The details are different, but the outcome is the same: it happened again.
On Monday morning, a 15-year-old 9th-grader in Southern California opened fire with a .22 revolver, killing two people and injuring 13. Inevitably, comparisons to Columbine are made, and people cry, scratch their heads, and ask, "How could this have happened?"
But should we be surprised? Doesn't everyone in high school know someone who gets picked on and teased until he or she feels they have to strike back? Haven't we learned anything from the school shootings that preceded yesterday's tragedy? But what is there to learn? Is a school shooting a freak occurrence, or is it indicative of a greater trend? And what about the standard question - "where were the parents?"
There are problems in our society, and incidents like this put the spotlight on some very big ones. So what do we do? Investigate any student who ever expresses ill will towards their teachers and/or schoolmates? Beef up security at the schools? More closely monitor the mental health of the students? What do you say to someone who might seriously be considering violence as a release?
I don't ask these questions because of my affiliation with NG - I ask them as a future parent and a future teacher who knows that something here is very wrong. The solution, if there is one, is light-years away - but each opinion that is expressed gets us a little bit closer.