Kids With Guns.

I want to give you all fair warning that this post is a bit of a rant, and it is about a controversial topic. I apologize for anyone who takes offense, but I do not apologize for my feelings or opinions. That said, please remember to be respectful in your comments. If you can’t be, just know that you will be deleted. Thank you for reading.

Suspect TJ Lane is escorted out of the Geauga County Courthouse Annex by Sheriff deputies for his court appearance after shooting and killing three students and wounding two others at Chardon High School in Chardon, Ohio, February 28, 2012. Suspect TJ Lane is escorted out of the Geauga County Courthouse Annex by Sheriff deputies for his court appearance after shooting and killing three students and wounding two others at Chardon High School in Chardon, Ohio, February 28, 2012.

WHERE do these kids get guns? HOW do they manage to get guns and take them to school without their parents taking notice? WHERE are the parents? WHAT in the hell are they so busy with that they don’t know that their children are troubled enough to take a gun to school and start shooting other kids?

WHY does this keep happening?

Yesterday, a 17 year-old kid walked into his high school in Chardon, Ohio, with a gun and opened fire. As of right now, 3 kids have died as a result, and 2 others are wounded.

This crazy shit just keeps happening, it seems. Similar incidents have been happening since the 1800s, but not as often as in recent years. The first such incident I can find is when an 8year-old in New York stabbed a classmate way back in 1898. All the way back in 1937, a young man took a gun to school and shot his principal in Toledo, Ohio. Of course, the most memorable of recent years was the attack on Columbine High School in Colorado in 1999. Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold entered the school armed heavily and opened fire; killing a total of 12 students and 1 teacher and injuring 24 others, and then killing themselves.

So much tragedy. And I have to ask again; where are the parents?  I try not to judge, but it’s hard not to place blame somewhere. These kids weren’t born bad. At some point, something happened to them that they could not bounce back from, and it ate them up inside and caused them to think that the only way to handle their hurt and anger was to kill people. They decided to get rid of the people who had hurt them, and somehow murder and suicide was their best option.

Meanwhile, their parents always seem so shocked and clueless about how on Earth their child could be capable of such unspeakable things. How do you not know your children at all? How are you so unaware of what’s going on in your child’s life? Do you speak to them? Acknowledge their presence? Converse with them at all? And why in the hell do you have guns that your kids have access to?

Don’t even get me started on guns in the first place. I am so anti-guns that my kids aren’t even allowed to play with toy guns. Anything they use as a water squirter in the summertime is in the shape of an animal or something that doesn’t resemble a firearm in any way. I have told my son from day one that guns are not to be played with. They are dangerous and will kill people. YES guns DO kill people. If you care to argue, please do it elsewhere. I have zero respect for anyone who is pro-guns. You have no need for a gun if you live in the United States (unless you are an officer of the law or a soldier).

Your food is killed for you elsewhere and you have no need to hunt it down. You have locks on your doors. Use them. If someone does you wrong, you don’t need to shoot and kill them to get revenge. You tell the police. They’re the ones who need guns.

And we need to stop glorifying violence. So many kids think it’s cool to carry a gun. It’s like some kind of perverted, twisted status symbol in some areas of our country. They somehow got it into their heads that that is typical behavior. Where did they get that idea from? TV? Probably. Video games? More than likely. Movies? Surely. But…who let them watch those shows and play those games and see those movies? And perhaps what’s worse is that they see that behavior displayed by the very people who are supposed to be teaching them that it’s wrong.

There is but one answer to that question, folks. It’s an easy one. Their parents.

I am sorry if it offends some of you, but I can’t help but blame the parents over and over again. We are responsible for raising our children to be good, kind, productive members of society. We are responsible for teaching our kids the difference between right and wrong. It is wrong to kill people. It is wrong to carry guns and other weapons. It is wrong to neglect your children so much that they grow to become troubled monsters who feel like the only way out is to self-destruct.

Do these kids look like sociopaths? I didn't think so either. This is Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold.

Parents: You are creating these kids. YOU are making your child think that violence is okay by letting him watch TV unattended. YOU are showing your babies that killing people can be a fun game that you can play safely in your home, as long as no one really gets hurt. That is a LIE.

I am so damned tired of the lies and the lazy parenting. We cannot let TV and video games raise our children. We cannot keep raising kids who think violence is funny. It has to stop now; because I tell you what, if my kid grows up and turns out to be a psychopath, I will have no one to blame but myself.

Of course, I’m not going to let that happen. I talk to my son and my step-sons. I listen to them. I hug them and tell them that they are loved. I have ZERO tolerance for violence in my home and that is how it should be.

What a damn shame and waste of life. The deaths of the 3 kids who died yesterday and today are the result of someone else’s mistakes. In the coming days, I’m sure we’ll find out that TJ Lane was a “troubled” kid who “kept to himself”. I’m sure his parents are “shocked” and that they had no idea their son was a psychopath.

