The real problem with school shootings is right in front of us, yet we choose to ignore it.
each time, as a culture, we work ourselves into a frenzy debating the angry exterior message, while ignoring the interior life and context of each killer. We miss the point entirely.
These shooters know what they are doing. They’re not “crazy.” They don’t just “snap.” Most of them spend months or years planning their massacres. … It’s all very conscious and deliberate. And it works. … as Eric Harris pointed out in his journal, it’s not about the guns. It’s about the television. The films. The fame.
Gun control gets the headlines. Mental health care gets the headlines. Violence and video games and misogyny and internet forums and atheism — the list is endless at this point.
Here’s what doesn’t get the headlines: Empathy. Listening to those around you. Even if you don’t like them very much. We have come to live in a culture where it’s taboo or unacceptable to simply check in with people emotionally and offer some empathy and understanding.
And while we’re all fighting over whose pet cause is more right and more true and more noble, there’s likely another young man out there, maybe suicidally depressed, maybe paranoid and delusional, maybe a psychopath, and he’s researching guns and bombs and mapping out schools and recording videos and thinking every day about the anger and hate he feels for this world.
And no one is paying attention to him.