February 14, 2018

Wondering on Wednesday (v121)

You may have heard in the reporting on the horrific shooting in Florida that it was the 18th school shooting this year; I heard that, and I wondered about it: how could it be true, first of all, and how did we not hear of all of these shootings?

I found a list of the shootings - it has everything from 2013 to the present, and you can click on each to see the details. I think the statistic is slightly misleading -- in the first shooting of 2018, for example, a man called 911 from the parking lot of a school saying he was suicidal. After a long standoff, he eventually did commit suicide.

At no point were any students in jeopardy, as the school was closed at the time of the incident. And students in jeopardy is the very first thing most of us think of when we hear 'school shooting.'

That said, it's still a shocking number of incidents of gun violence taking place at schools -- from elementary schools to well known universities and everything in between. The highlighted links are described as "attack on other persons(s) resulting in injury or death."

That same description will be used when today's shooting is added to the list; at least 17 people were killed and another 14 were injured, five of whom are in critical condition now.
As the investigation continues, we'll learn more about the accused shooter - a former student, expelled from school for disciplinary reasons, considered by other students interviewed today to be perfectly capable of doing exactly what he did.

We'll be reminded that it's "too soon" to talk about anything, whether it's mental health or gun control.

We'll be reminded that atrocities like this should never be politicized, even as the people who remind us of that do exactly what they're reminding us to never do.

We'll be reminded that schools would be a whole lot safer if only there were more guns in the hands of teachers, secretaries, janitors and cafeteria ladies.

We'll be reminded, as we were today by the president, that no child should feel unsafe at school.

Maybe we'll be told that this shooting, like Sandy Hook, was a 'false flag' and never happened.

And, we'll be reminded that this happens only here.

This happens only in America.

Why is that, I wonder?

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