What the fuck ever.

Take responsibility. Own it. You screwed up. Somewhere, at some point in raising TJ, you stopped paying attention. Well, now’s your chance to be involved. Now that your kid stole children from three other families. The tragedy is that it’s too late.

Please, don’t be those parents. Be present with your children. Love them. Talk to them and most importantly, LISTEN to them. If you are paying attention, you’ll notice when something isn’t right, and you’ll be there to help them before they self-destruct.

Daniel Parmertor, Russell King Jr and Demetrius Hewlin.

Rest in peace dear Danny, Russel and Demetrius. Love and light to you on your journeys and to your families during this tragic time.

Update 3/5/12: I must add an update and a clarification of sorts, as I wrote this post in the heat of the moment and it is full of emotion and I have had to explain to people my true stance on the issue. If you are going to own a gun, you must be responsible about it. You must own it legally and safely, and if you have children in your home, I believe it is also imperative that you teach your kids about guns. They should know where they are and what they look like and do, so if they do happen to stumble upon them someday, they don’t look at them as something “cool” and explore them without proper knowledge. As we know, that often ends in tragedy. Keep your guns safely locked up and if my kid is ever going to be a guest at your house, you better expect that I’ll ask you if you have guns and if they are in a secure place. Thank you all for reading and commenting and being respectful and honest. That is why I share. I love to hear people’s opinions and I love to see them expressed openly and without judgment. I haven’t deleted any comments made by anyone, and I don’t expect to. Thank you again. 

Peace.

~Karin

About kantal113

I am a woman who just wants to share her crazy life with the rest of y’all. I am also a housekeeper, laundrette, babysitter, cook, teacher, caregiver, facilities manager, psychologist, and kisser-of-boo-boos. Better known as a mom.
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36 Responses to Kids With Guns.

  1. Jenny says:

    I could not agree more. It makes me sad that I finally did cave on the “no toy gun” policy for my son. It seemed I was the only mom I knew who even considered that toy guns were a bad idea. Even before those guns, though, he did take any innocent item and turn it into a weapon. Not sure what the fascination is…
    I just read the book “We Need to Talk About Kevin”. It is a fictional portrayal of a child school shooter told from the mom’s point of view. It is heartbreaking and sad for so many reasons. It really made me think about the nature vs nuture question, and is it possible for a child to be born predisposed towards anger and violence.
    Thanks for your post.

    • kantal113 says:

      Thank you for reading, and for your thoughtful comment. There does seem to be some natural fascination with guns and kids. Mine do it, too. They’ll use sticks, Legos, whatever, to pretend they have guns. I think it’s because they see it even in cartoons and kids are naturally drawn to things they’re not supposed to be.
      I am all about putting the fear of death in them. They should be afraid of guns. They should be hyper aware of the dangers of guns and other weapons.

      As for nature vs. nurture, I do believe that to some extent, both can and are involved, but even if a child has mental issues, that is something a parent or present adult should notice and take action to treat the problem before it gets out of hand.

      Thank you for the book suggestion, I’ll definitely be checking it out. It’s something I want to share with my kids. Thank you again for reading!

  2. Chris says:

    We talked about this last night, but I still wanted to leave a comment. :) This is quite the opinionated piece. Do you know if TJ Lane had any history of mental illness? Family history? While I’m not quick to judge, I do agree that parents need to claim accountability. One of the most ridiculous things I’ve heard is when a parent says something like, “I had no idea. He always just keeps to himself.” What? Why? Get in his business. Minors have a right to some privacy, but not complete privacy. Know what your kids are doing, what they’re thinking, how they’re feeling. I know it’s tricky, but get in the game, man.

    • kantal113 says:

      I have no idea, but as I said last night, if I took the time to discuss every possibility, this would be too long of a post. I chose to stick to my thoughts and feelings about the issue.
      TJ Lane very well could have been mentally ill, and if that’s the case, it’s even more tragic. BUT why didn’t his parents or grandparents or whoever was supposed to be taking care of him notice his behavior? Or did they notice it and shrug it off as teenage angst?
      I’m sure we’ll find out more soon enough.
      I am glad to know that you and I are on the same page as far as how much privacy our kids will get.
      Their safety and well-being are more important than their need for privacy.
      Thanks for commenting, love.

  3. Wendy says:

    (Sorry! This is a super long reply!)

