I’ll let that sink in for a moment.
The good news is that he probably won’t go through with it. The other good news is that, statistically speaking, he’s probably not your kid. (I sometimes wonder if the fear that parents have regarding these events has less to do with their children being victims and more to do with their children being perpetrators. It’s one thing to lose your child to an act of violence, but quite another to lose your child and have him remembered as dogshit.)
The bad news is that we really don’t know who he is or where he is. This is a large country with roughly 340 million souls, so it’s less a needle in a haystack than it is a grain in a desert. This means that as I type this – as you are reading it – someone is planning something terrible, and we do not even know it.
In the aftermath of any event such as the Marjorie Stoneman shooting, there is always a silly outcry for political solutions such as banning the AR-15 or, God help us, arming public school teachers. (Seriously, cut that shit out.) This strikes me as an all too human and altogether unproductive response to a problem that has been overanalyzed in the wrong direction.
The fact is that there are enough of these incidents happening to tell us that a lot more kids are thinking about something similar. I would go so far as to say that on some level we should be surprised not so much that these things happen, but that they don’t happen more often. It’s an uncomfortable thing to think about American children, but for some reason the symptoms, including ridiculous AstroTurf marches (which are indirectly taxpayer-funded, by the way,) receive most of the media coverage.
Hell, there’s a decent chance that the next time it happens, the kid who carries it out will have attended one of these rallies.
Many kids simply don’t have the means to carry out such an event, but I would also suggest that most, for reasons that have so far gone unexplored, have some kind of hope, however small, that life does not end with high school.
If you’re feeling a little bit unsettled right now, for whatever reason, then this post has been successful.