The Blame Game

The Blame Game
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Well it looks like the FBI is going to end up taking much of the blame for the recent massacre in Florida of children at school, a place kids used to be able to go to be safe. Apparently they got a tip a month before the school shooting that Nicholas Cruz had put up a post on social media that indicated that he wanted to be a school shooter. Someone found his post scary enough to report it to the FBI who did not follow up. This is something that could have been a big mistake; however, if they had gone and talked to the kid, would they have been able to arrest him for a post on social media? We do have free speech here, which is pretty unfortunate sometimes. I’m sure the politicians will be quick to jump on the FBI mistake so they don’t have to look at themselves or their inaction in the wake of the many massacres that have occurred in the last few years.

Although the FBI may bear some of the blame, let’s look at what else is to blame. First of all, guns. Should a 19 year old troubled kid who had been thrown out of 2 schools and whose home the police had had to visit 39 times in the last few years because of his behavior really be able to buy an assault rifle with no problem? I don’t think so. Our politicians fail us by taking money from the NRA and not doing anything about the proliferation of weapons in this country. They fail us on a daily basis on many things, but the failure to take any action on the violence in our society is huge. Sorry, but no one needs a military style weapon to defend themselves and, if you need a background screen to get a job these days, you should definitely need one to buy a gun. This is common sense.

Secondly, we need to look into why this happens here in America. Most of the kids that go in and shoot up their schools have been bullied. We don’t talk about this as the cause much but the cruelty that is inflicted on kids by other kids, especially in light of social media, has gone to the extreme. When I was young there was bullying but you had to do it to their face. Also, the best revenge you witnessed was when you went back to your high school reunion and the kids who had been bullied were the most successful. Nowadays apparently the revenge has to be more immediate and has little to do with success.

Why do people turn to this type of violence? Isn’t it worth looking into? The NRA’s influence on our politicians has prevented this. Violence is everywhere; on TV, in video games, on our streets and in some homes. There seems to be a lack of caring for others and a sense of community that prevents us from using violence as the answer for everything from a street ‘dis’ to a romantic breakup to road rage. What has happened to our society?

In all of this, are our kids. Not just the tragic victims whose families won’t ever completely recover, but also the killers. Nicholas Cruz had a pretty bad life, which doesn’t excuse what he did, but is somewhat of an explanation for his feeling that he had no future, so might as well kill people and make a name for himself. Who is recognizing that a kid like this needs help long before they become extremely violent? Our president talks about mental illness being to blame for this, yet signs an order making it easier for the mentally ill to have access to a gun. He talks about mental illness but in his latest budget, money for the National Institute of Mental Health was reduced by 30% and spending in the Substance Abuse and Mental Health administration was reduced by $665 million. There was also a $25 million reduction in funds designated for national school safety activities, compared with 2017.

So what do we do? As an adult who grew up in a time where schools were safety zones, I’m at a loss. I do know that if our politicians refuse to do anything about violence and guns in our society, we can vote them out. It’s time many of them went anyway. Why are these people in Congress for 30 and 40 years? When they are there that long, preserving their power and party become more important than working for the good of their constituents. All these issues with violence require study and the ability to follow through on recommendations put forth from people who know more than I do on all of these topics. Maybe the kids who have grown up in a time where schools are anything but safety zones will have more answers on what to do. I just hope we don’t have to wait that long.



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