining about the cause, which will, coincidently, perfectly fit their personal pet issue, without a care for the fact that it's obviously RIAA lawsuits that are causing it.

Anne said...

coping skills have all-but-disappeared, in we humans.
has anyone else noticed this(growing) phenomenon?

i sure have.

Cody Bones said...

"it's obviously RIAA lawsuits that are causing it."

Thank God someone is talking sense

Stephen K said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stephen K said...

Yes, most kids don't resort to shooting sprees, but some of them do. Why? There has to be a 'why'. Things don't happen in a vacuum. It is in our own interest to discover the why so we can prevent them.

It's true that kids get disciplined frequently, but that's not why school shootings happen. More often than not, its kids who have been bullied lashing out, or kids who have psychological/psychiatric difficulties.

Anonymous said...

"It's true that kids get disciplined frequently"

The exact opposite just could be the problem. Sheriff Andy Taylor may have been voted the #1 Dad in TV history, but he'd be arrested these days for those "whoopins" Opie deserved every now and then. Opie would be in a foster home getting his self esteem built up by any means possible.

Falling on a bruise said...

There must be some common factors running through the list of shooters apart from them all being male but i guess some psychologist would of pointed them out by now if they were that obvious.

Anonymous said...

Besides the fact that death makes the analysis process that much more difficult.

Stephen K said...

This is true. They're usually dead, and usually by their own hands, by the time its over.

Falling on a bruise said...

You don't have to have a living subject to look back at their lives, their influences, their upbringings or their lifestyle. On the news today was a teenager building an arsenal and plotting to perform another massacre so some vital infiormation must be able to be gleaned from him and others who have been stopped.
I will have a hunt around the net and see what i can find.

Anonymous said...

"You don't have to have a living subject to look back at their lives, their influences, their upbringings or their lifestyle. "

Yes, but that will not yield any type of psychoanalysis, only a series of assumptions based on circumstances. This kid they just caught could be helpful in gaining some answers, perhaps, but only because they will be able to interact with him and try to see what's making him tick. Once someone is dead, that isn't going to happen in any real sense.