October 12, 2007

I Am Weary

I am weary. Weary of watching all the news on television, affirming in all of their words, what a terrible state our country is in. I am tired of hearing about kids killing, and harming other kids, and then taking their own lives. How did those lives get to be so awful, that the only alternative is to end it all, taking out as many others as possible before they do? What can be going on in the mind of a fourteen year old to make him want to kill and hurt someone? That's what's going on around the country, and that is what happened here, in my own backyard, yesterday. They say the kid had a troubled home life. They say that he had mental issues, and was on medication. They say that he was beaten up at school, and made fun of, and that he had been suspended from school the day before he went back and did his dirty deed. After all the shooting, he went to another floor, and there, looking out of the window, he had a clear view of the police vehicles arriving, and that's when he took his own life. Fourteen years old. What has happened to our children? What have we done to them? I know that there are some who will think that my sympathy is misplaced, that I should be feeling sorry for the victims. I do. But my heart breaks for this young man, who seemingly, felt that he had nothing to live for, and was so full of anger that he could no longer contain it. Why? That is what I want to know. Why have people become so self-absorbed that they can't give their children a good foundation, some kind of direction in life? I realize that it is sometimes neccessary for both parents to work, and that sometimes, there is only one parent, and most of the time that parent is the mother, but I have known families like that, and they still made time for their children, and by example, taught them values, and self-worth. I know how hard it is when you are a single parent, and trying to keep food on the table, and a roof overhead. I've been there, and I know that it is not an easy task. There was a time when we all cared about our neighbors, about each other. Now, it seems that we feel it is just easier to look the other way. Surely, there must have been someone, somewhere, who could have seen this coming. According to the news reports, the police had gone to the home just the night before because of an incident involving an older brother who had just gotten out of prison. Today, they arrested him. They had been called to the home at least one other time, when the fourteen year old was fighting with the mother. It is hard to place blame here. Who knows what hardship she was going through--the obstacles she was trying to overcome? I don't know the answers. I only know that my heart goes out to all involved. I wish we could all get back to the time when we cared for ourselves, and each other. When, if we saw someone in need, or hurting, we tried to help. A time when our own homes were our havens, our streets were safe, and life had value. The hue and cry now is, "Take back our streets, take back our town," but I'm afraid it's a little too late now--and it's falling on deaf ears.


Vin De Vine said...

I still remember March 24, 1998, the Joneboro Massacre in my hometown. 13 students and 2 teachers were shot by two boys. 5 people died from that action.
Both boys are on the streets today.
Mitchell was released in August of 2005, Andrew released May of this year. Both released on their 21st brthday.

rockync said...

I too have grown weary and discouraged. My lament is just like yours. Society in general seems to have become self abosrbed to the point of being unconcerned with the world around them. And you wonder, what will become of this generation of children and the ones to follow.

Jan said...

"Both boys are on the streets today."

Vin..and you have to wonder if they've had a change of heart while they were locked up, or if they only became worse in their outlook on things.

Jan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jan said...

Oops..double posted. :)

Jan said...

rockync..I know.

It is happening everywhere, and right after the incident here, they found another fourteen year old who was planning another Columbine-type event. The mother bought some of the weapons, unaware, I'm sure, of what was going on in the mind of her child.

rockync said...

I think the weakest link in these tragedies happens earlier in life when these kids show disturbing behaviors that are not fully addressed by professionals. Asa Coon seems to have had some clear signs of abuse and mental problems that were not followed up on. The kid should have probably been pulled from the home at a much younger age since Mom does not seem to have had much ability to keep the kid safe. In North Carolina we have very strigent child safety laws and kids are taken out of homes here much more frequently. Parents have only a set amount of time to get their act together or they lose parental rights and the kids are open for adoption.
Sounds harsh, but I used to volunterr as a Guardian Ad Litem working these cases. Most of the time the kids were much better off. Many of these parents used drugs, had unsavory people around their children and children were exposed to sexual and physical abuse. Sad, sad, sad. Children MUST be safe, first and foremost. The schools are failing in not ensuring the safety of children by stopping bullying and fighting. I saw the fight video and was shocked at the number of people who drove by without stopping or at least calling the cops. What is the matter with people? If we live our lives in constant fear that paralyzes us and prevents us from standing, then this world is doomed.
Don't get me wrong; I am deeply sympathetic toward the victims, most if not all who probably had little or no involvement with the shooter. But in order to stop the violence, we as a society need to work on the disenfranchised who are the real threat if left alone.

Jan said...

rockync..I know it is everywhere, but this area is unbelievable as to what goes on, on a daily basis.

It was not too long ago, that a kid broke into his ex-girlfriend's house, and raped her. The presiding judge released him, because she said the detention home didn't have room for him, then he took a shotgun and blew the girlfriend's face off.

The young girl survived, but now is going through several surgeries to restore her face.

The courts are going to have to step up and take some responsibility, too.

sue said...

It is sad and discouraging. There were times when the kids were in school and I would be glad we lived in such a small community that felt relatively "safe"... but now I'm older and it has been happening more often and I realize that we really aren't safe any longer. I worry for my grandson.

Jan said...

sue...I don't think anyplace is safe anymore. At least not in the way that we remember.

rockync said...

I agree Jan, there are a lot of adults and professionals involved and they all need to step up to the plate. I think one of the probelms in your area which has infected our city areas is the resurgence of gangs. They are more violent and have more members than ever before. The problems seem overwhelming don't they?
Parents need to take the time to raise thier children and be in control, where that's not working, child services need to intervene, the schools need to put together meaningful zero tolerance programs for bullying and fighting. (I tried to interest every high school in my area in doing a program called Challenge Day and had no takers-that tells you something about the gen'l apathy out here. One prinical responded telling me they had no problems in their school which I found laughable since it was the school my son went to and they have lots of problems there.)When all other avenues have failed, then the judicial system must have enough space avail to keep our citizens safe. Law enforcement must clean up the streets and clean out the gangs in a very aggressive manner. Mental health must do its job and ensure those individuals that need it are hospitalized long enough and followed up with after. So much needs to be done and so few willing to take up the challenge.
It is pretty disheartening isn't it?

Jan said...

rockync..very disheartening.

Speaking of the gangs, they used to be found mostly in the inner-city, but now they have moved into many of the suburbs, as well.

Vin De Vine said...

yes gangs are even prevelent in rural towns like Needles and Red Bluff. And I ask myself how does a town with a population of 5000 end up with enough children to form two opposing gangs?

"It's the rap music I tell ya!"

OMG did I just say that???

*remebers Dad yelling:

"It's that Damn rock and Roll!"*

rockync said...

LOL, Vin, I remember that old saw about rock n roll. I think the greater problem is the irresponsibility of the parents. Many parents allow children to be disrespectful, to run the house, speak rudely to their elders and they make excuses for them instead of making them take responsibility for their actions. Parenting is not for sissies or the immature.

CresceNet said...
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