Looking For Answers After School Shootings

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that a few days ago, a man walked into a school and killed 20 kids and a few adults.

No one knows why it happened, but few are waiting to find out. There have already been articles written about gun control, mental health, the president, and so much more. I even made a stray comment on my Facebook account saying we needed to do something about guns in this country, which I immediately regretted.

In a situation like this, we’re all looking for answers, we want everything to fit into a nice category, into something we can easily digest and understand. And solve. We think we’re going to solve this sort of thing, that if we talk and argue enough and people legislate, something will happen.

I read that article the woman wrote about her mentally challenged son who likes to wield knives and threaten her family. She says that she is the killer’s mom. She says that we need to start talking about mental health in this country.

Maybe she’s right. But maybe she’s not.

As luck would have it, I have recently been obsessing over Columbine, ever since I read a book called “Columbine” written by Dave Cullen. It was written ten years after the attack. It took years to write.

In other words, it takes years to understand these things, to understand just one of these attacks.

Did you know that Eric Harris wasn’t insane? That he was, in fact, totally sane?

Did you know that Dylan also wasn’t crazy, but horribly depressed?

Did you know that there is no profile for a school shooter? Did you know that the only thing any of these people have in common is that they are male?

This national debate that’s raging, it’s empty. Even that woman talking about her poor son has no idea. None of us really do. And maybe it’s time we admitted it.





5 responses to “Looking For Answers After School Shootings”

  1. Rivki Silver Avatar

    i think every disaster brings up back to the age-old question “Why do bad things happen?” It’s too deep a question to package in a blog post or news article or whatever. Or blog comment. For me, tragedies always come back to looking at ourselves and seeing how we can improve, empathizing with the victims, letting our hearts break with them, and using that pain to daven for Moshiach.

  2. Yehoishophot Oliver Avatar

    The Rebbe would always talk about the key to morality being promoting the awareness of Hashem’s ever-watchful eye:

    The only solution that will ensure he behaves justly and righteously is to inculcate in the child the awareness and faith in the Creator and Director of the universe. The world is no jungle; it has a Creator and Director, Who sees all one’s actions—“An Eye that sees and an Ear that hears.” Thus, a person must behave decently, justly, and righteously.

    This, along with dissemination of the Noahide Laws, is the “solution” to the problems of violence, crime, killings, etc., in the Rebbe’s teachings.

  3. CLAIRE Avatar

    Actually Columbine shooter Eric Harris was on Zoloft, then on Luvox. The other Columbine killer was on Ritalin. Thomas TJ Solomon, who shot six classmates in Georgia was also on Ritalin at the time. Kip Kinkel, the shooter in Springfield, Oregon, who killed two and injured 22, was on Prozac and Ritalin. And there are plenty more examples like this…

    this is a generation that is not loved and instead prescribed psychoactive drugs. We need to love our children as they are, not drug them. By drugging them, we are in essence, telling them, we don’t love you the way you are, you need to change…

    1. Elad Nehorai Avatar

      It was later determined that Eric Harris simply took Zoloft to trick the people around him into believing he was improving his life. He had been arrested earlier for breaking into someone’s car, and he had to convince the state as well as his father, who was super strict, that he was improving his life. The Zoloft, as well as other things, were simply a decoy.

      Your point is well said, though, and I agree 100% in principle. And no question, many of the shooters were mentally disturbed. My only point is that to lump them all into that category is wrong and dangerous.

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