    I agree with you on some points, and respectfully disagree on others. I hope this isn’t one of the posts that will be deleted, and I hope to help you see that people with different opinions can still deserve your respect. I grew up in a home without guns, and married into a family who believes in them wholeheartedly. I lay somewhere in the middle. Guns make me nervous, and I don’t like to handle them, but I have learned, because they’re in my home, and I want to be safe about it. My husband has taught my older children how to handle them, but keeps the ammo locked in the safe. And we’ve taught the kids from the time that they were very little that (even with a toy gun – even if it’s made out of legos) you never, EVER aim it at a person. If you must pretend to shoot something, shoot the wall, or a tree. They understand the consequences of guns. I do think we should have them for our own protection. Not just from criminals, but from the government (I know – I sound like a crack pot). But honestly, absolute power corrupts absolutely. Gun laws were instilled in the first place to keep the power of the government in check. I believe if our society lets go of the right to bear arms, the power of our government will become out of balance. I hope like hell that my husband, myself, and my children will go our whole lives without shooting anything other than an empty can, a tree, a paper target, what have you.

    With that said, I TOTALLY agree that these kids who grow up to be psychos were somehow neglected. Sure, kids can hide a lot of things from their parents, but if you truly know them, you’ll know when they’re hiding something big from you. You’ll know when they’re disturbed, and when something isn’t right. And if you are worried about something that isn’t quite right, you should talk to them about it. Persistently. And if that’s fruitless, you should reach out to someone else who can help them. If you haven’t done all of those things, and your kid shoots up a school, you missed important queues. It makes me so sick.

    I think part of it still is a shift in society, though. Last year, at my daughter’s high school, a kid stabbed another kid because he wouldn’t let him see his iPod. The kid with the iPod died. All the kids in the school looked at it as an accident. He didn’t mean to kill him. It’s not the same as murder. I had to sit my daughter down and spell it out for her. That kid KILLED his friend over an iPod. Would YOU stab someone for ANY reason, other than if they were trying to kill you?! That kid thought through the process of taking out his knife, and jabbing his friend somewhere in his gut. That’s murder. Even if he didn’t mean to kill him. They call it murder if you drive irresponsibly and kill someone with your car. Knifing someone classifies.

    Anyway, sorry for the tangent, but the point is that these high school kids really don’t seem to have the understanding they should of the sanctity of life. And I mean in general. As a culture. They don’t seem to get it. So, that means as parents, we have to work doubly hard to teach them. Even if we have to seek out real world examples. For example, we should all talk to our kids about the Ohio shooting.

    • kantal113 says:

      Thank you so much for such a well-written comment! I totally respect responsible people, and that does include gun owners. I fully respect people with differing opinions. It’s the gun-toting folks who own them just because they can and who don’t own them responsibly that I take issue with.

      I love that your family has an understanding and respect for the dangers of guns. I think if you are going to have them in your home, you must teach your kids about them. If a kid who only knows of guns from tv and movies finds a gun in his house, he’s going to play with it. He’s going to think it’s cool, because that’s all he knows. Your family is doing a fantastic job of being responsible gun owners. Again, I respect that fully.

      As for protecting yourselves from the government, that’s something I agree with completely, too! Our government is corrupt and scary. I am all for our rights. I just personally don’t think arms are necessary. You have them and it feels right to you, then it is right for you.
      I do not have them and it feels right for me, then it is right for me. :)

      Kids are too sheltered anymore. Parents are so worried about keeping their kids isolated from everything ugly and horrible in the world, but I think it’s that stuff that they need to learn about in a safe environment, before they see it in the wrong context. Things like school shootings should be talked about even with young kids.
      They need to and should know that there are bad and sick people out there and that if they ever see or hear of anything that might be dangerous at their school, that they should know to tell a teacher or another adult.

      They also need to be taught the value of life from the very beginning. That also means having respect and reverence for every living thing. Animals, bugs, plants and especially people.
      I teach my kids that violence is NEVER an acceptable thing. If someone is hurting you, tell someone responsible. If the people who love them aren’t responding to them, these kinds of things happen.

      Kids get hurt and they can only take so much without a support system. Unfortunately JT Lane had to learn the hard way.

      Thank you again. I’m sorry my reply is so long, but such a great comment needed a proper response! There is no way I’m deleting you! :)

      • Wendy says:

        I’m glad we can agree to disagree, then. =)

        I agree about violence never – EVER – being the option. My oldest son used to karate chop the dog because he thought it was funny. It took a lot of time outs to resolve that. Our dog is old and arthritic and can’t take that kind of kid abuse. I think they’ve learned a lot about treating animals with kindness thanks to him.

        My youngest son (4 years old) has cancer (I found you through MTM. =)) and we were at the oncologist yesterday. He played so well while I had a LONG, much needed talk with his doctor about his next phase of treatment. Then, he was out of patience when it came time for his exam. He had a plastic toy recorder (flute – like instrument) and he kept throwing it on the floor to make it come apart. Then he got mad when it broke and started hitting me with it. I told him if he was going to use it as a weapon he could no longer have it. As you can imagine, taking it away provoked him more, so we did a time out right there in the doctor’s office, haha. I think those things are important enough that you stop whatever you’re doing and deal with it. Even when the poor oncologist just spent half an hour with you and is in a hurry now.

