When I was seventeen years old, two kids in Colorado killed a whole lot of people, and then killed themselves. This sent the country into an uproar (as if you don't remember). Six years later, a school shooting isn't even the headline. But it's still news. I'm sure everyone knows about, but here:
or just google: Red Lake shooting
Anyway, to sum it up, a 16-year old boy has carried out the worst American school shooting since Columbine. First, I would like to say, of course, this is a terrible, terrible tragedy, and I am not making light of it one bit. Secondly, I am going to try to cut the profanity with this rant, but it is going to be hard. Here is my deal:
After Columbine, the media scraped all over the bottom of an empty barrel trying to figure out why Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed twelve classmates and a teacher at Columbine High School. The best solution they could come up with? Eric and Dylan played the video game Doom. They listened to heavy metal. They wore trenchcoats. Jeff Weise, the Red Lake murderer did some of the same things. Here's the kicker though, and this is crazy, I mean just absolutely crazy. Millions of children across the country play video games that make Doom look like Mr. Rodgers Puppy Hour and listen to Heavy Metal. Last night, I killed over 200 zombies in Resident Evil Four, and I was listening to Heavy Metal. I also think trenchcoats look cool. Today, a friend and I, along with my brother, went behind my house and target practiced with a pistol. Do you know how many people I've seriously thought about killing? None. Not even myself. Isn't that just the darnedest thing? I can do all of those things, and not ever want to kill anybody. In fact, I'm willing to say, I have always been pretty happy with my life, and don't have a hard time getting along with others. There must be something wrong with me. Wait...maybe there isn't. Maybe I am just fine, a normal guy. Does that mean all those high-school shooters were not normal?
Why is everyone obsessed with all these external sources? Do they really have anything to do with anything? They may feed the fire, but they are not the fire .
First, some people are just disturbed. This isn't an excuse to kill, but it is a fact. Some people are just mentally imbalanced. This can be controlled with effort. I am a bit disturbed myself, what with my migraine condition (caused mainly by anxiety) and all, but about the worst this has caused me to do is hurt people's ears by groaning loudly. There are mental problems much worse than what I have, though Weise was never proven to really have any of these outside of depression.
Weise was on prozac, and some people say high doses of this cause bouts of aggression, but, there was a reason he was on prozac (and I am not damning prozac uses in the least, I know plenty of just fine people who have to take pills for anxiety and depression, and while I don't recommend this, I don't damn others for doing so).
Where were the parents? In regards to Columbine, it's awfully easy to lay all the blame on them, but that's unfair-they weren't the ones who pulled the trigger. In the Weise case, his father committed suicide. I'm sure this added to Weise's mental state, and was probably one of the driving forces in his life. Considering the father committed suicide in 1997, we can guess that Weise probably did not have the happiest childhood, beforehand. According to Weise's writings, his mother also allegedly often got drunk and beat him (she lives in a nursing home, now, because of a car accident six years ago), though this is not substantiated. Weise was also passed around from relative to relative in a fashion that surely made him feel unwanted.
A lot of people are pointing out the fact that Harris, Klebold, and Weise were all drawn to Hitler and Neo-nazism. Here is where I make my point-These three kids didn't just decide out of the blue, "Hey, I know, I love Hitler." Something drove them to that point. Something drove them to a point where video games, which 99.infinite 9 percent of the population know are video games seem real. Something drove them to overidentify with the ridiculous lyrics of bands making money from acting like they're miserable. Something drove these kids to this-everything.
I saw a reporter on CBS say something about how police, and everyone else were going to try to find out why this shooting has happened. This guy seems to be missing the point. Killing seven innocent people is a senseless act. You can't just point your finger at Duke Nukem, and heap all the blame on him. As I said in an editorial, almost six years ago: I don't think dissing Mario is the answer.
I think it's safe to say that blaming music, movies, and video games for anything is pretty much ridiculous. Take the kid who cooked gasoline as an example. He saw it on Beavis and Butthead. A. Why was the child watching Beavis and Butthead?
B. Why did the child have access to gasoline?
C. Why did the child not know that cooking gasoline would kill him?
If your kid jumps off a cliff, you can't blame the roadrunner.
