Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Red Lake, Minnesota

There was another school shooting this week. This time in Red Lake, Minnesota. Ten people were killed by a young boy with a gun - or guns. This is the first one of these since Columbine but somehow, the Columbine shootings still seem pretty recent.

From what we know about the adolescent mind, it seems pretty clear that teens are going to make bad decisions. Their brains are wired in such a way that the higher decision-making areas just aren't developed yet. We see it all the time in schools and, no surprise, in the way they drive. When I taught high school I dreaded after-school parking lot duty. I saw so many potential accidents and near-misses that I couldn't stand watching. So, it's pretty clear that some kids are going to make some really really bad decisions. Some kids will feel ostracized. Some willl get angry. Some will want revenge. There is little we can do about that given the nature of people and of adolescents.

What we can do is minimize the danger by getting rid of guns. This strikes me as a pretty clear solution to the problem. This is an easy way to minimize the damage that kids can do when they go off the rails. Come to think of it - it might minimize the damage lots of people can do. Why are we so obsessed with guns? I don't get it.

1 comment:

bethany said...

The problem is people who advocate having guns are thinking that there are good people and bad people. And bad people will get guns whether they are legal or not. but the thing is, a lot of times, tragedy comes from good people making bad decisions and having a gun to do it with.