        Thanks for the thought provoking post. I love your blog! You always have such a great voice!

      • kantal113 says:

        Oh, Wendy. I hate hearing bout more kids with cancer. I hope your boy is doing well. Nothing makes me more angry anymore than cancer. After learning about Donna and having her story change my life the way it has, it has become a mission of sorts, for me to help make a difference to kids with cancer.

        As you may know, my husband and I have been raising money for St. Baldrick’s and the shave-a-thon in Chicago next month. We’re gonna be bald!

        You have to parent, no matter what and no matter where. Sounds like you’re doing a great job!

        Thank you for your kind words. It really means a lot. XoXo

  4. Commander Spacedog says:

    T.J. Lane was living with his grandparents. There are allegations of abuse by his father. A friend of his stated recently that he was constantly bullied at school. A student on the air who witnessed the attack said that the victims were specifically targeted, and that one of the victims recently had begun dating T.J.’s ex-girlfriend. Students were also telling the media that an accomplice was definitely involved, although police are denying this.

    An interesting social phenomenon which resulted from this event was a dissolving of social groups at the high school. The Facebook pages of the high school students are suddenly full of new friend adds. The tragedy actually had the effect of breaking down many of the social barriers that had caused it in the first place — a sad sort of irony.

    • kantal113 says:

      Good information, Commander. ;) I had read that he lived with his grandparents. I still have to wonder how they allowed him to spiral out of control.
      Interesting about the sudden social changes at the school. It takes a tragedy for kids to see the error of their ways. It’s so horrible. I wonder how long that will last…
      Thank you for reading and commenting, Commander Spacedog. Xo

  5. I commend you for taking a stand and speaking your view on a controversial subject.

    This is my two cents:

    I taught young children with emotional and behavioral issues for 10 years. Many of the children had explosive personalities and anger issues which caused them to be bullied and left out. I tried to do one thing as their teacher. I tried to form a loving bond with them. I tried to let them know that there is ONE person in this world that believed in him or her. I saw good in each one of those kids, and I tried to build them up despite other adults who said, “That kid is gonna end up killing someone in 10 years.”

    Well, by the grace of God I hear from my former students today — they are now in their upper teens and early twenties. They write to me to tell me how “good” they turned out … how they are helping others … how they take their meds and live productive lives. And they thank me. They thank me for making the difference.

    My point is this: it only takes ONE person to change the direction in a child’s life. And this is not just my own opinion, there is extensive research on this topic. If you know of a child whose parents do not pay proper attention to him or her or who seems like he/she is going down a troubled path, reach out. Build that child up anyway you can. Yes, it is the parents’ job, but you have no control over them. You do have control over helping ONE child believe in himself or herself. You have control over possibly preventing a tragedy like the one in Ohio.

    And one day you might just get a note that says, “Thank you for believing in me. You were the only one,” like I did.

    • Wendy says:

      Wow, that’s beautiful!

    • kantal113 says:

      The power of one is strong. That is all it takes. My kids are blessed to have several parents and grandparents and other family members who love them and are aware of everything that goes on with them, and if anything ever happens and they need help or just someone to listen to them, we’ll be there.

      What you did for those kids was priceless.
      Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment!

  6. Karen, I commend you for writing such a passionate piece. While I am not a gun-owner, probably never will be, and would not let my daughter play with a toy gun (we do the animal squirters too), I disagree with you in regards to gun ownership. It is a right we have as Americans and I believe the overwhelming majority of gun owners in our country are responsible with them. Unfortunately, we don’t hear those stories. We hear the ones like this shooting in Ohio this week. (And rightfully so.) Still, banning guns is not the answer. It’s a cliche, but guns don’t kill people. People kill people.

    Which brings me to where I agree with you…

    Parents need to take at least some of the blame here. We need to be involved with our kids. A lot. We need to know them and love them and support them. We need to remember that high school is probably the most stressful time in our lives, when we are arguably the most vulnerable. And for parents not to recognize that, and be vigilant about their kids and how they’re doing, is irresponsible. And in this case, it was a ‘perfect storm’ if you will, of clueless parents and access to guns. Tragic. Horribly tragic.

    But to ban guns, in my mind, would be like banning stupid people from having kids. Or banning cigarettes or beer. Make it tougher to get guns. But we can’t ban things we don’t like because they can hurt someone. At some point, we need to take responsibility for our actions. A smoker gets lung cancer and sues the tobacco company. A drunk crashes his car and sues the bar. A troubled kid shoots his classmates and we blame the gun. No. Blame the kid. Blame the parents. But also, chalk a little bit of it up to an unexplained tragedy. I know that’s very unsatisfying when stories like grab the headlines. But that’s the best I got.

