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  • Writer's pictureKaren L

Another Shooting, Another Week with a Thoughtless Leader

Updated: Nov 22, 2019

I feel angry and sad that we have a President who does not care a whit about anything of value, and there are so many kids who shoot up their schools. We only hear about the actual shootings. Certainly, there are potential events that are averted. Several years back, the President's wife wore a jacket that said "I don't care". She claimed it was a brand logo or design. I think this sentiment is where my thoughts come together--caring for others, seeing what is front of us.

     How can "we" not notice these disturbed people? There must be someone who observed something off-kilter with the youth, who killed his peers and himself, but was afraid or just did not think to delve further. I think there is a certain prototype of individual that engages in these shootings, acts of violence and cowardice. I hope the Psychologists are studying this awful phenomenon. The perpetrators are actually not mentally ill or sick with a major mental illness, according to experts. Rather, very unhealthy emotionally bereft people who have access to firearms. Often, there is a history of gun use in the immediate environment. For example, this kid's father was an avid,"big game" hunter and abusive to his wife. 

     Obviously, we are missing something as a society. Often, the youngsters, mostly boys, are very smart and quiet. These kids do not receive much attention in school. Probably, their parent(s), teachers, and coaches are overlooking aberrant behavior, since the child is not causing trouble. Our society is obsessed with "bright" kids, so smart and depressed, disturbed children go unnoticed. Neighbors, friends, and teachers are afraid to communicate concern to parents for various reasons--legal, discomfort, fearful of reaction from parents, reluctance to get involved. 

     This teenager was a model student/youth, so that is not where the problem lies in this case. Violent computer and video games and movies seem to contribute to gun violence, but research does not support this theory. Spending time alone, staring at a computer screen for hours, must be harmful for a developing brain.

"When people assail me. They shall stumble and fall." (Psalm 27)

     Perhaps, we are living in a time where God, a higher power, or Life is drawing our focus to evil, in the form of individuals who facilitate and committ senseless acts of violence. Maybe, we have been lollygagging and skipping along, consuming new devices, wearing new styles, traveling, eating/drinking, reading and not paying heed to what is happening in our own backyards. We are so busy praising children that we forget that admonishing them may be more important. Everyone on their phones, including babies, leads to a clueless society. So does worrying about the consequences of hurting people's feelings and saying something unpopular. We have a lawless leader, fearful legislators, indulgent parents, and celebrities committing unforgivable acts, for which they receive minimal punishment.

     Your friends may be nice to you. But how do you and they behave on the road, in a line, at a store, at the movies, in a park? Adults with their heads down and kids with hoods up and earphones in cannot communicate or give eye contact. Let us look up and tune in to the sounds around us, as we walk and drive. I notice a great deal. I see flowers. I pick up trash, look at abandoned packages, and watch those around me--I have always been an observer.

     Family and community connections and polite manners are vital for a caring society. Young people need to learn to respect their elders. Elders cannot be constantly complaining and demanding that life goes their way. Times change; nothing is or will be like it was. Kids are loud and messy and disruptive to peace and quiet. Teenagers move in groups, like packs of stray dogs. We forget that we caused a ruckus in our time. I see parents carrying their children's backpacks. What the hell is that? Young help old, not the other way around. It is nature and common sense. I always make my daughter carry the heavier loads. She is stronger.

"God will hide me in God's shelter in the day of trouble; God will conceal me under the cover of God's tent' God will set me high on a rock." (Psalm 27)

I pray that we return to a time when we no longer need police officers to guard us at schools and at religious, sports, political, transportation, and government venues. I hope for a time when I no longer look for escape routes or see grand pianos as something to hide under when I am in the choir loft. I hope for the day when we feel at least a bit safer and secure.

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