American journalism has failed its people again. Another vessel of hatred and rage exploded, and like all the of the others before him, there were huge warning signs that people who should have done something about, ignored it.
American journalists have done a great disservice to its people: it keeps telling of a simple solution: just get rid of guns, and then all will be corrected.
No, it won't.
They will brings knives. They will throw acid. They will build bombs.
Do not kid yourself.
Do I believe in gun control?
I don't understand the need for guns in the first place. I have always said you can stick a gun in my hand, and anger me to the breaking point, I am not going to shoot anyone with it.
I do not live a stress-free, trouble-free charmed life. The last couple of years have been horrendous.
But I am not someone who would cause another person harm or trauma.
I have empathy. I have morals. Guns do not appeal to me.
But America has a violence problem. The guns are a manifestation of that problem, not the cause.
But the news media like quick and easy solutions. They tell people if guns are off the street, they can go back to their mundane middle-class lives worry-free.
Gun control is a shallow solution to a deep-rooted problem.
Why do you have so many young men (and a few young women) who explode like that?
Violence is glorified everywhere: it's in the movies and on television. It is in video games. It is always seen as a solution to a problem.
It is a hyper-violent society that has parents go ballistic if a teacher sees that their child is troubled and points this out to them. We do not teach emotional literacy in schools. We don't teach children at an early age to deal with rejection, obstacles, and frustrations.
I work as an educator. I have taught children and young adults. I worked in one place where a student physically assaulted a teacher, and the student was not expelled or charged -- and I find out all this after he was in my class. I was not warned.
The rate of shootings is increasing. The problem is getting worse. People want a fast fix, but there isn't one. It requires facing some very ugly truths. It requires work that will take people away from their online gaming.
What we have is a lack of connect. We have an Internet that is filled with people recruiting youth into all sorts of violent ventures, from gangs to cyberbullying to even terrorism.
The latest killer fell through hundreds of cracks. If teachers were given the tools and the freedom to identify troubled students so that something can be done, it would help far more than just hoping the kid whose gun was taken away doesn't resort to explosives.
Gun control is a tiny fraction of the problem. The drive -- the rage -- to kill is the bigger problem.
Journalism could have been a tool to stop politicizing hatred -- it could have had student reporters on staff to show what is happening within their own schools, for instance.
I have said it in my book Don't Believe It!: that there is a huge difference between a story that asks "Are your kids safe at school" and "Are you safe at school?"
It was something that troubled me when I was working on Chaser News: one of the stories I covered was a general version of the "Are you safe at school" story. It covered health and safety violations, but had I more traction, the natural progression would soon entail student-on-student violence because this was going to be a long-arc for me.
Because media never talked to kids. They have become an enigma to us. So when they explode and shoot up their school -- or pack it up to join ISIS -- we are shocked, shocked, shocked.
Why are we shocked?
Because an entire demographic was ignored.
Yes, America, you have a problem.
Don't look to your television ads for Gun Away that works like a Slap Chop.
Take a walk through your children's schools tomorrow, and study that battlefield.
Look around at the other kids, and your own to see how they fit together -- or don't.
You will have to do all this work yourself because there is no media outlet who can do that for you.
And that is one of the greatest failures of journalism -- that they never bothered to look toward the future by walking those school halls to tell you how things were fragmenting and falling apart.