    Thanks for making me think. Apologies for the long comment.

    • kantal113 says:

      Oh heck. Please do not apologize for your comment. I love it! First, I don’t really think we need to “ban” guns, as much as we need to have stricter gun laws and it needs to be harder for people to own them. Also, punishment for possession should be more severe, too. That might deter people from even concocting these types of attacks.

      I also agree that the gun isn’t literally to blame, but if the gun wasn’t accessible, it couldn’t be used to kill people. We have to make sure gun owners are being more responsible with their guns. They must be educated properly and they must teach their kids, as well.

      As for your comparisons, banning stupid people from having kids isn’t such a bad idea ;) Of course, I’m kidding. Mostly. ha ha

      I can’t blame the kid though. He’s a kid. He’s been failed over and over again. Somehow no one noticed that he was spiraling down. He snapped and 4 families are forever changed, along with countless others indirectly affected.
      Did he know right from wrong? Probably. But desperation and despair can cause people to do unspeakable things.

      Thank you again for reading and leaving such a thoughtful comment!

  7. Amen! Your rant sounds an awful lot like my rant on the phone with my sister. I am tired of “free blame” passes being handed out in these situations. We blame the music, the video games, the schools, etc. How about the parents? If your child is a punk at 4, you’d better look long and hard in the mirror before something like this happens? I understand parents must work and can’t “watch their kid 24/7″–but how about watching and teaching long before it escalates into these tragedies? Barring “true mental illness”–which, in an ideal world, no one would be limited in their access to care–I believe children left to raise themselves are often (not always) ticking time bombs in some capacity. Additionally, I believe there is a generation of parents raising the next generation of kids that are barely adults (in their mentality/behavior) themselves. These would be the same “parents” that take their kids to the fights that are then video taped and posted on YouTube or provide excuse after excuse for their child’s behavior. They are creating a generation that feels they have nothing to lose because they see no value in their lives or the lives of others.
    However, I do agree with Hands Free Mama, in that one person can make a difference, assuming their influence can out weigh that of the parents/family/environment the child is in.

    • kantal113 says:

      Yes, yes, and yes. Thank you for your comment, Transitioning Mom!
      There is a generation of parents too afraid to parent their children. They want to be friends and be liked by them and are not disciplining them for fear of retaliation and rejection. Like I said to someone else, we cannot be friends with our kids. We have to keep the boundaries very clear. And we must be there for them. We must listen and also keep our eyes and ears open for other kids who aren’t even ours.

      TJ Lane could have benefited from someone, anyone intervening and offering help. Thanks again for reading and commenting!

  8. K, this was such a powerful post.

    I can’t help but think that if these kids hadn’t gotten lost in the shuffle at home…this violence would not have happened. What I find strange sometimes is that the parents claim that they never saw any signs of distress in their kids and they had no idea that anything was wrong.

    I can’t wrap my brain around this.

    P.S. I just realized I never “Liked” your FB page. Liked!

    • kantal113 says:

      Thank you so much, Elizabeth!
      I feel the same way, and so does my husband. We cannot imagine being so out of touch with our kids that we have no idea that they’re little ticking time bombs.
      There are almost always signs of distress, even if it is just “keeping to himself”.
      TJ Lane’s parents failed him. Apparently his grandparents did too, and his teachers and friends and anyone else who had any kind of contact with him. It’s beyond tragic.

      Thank you again! You rock!

  9. JGonzo says:

    Although I do not like guns & do not feel comfortable handling them, I do own a gun. It stays locked in a box high out of reach (I have to stand on my toes to get it & I have the only key. I’ve tested myself & in the dark I can get the key & unlock the box & have the gun out in < 10 seconds). This is purely for protecting myself & my daughter (I'm a single mom). I had a professional teach me to shoot & handle the gun (including taking it apart & cleaning it), and have done some target shooting with it at a range; it has never been outside of my house (eg, driving to the range) without being locked in the box. I hope to God I am never put into the position that I HAVE to use it for defense. Yes, I can call 911. But how long does it take for a grown man to kick in a door (or break a window, or…you get the idea) and come into my home and hurt me/my girl, versus the response time for the nearest officer? In a life-or-death situation where an armed attacker is coming at my little girl, "2 or 3 minutes" (or hell, ONE minute) just ain't gonna cut it. To put it into perspective, my ex-husband was abusive. I currently have a restraining order against him. He physically hurt me, threatened to kill me, stalked me, destroyed my property (including breaking into my home 2x while I was not here), threatened to steal our daughter & run away with her, etc. There was a long span of time that we went & lived with my parents just because I was so afraid to be in my own home "by myself" (in quotes because obviously I'm not really BY MYSELF when my daughter is here, but you know what I mean…nobody else to come to my aid if I need help).

