To the Editor:
This letter is a followup to my last letter about school shootings. I’m sure many readers are just as interested as I am as to what would make seemingly normal kids turn into cold-blooded killers.
After a recent Killeen City Council meeting, I sat down with Killeen’s police chief, Chuck Kimble, to ask him if the FBI had interviewed surviving shooters to find out what motivated them to carry out their attacks.
The FBI compiles statistics from all around the country. It makes sense that they would also be interested in the shooter’s motives. One would think so, but that’s not the case.
Chief Kimble told me that the FBI has no interest in motives, just statistics. What? How are we supposed to learn from these events about how to prevent future shootings?
For quite some time, readers have wondered whether bullying played a role in the school shootings. It makes sense. Kids, pushed to the limits, could be capable of such actions.
I started thinking back. Bullying is nothing new. I remembered that over quite a few years, students who were severely bullied didn’t hurt or kill others. They sadly took their own lives.
No one knew the hell these kids were going through until it was too late.
Was this what was happening now, only in proactive mode? Kids saying, “I’ve had enough but I’m not taking my life; I’m taking yours!” Frustration and rage released. I’m no Dr. Phil, but it sounds reasonable.
The problem is, nothing could be further from the truth. The shootings in Maryland were done by a high school boy who had a crush on a female classmate. She wasn’t interested.
He figured, “if I can’t have you, no one will have you.” He shot her first, then a male friend. A quick-thinking police officer ended it there.
At Santa Fe High School, the shooter was just a hate-filled young man with no regard for human life. He had no trouble killing 10 and wounding 10 more but ran out of steam when it came time to take his own life.
I’m sure a review of all school shootings would reveal that none of the shooters were victims, just mean, self-absorbed individuals who played too many violent video games.
For many years, from Alaska to Texas, young men have owned guns. They carried them in gun racks in their trucks, unlocked. They were used for hunting, not settling scores.
Differences were settled after school with bare fists. When it was over, the two usually became friends.
Today, it is more important than ever that parents discover who their children really are. Spotting problems now and addressing them before more lives are lost.