The recent shooting at Freeman High School in Washington has brought up familiar questions. Every time a school shooting occurs, we look for where the blame lies. Was it the parents? Is it society? What about the school administration?
According to ABC News, there are also individuals who blame the weapon itself. However, Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich disagrees. During a press conference, he talked about how things were when he was a child and how he and his friends routinely carried firearms used for hunting. Then, he discussed how society is now different from how it was in the past.
“You started glorifying cultures of violence, you glorified the gang culture, you glorified games that actually give you points for raping and killing people. The gun didn’t change, we changed.”
The sheriff stated that when he was younger, they didn’t deal with the types of school shootings we are seeing today — despite the fact that most children carried weapons. He blames society and the restrictions on school officials for the epidemic of school shootings in the country. He said,
“We have developed a system within our schools — those teachers and those administrators and everything else are so handcuffed and so hamstrung, that they can’t deal with the issues they need to deal with because we have put so many restrictions on their ability to control their classrooms, to keep people that shouldn’t be in school out of school.”
During the press conference, Sheriff Knezovich was asked what we can do to stop school shootings. He responded by saying that the answer lies in how we raise our children, stating, “Train our kids to do the right thing rather than create a culture where if they try to do the right thing, they’re chastised. If you see it talk about it.”
He also had some words for kids who might notice signs of violent behavior in one of their peers,
“And kids, if you see it, you need to speak up because it may be your friend that you save. You can’t be afraid of losing a friend because you don’t know how many friends it could cost you. But that is one of the things we need to definitely make sure our kids understand — that it’s okay to do the right thing. They’re not a snitch — it’s doing the right thing.”
On September 15, the shooter — whose name has not been released because he is a minor — walked into the school armed with an automatic rifle and a semi-automatic handgun. He shot three students with the rifle when it jammed, preventing him from firing.
After pulling out the handgun, one of his peers attempted to talk him out of continuing his attack, but the student fatally shot him.
The student was apprehended by the school janitor and a school resource officer. The other three children who were shot were transported to the hospital. They are in satisfactory condition. According to Reuters, Sheriff Knezovich indicated that law enforcement intends to try the shooter as an adult for premeditated murder.
School shootings have become one of the most heartbreaking tragedies experienced in American society. Each incident leaves us more confused as to the cause of these senseless acts of violence.
However, the 2nd amendment is not responsible for these types of occurrences. Indeed, there are other countries who allow their citizens to carry weapons without dealing with incidences such as these. Rather than using these shootings as a political tool to further restrict our 2nd amendment rights, we should focus on determining the true cause of this type of violence.