    THAT SAID – I grew up shooting a BB rifle. I knew never to point it at another person, or even in the general direction of my parents' house (in case I missed & hit a window). I'd aim at soda cans, that sort of thing. The safety stayed on ALWAYS unless you were actively aiming/shooting. Safety on for re-loading, safety on during setting up your targets, etc. Safety, safety, safety. Also, I watched plenty of violent movies as a kid, sometimes with & sometimes without, my parents.

    As for the OH shooter…I read/heard that he had a knife with him too. What if his gun had jammed & he had resorted to attacking the other kids with his knife. I feel certain he wouldn't have killed/injured as many, but my point is, if you're determined to harm someone, you're going to find a way to harm them, be it with a firearm or a knife or your car or fire or…you get the point. Sure, I'd like to know where he got the gun (his dad? his grandmother, who he lived with? a friend? bought it off the street? stole it?) and did whoever the gun belong to LET him have it (not necessarily handing it over to him, but leaving it unlocked/out where he could have access), or did he TAKE it (breaking into a locked box, breaking into the home, etc)? Regardless…the kid went into that school with his mind set to do damage. He could have set fire to the building, could have zoomed through the parking lot as fast as he could in an SUV and mowed over as many kids as he could, but his weapon of choice was a gun. He is a PERSON and HE is the one who killed those kids. I have a gun that CAN kill, but so can my car, so can my butcher's knife, so can prescription meds, gas leaks, scissors, lawn mowers, bathtubs full of water…the PERSON is the murderer here.

    • kantal113 says:

      No doubt that TJ Lane is a murderer. But WHY is he a murderer? He’s a kid. Only 17 years old. I’m sure he knows right from wrong, but is he capable of using that knowledge? Did he have a support system? Did he feel loved or important?
      I’m guessing not.

      I am fine with people owning guns legally and responsibly, but there is no way this kid was one of those people, so someone else is to blame, imo.

      It is our job as parents to love our kids and to teach them that they have value, no matter what anyone else says. It is important to teach kindness and compassion and above all, I think it’s important to teach our kids to take care of each other.

      Someone should have seen this coming. He wasn’t born this way. From what I’ve read, he’d been abused and was now living with his grandparents. Like I’ve said, so many people failed him. All it would have taken was one person to reach out to him and this could have been prevented. And I’m interested in finding out where he got the gun.
      Only time will tell.

      Thank you again for reading and commenting. I do truly appreciate it. :)

  10. petelf says:

    I agree with most of it, but there are more responsible gun owners than not. You just don’t read about them. And there are certainly places where we hunt for our food! I learned to handle guns responsibly, my family hunts for food, and I shoot trap for fun. Not often, but whenever I get a chance to go home to Montana. Should a 17 year old have a gun or have access to a gun? Absolutely not.

    What I really agree with is something is seriously wrong. There is such a disconnect with kids today, and I’m not sure the reasons are entirely clear. There is so much hate and rage and intolerance – is it nature, nurture, chemicals in our food…what?! Why have people turned so cruel, and why would a 17 year old not confide in an adult he could trust?

    • kantal113 says:

      I’m afraid it’s because he didn’t have any adults to talk to who would really listen to him. His family and teachers failed him.
      I do know that people do hunt for food. I just don’t understand why. IMO killing is wrong. We are not gods. We have no right to decide who or what lives or dies. But, I fully respect people’s choice to hunt.
      This was an issue I had when I was vegetarian. Moral beliefs are what made me decide to be veg.
      Getting pregnant and craving meat is what made me fall of the wagon. LOL

      I appreciate your point of view and respect your responsible gun ownership. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  11. Mike says:

    I understand that this is a very controversial issue – and rightfully so. This is the future generation at risk and we need to be concerned. I also put the majority of the blame on the parents – so I agree with you in that sense. Sadly, however, I also understand that there are still truly sick people out there (yes, even adolescents) that may be beyond help. It is a very unfortunate element of humanity. If they didn’t snap as young people, they will eventually do so and maybe become a serial killer, rapist or pedofile.

    Which brings me to my second point and probably the reason for this comment being deleted. Saying that you have no respect for people who support the second amendment in this post – then saying that you will not accept any discussion of the topic in the comments – is unfair. I know that you do not want to spark a “troll fight” and get away from the main issue which is keeping our children safe and maintaining responsible parenting – but stating your opinion on guns and denying debate is iniquitous. That said, i respect your position on this issue and I understand why you didn’t want comments to turn in this direction as it is not the issue about the post. I say that it probably shouldn’t have been included – basically the part that you have “no respect” for gun owners. It was fairly inflammatory.