But this kid Weise didn't have sensible parents around. They may have hurt him, but they were long gone by the time of the shooting. Who then do we blame? Was it his extended family's fault? Could they have done a better job of looking after him? What about the teachers, therapists, and counselors in his life. Surely, someone should have got the idea into Weise's head that it is not right to shoot people. What about classmates and others who witnessed Weise's behavior, but said nothing of it? What about the kids who made fun of him for being too tall, too fat, or dressing weird? When you boil it down, you're going to need a small army of fingers to point out all the people and mediums that might be at fault.
The fault should only lie on one person-Jeff Weise. He lived in a society that teaches murder is wrong. Murder is the offense with the highest punishment. How can you punish a guy that commits suicide?
Maybe Weise didn't realize that what he was doing was even wrong. If this is true, should the fault lay on society? Does the world we live in not teach us right from wrong? Wouldn't an alien being learn soon enough what is right, and what is wrong? Maybe it would not? If this is true, are we all to blame? I know this is difficult, but are we all collectively at fault? I don't know, and I don't like to think about it, honestly. I know one thing. No one is ever going to be able to point the finger at one factor and heap all the blame on it as the cause for all these tragedies. It's simply not going to happen. Can Christians who believe in an intervening God tell me why this happened? I'm one of you, and I can't.
I can't even explain the factors that led to what I ate for dinner, why I'm writing this blog, and why I'm sitting in this position, right now. You would have to go back to the beginning. Why did my parents choose to have unprotected sex during the exact month that I was the egg of choice? Why did my parents even meet in the first place? Why didn't my ancestors settle in a place with less mosquitos? This whole Red Falls incident took place on a Native American refuge. Should we go all the way back to the Andrew Jackson administration and blame Manifest Destiny? What the heck am I even talking about, anymore?
This was supposed to be a rant against people who want to simplify everything down into a nice simple package. I hate the Bush Administration and voted for Kerry, yet today I enjoyed my right to bear arms. What does that say? Something just about everybody who reads this knows already. You can't put things into little boxes. An infinite amount of variables coincided in this great terrible crazy thing called life, and led to Jeff Weise killing seven people, all presided over by a Ringmaster I can't say I understand twenty-five percent of the time (yet, I still think this God loves me, and wants the best for me). All those variables led to the creation of a human being named Jeff Weise who woke up one morning, killed his grandfather and his grandfather's girlfriend, and seven others. All those variables led to a point were a cognizant human being just like you or I put his finger on the trigger and pulled. Right now, I am sitting in a chair staring out at the rain. My parents are in the kitchen talking (probably about why their 23-year-old son is still living with them). I am listening to Explosions in the Sky. Why? What led to this? These are the kinds of questions few people want to ask. The news wants to cover the same three stories every night, giving simple storybook answers to people, because that's what people want to hear. Meanwhile, people in Sudan are being murdered, millions in Africa are being infected with AIDS, the Middle East is yet again undergoing major changes, and our President's plan to defile one of the last untouched sanctuaries in the world is finally underway.
The world is vast and limitless. It always seems to be changing at an uncontrollable rate. Surely, the people shot on March 14 weren't expecting to die. They probably had plans to do a million things in life, but a bunch of converging variables wiped their plans out in an instant.
I would love to follow Lyrnyrd Skynyrd's mother's advice and be a simple kind of man, and I guess that's the best thing anybody can do, but there are so many things going on.
I have the reassurance that if I am cut down by a stray bullet, I am going to a better place, but I wouldn't be much of a human being if I just stayed content with waiting to randomly die.
The Red Lake school shooting is about as messed up(see, I'm reformed) as you can get, but it happened, and it will probably happen again, and the best thing I can do is live a life of love, and try to love others, and when whatever bullet hits me, stray or aimed, die.
If you look at life one way, there is no thing as a stray bullet, but if you look at it another way, there is nothing in the world but stray bullets, and somehow, it seems, it doesn't matter which way you look at, but in the end, it makes all the difference.
All of this is as new to you as it is to me. I certainly wasn't expecting to learn something in the last hour, but, I did, though maybe you didn't. Anyway, thanks for reading. I hope you can get some rest now that you have spent an entire day reading my blog entry.
God bless everyone, I am going to bed.