It's a really bad week to work in a school, and it's an even worse week to be a middle school student or the parents of one. Another child was caught with a gun this week. This time he was 11 and brought it to his Washington middle school -- along with 400 rounds of ammunition and several knives. The boy, whose name is not being released, is being held in a juvenile detention center on an attempted murder charge after police responded to calls yesterday morning from the school reporting that a shooter was in the building. Both Pioneer Middle School and the nearby elementary school were on lockdown for two hours. And that brings the total number of gun-related or incredibly violent incidents involving young teens and kids at school to four -- in four days.
According to police, the boy has said that he brought the knives and loaded gun to school in order to protect a friend who was being bullied. It was also reported that the child said he heard voices in his head telling him to kill the bully, but that his plan was to shoot the other student in the arm and then put a bullet in his own head. Holy cow. I can't even imagine what it feels like to hear that your son made this statement.
School officials became aware of the weapons the boy was carrying after his mother reportedly called them early in the morning to say that she feared her son may have brought kitchen knives with him to school. Thank the lord she was on the ball enough to notice before her child killed someone's else son.
But just where he obtained the gun and ammo is still a mystery.
This horrifying report comes on the heels of other deplorable acts of violence this week, including the Sparks Middle School shooting, in which a teen fatally shot his teacher and himself and wounded two students, the brutal murder of a Massachusetts middle school math teacher by one of her students, and the fatal shooting of a 13-year-old in California after cops suspected the realistic-looking pellet gun he was carrying was a real weapon.
At this point I'm not sure what we should be most frightened about: the fact that young people are filled with so much rage and aren't thinking twice about killing others? Or the insane access to guns that they seem to have? An argument can be made that a violent and disturbed child -- as in the Massachusetts case -- doesn't need a gun to kill. I agree.
But having a gun certainly makes it easier to kill a whole lot of people at once, doesn't it? We aren't going to be able to tackle every child's anger issues tomorrow, and -- frustratingly -- we can't ensure that every parent who legally owns a gun is responsible and locks it up. But we can and should be enforcing stricter gun laws. And we aren't -- and it's just shameful. It's embarrassing and infuriating that gun control didn't become a priority after the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School and it becomes even more of a disgrace with every act of gun violence we continue to witness at schools. The time to do something has long passed.
How do you feel about stricter gun control regulations?
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