    But back to those people who in adolescence didn’t snap, but were a ticking time bomb that would later explode in adult life – even after a parent thought he or she raised a successful child. It would be hard to explain to the person you have no respect for when they successfully fended off a rape in a parking lot, their home (even with the doors locked, security system armed) with a legally possessed weapon. I happens more than you think – 100′s of Americans do this every year. If called, the police wouldn’t have had time to respond – these things happen in an instant. God forbid this happens to any of us and we don’t have a chance to defend ourselves. And second, yes guns are very dangerous things. But – the majority of crimes committed using guns are done so with illegally possessed weapons.

    In closing, it all goes back to parenting, your main point. Guns do kill people – both accidentally and intentionally. But, a responsible parent who may or may not be a gun owner would understand this and keep the weapon(s) out of reach of a child.

    But in the end if a person does want to kill, they will. The evil side of humanity comes back into play.

    I apologize that I disregarded the rules in my post, but I hope I came across as respectful. I understand that it will be deleted. I just hope the author made it this far to try and hear me out.

    • kantal113 says:

      I read all of my comments all the way through. I would never think of deleting such a well-written, honest comment. I appreciate all opinions and respect you for sharing yours here.
      I have gotten a few comments on my facebook page that said pretty much the same thing you did, and I had to explain myself and clarify a bit.
      I also decided to add an update to the post, to let people know that I was writing from my heart, not my mind.
      I know that even the best parents sometimes end up with a bad egg, and that sometimes there’s nothing anyone can do to stop a kid from going bad, and that’s another issue that I could have covered in this post but chose not to. Mainly because the post was already too long without it. And also because I really just wanted it to be about how I felt when I heard about the incident in Ohio and what it makes me feel about guns in general.

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting. It’s important to me to know that people are reading and are being affected by what I write, otherwise why keep writing?

      Thank you again. I hope you’ll read my posts in the future.

  12. Karin, rant away. I agree with you. We have a somewhat lesser occurrence of these tragic events in Canada and I believe a lot of it has to do with the fact that we have far fewer households with guns. I’m also tired of the parading of the “guns don’t kill people” cliché … no, inanimate objects don’t kill, that’s true. But I suppose then neither do street racing or alcohol or heroin. Neither do war or cigarettes.

    Whatever this boy’s issues were and/or are, he has been failed by his parents, his grandparents and his educators. This tragedy is one of the reasons that I am and will remain a constant presence in BoyGenius’ school life.

    Carry on. <3

    • kantal113 says:

      Thank you. All we can do is remain vigilant and always be there for our babies.
      I’ve always wanted to move to Canada. ;)
      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  13. Nicely done and I totally agree. I’m anti-gun too, unless there is a zombie apocalypse and then I will be the first in line to borrow one of my neighbor’s extra guns, which he keeps locked in a safe like he should. Knock on wood, I hope I will be able to notice if one of my kids is going through a tough time. I think I will. But in the meantime, I try to teach my kids to be kind and never bully anyone because it’s wrong and also, you never know when someone is going to go apeshit. {Sigh.} God bless those families for their losses. So tragic.

    • kantal113 says:

      Thank you, Iris.
      I think I’ll be the first to become a gun-toting mama if that zombie apocalypse happens. I’ve watched enough movies and now The Walking Dead, to know that guns and knives and other weapons will be detrimental to our survival. And I’ll be damned if I let some brain-dead zombie eat my kids.

      But- since that’s not happening and I can buy food from the grocery store, and since I live in a safe neighborhood, I think I’ll leave the guns to the cops and right-wingers.
      The biggest threat to my survival these days are the PTA moms. *gasp!*

      Thank you again for taking the time to read and comment, Iris. It means a lot to see you here on my baby blog. I love and respect your writing so much! I hope you’ll come back for more. :)

  14. Matthew says:

    If we have to blame (which apparently, as American’s, we do) I am less inclined to give the guns or the parents the majority of the blame. We have no idea what Lane’s home life was like, and it is possible that Lane’s grandparents were doing everything they could with the kid. We will probably never know. I am an advocate for strict gun regulation, but the gun was only the tool in this situation. The only thing the gun did was make it easier for Lane to do what he had clearly been planning to do for some time.

    I am more inclined to bemoan the state of a national media culture that continuously overexposes our young people on a massive scale to these violent outbursts. Since every tragic local event can now become a national phenomena due to 24 hour news channels and the internet, our young people (and our citizens in general) are at risk at seeing every violent incident like this most recent one over and over and over again. Every troubled kid who sees situations like this on the news can process the event as a possibility in his own life. The copycat impulse (especially as a teenager) is a very powerful one.

    The truth of Columbine is that it was a tragic local event. The coverage should have stayed localized. Instead, it blew up into a national media circus event. How many times did those 24 hour news channels show the disturbing (yet undeniably compelling and powerful) images of those two trenchcoat-clad young people stalking the darkened hallways of Columbine? How many other troubled kids around the country saw those compelling images, and dropped them like poisoned seeds into their already troubled minds?

    My guess? Thousands.

    Now, everytime another desperate kid brings a weapon into school, the 24 hour media circus starts all over again, and another distant tragedy begins to materialize in the mind of another sad kid.

    • kantal113 says:

      Thank you so much for this comment and your perspective. This is an angle that no one else has mentioned and I have to say I agree with you.
      You are also right that for all we know TJ Lane’s G-parents could have been model “parents” to him. We do know that his biological parents were less than stellar though, which is undoubtedly a big part of the entire tragedy. But I still believe that he was failed by the adults in his life. How did no one see that he was a troubled kid; and if they did, why did no one do anything to help him?
      That copycat impulse is unavoidable though, you’re right. The media creates more trouble than it solves. As for Columbine becoming a national media event, it was the largest school shooting ever in our country. It kinda was a big deal, but did it need to become the “circus event” that it did? Probably not.
      Great thoughts! Thank you again for reading and sharing!

      • Matthew says:

        “How did no one see that he was a troubled kid; and if they did, why did no one do anything to help him?”

        This question scares the hell out of me. Teenagers are experts at keeping stuff locked up inside. When my kids enter their teen years, I will be constantly terrified that I might not be able to break through their emotional fortifications and see what is right in front of me. I think this is why I never stop talking to my kids right now. At 2 and 6, they tolerate it. As teenagers? WHO KNOWS.

      • kantal113 says:

        I am also afraid of when my boys are teenagers. I suppose it’s pointless to worry now, but I just can’t help it. Only time will tell, I suppose. Thanks again for your comments!

  15. Currie Rose says:

    Wow, this was a brave piece to write. First I want to acknowledge you for expressing and owning your opinions in such a public forum.

    Second, though I do tend to lean toward no guns/anti violence, part of my spiritual belief system is that everything does happen for a reason (and though it’s not always comfortable, that everything which happens is for the highest learning/growing/evolving needs of all concerned) and there is no black and white in life, only shades of gray. To quote Michael Franti, “Nobody Right, Nobody Wrong.”

    However, since I grew up in family where alcoholism, abuse and all sorts of very unhealthy and disempowering things occured, I have to agree with you on some points. Your words about parents truly triggered certain memories of my own childhood. When I was 13, I remember my father holding my brother down on the kitchen floor, beating him bloody… he called him a bad kid. He was sent to rehab and I remember dying a little bit on the inside when we went to family counseling at the rehab place and my parents took no responsibility whatsoever for my brothers issues. Maybe they were cowards or maybe they had selective memories on what they did in front of my brother and I since we were little. They told the counselor that they had no idea why my brother was so bad, that he was a true problem in our home and my brother was treated like a criminal on all counts by my parents and ESPECIALLY by the people working in the rehab facility. My parents played the clueless card and I as an innocent bystander to a lot of what happened (serioiusly, I was wise enough from a very young age to steer clear of the “grown-ups”)… and they never once tried to clean up their own acts (during that time) and become somewhat functional people or parents.

    In the end, I don’t know what I want to say. Though I have never had to bare witness or be close to anyone involved in these shootings and I hope I never will…. I know that sometimes parents really are not involved with their kids and don’t understand how to talk to their kids or be a part of their lives, because no one was ever there for them. However, I do think that sometimes, even when parents try really hard, their kids still have their own journey, their own paths and make their own choices. Case in point, my best friends (twins) in highschool: They grew up in a good family, their parents watched them, talked to them, disciplined them, tried to teach them responsibility, wanted to know their friends, etc… however no matter how much they tried, both girls, wound up pregnant really young, with some really choice men, didn’t go to college (though they had a paid ride), and were into partying regularly. Their mom used to blame me as a bad influence, since I came from a bad family… and she didn’t know me very well. However, I was the type of kid who cleaned my room with no one asking, didn’t drink at parties (for the most part), wasn’t into one night stands and was generally a pretty good kid. I also went to college on my own and I believe I have developed into a pretty wonderful person against the odds….

    Anyway, thanks for your thoughts. Your post truly got me thinking. Also, I am sort of on a song thing this morning, every comment I’ve mad has been accompanied by the song that comes to mind or was listening to while reading their blog. So, the song that came to mind was the Michael Franti one.
    I hope you have a lovely day,
    Currie

    • kantal113 says:

      Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment! I believe you’re right about things happening as they should. Everything is perfectly inperfect, really.
      And I do know that even when parents do everything they can to be the very best parents they can, their kids can still choose the wrong path. Such is not the case for TJ Lane though. He’s from a broken family.
      I am just so tired of the tragedies involving school-aged kids. *sigh*
      Thank you again for reading and commenting!

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