[Greggs] Not That Many Bullets | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

[Greggs] Not That Many Bullets

It used to be that when you wanted to lose it and shoot a bunch of the idiots hanging around you, you would say you were about to "go postal." It seems to me that after the recent uprising in school shootings we almost have to call it "going to school." Is this freaking anyone else out, or is it just me?

Just reading about them is scary. Here's a quick glimpse of only the past two months:

8-24-2006—In Essex, Vt., Christopher Williams, 27, shot two teachers while looking for his ex-girlfriend. He had killed the ex's mother before going to school.

9-13-2006—Kimveer Gill, 25, opened fire in Montreal on a crowd of students at Dawson College. More than a dozen students were wounded before he finally took his own life.

9-26-2006—A man held six students hostage at Platte Canyon High School in Bailey, Colo., before shooting one student and then himself.

9-29-2006—A 15-year-old student killed his principal at Weston School in Cazenovia, Wis.

10-03-2006—Carl Charles Roberts IV shot 10 girls at West Nickel Mines Amish school in Pennsylvania and then himself. Five of the school girls died.

Social scientists studying the phenomenon of school shootings agree on one thing: There really isn't a "profile" of a school shooter, but most have been the target of bullying at some point. They often plan their revenge on those bullies for long periods of time.

I call bullsh*t on this "lack of a profile." Time after time, we have seen the same boy pull the same gun and do the same thing to his fellow students. Want to know what they all have in common? They are white, middle-class males who have stated, often at school or work and to other students or co-workers, that they were going to come in one day and take some people out. Now, if that isn't a profile, I don't know what is. Lord knows if these shooters were brown, yellow or black, we'd be searching every ethnic child for weapons before they came to school.

Oh wait, we already do that.

Kids in inner-city schools get searched every day for weapons, drugs or anything else administrators think they shouldn't have in the building. But most often, in white middle-class suburbia, where the bulk of school shootings occur, kids are never thought of as "dangerous." Even when they come to school and tell other people they are dangerous.

I believe white males perpetrate more school shootings because no one has taught them how to handle adversity. African American children and other minorities are taught from a young age that they will experience a lack of understanding by the majority population. They are taught how to handle this. They are taught that people will often see them as someone inferior who is fair game for being hurt, taunted or teased for this reason alone.

Unfortunately, our white children are taught that they deserve any and everything in the word, with no questions asked. When someone gets in their face and challenges this sentiment, their first thought is to kill the perpetrator. Want to know why? Because no one ever told them life was going to be hard.

I think this subject is even closer to some Mississippians' heart after experiencing first-hand the shooting at Pearl High School by Luke Woodham. He is currently serving life at Parchman for an act he committed because, as he said, "Life has wronged me." What could possibly be "wrong" in Pearl? It's a white suburb. There can't be anything wrong in Pearl because we have chosen it as one of the "safe places."

Well, I'm here to tell you that we are wrong. It does happen here. And until people realize that violence knows no color, it will continue to happen here. Part of this problem is deep-seated denial about what constitutes a true threat. The other part, at least to me, seems to run much deeper—a complete lack of respect for human life and an inability to effectively handle adversity.

We aren't doing our white children any favors by painting life with rainbows and bunnies. We aren't teaching them to effectively address things that are hurtful, confusing or just plain stupid. We don't teach them how to believe in themselves and understand that life isn't always going to be easy. This is a lesson that our ethnic and minority children get most days of their life. Our white kids? Well, they are handed cars, clothes and the idea that if things don't go just the way they want, the world will fall apart. We've seen them time and time again blow their worlds to pieces when they felt things weren't working out as they planned.

Until we start teaching our children how to handle difficulties in life, they will continue to kill. Until we teach them that life entitles them to nothing but breath in their lungs, they will continue to take their aggression to the social setting where they spend the bulk of their time—school.

Until that time, I'm here to tell you kids that life is hard and long. You can't possibly take out all the stupid people you are going to run into through the course of it. There aren't that many bullets.

Previous Comments

ID
73822
Comment

Gotcha. But the hardest question of all is how to handle the bullies in a system based on glorifying the bullies. It seems that many of the killings are retribution and there had been cries for help from those who were overwhelmed with hatred and judgement. Now bullying in no way entitles one to SHOOT TO KILL, but that's been a recurring theme, and it's one we need to address seriously. Ever tried to talk to a teacher/principal about bullying? Yes, they'll regurge the same old "zero tolerance"; however, when push comes to shove, teachers are overwhelmed with the teaching itself to also manage social lives. So yes, parents get involved. Teach your children that putting others down to lift themselves up is unacceptable. And if they start showing signs of violence, get a specialist STAT. Schools ain't gonna do it for us!

Author
emilyb
Date
2006-10-18T21:58:07-06:00
ID
73823
Comment

he was just evil emily . He chased his mother through the house and stabbed her to death throughout the entire house. Her bloodstains were ont he walls, floor, etc. That poor woman knew what was going on the whole time. He tortured the dog to death. This was not bullying. This was a killer that was hardening himself for battle.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-10-18T22:00:44-06:00
ID
73824
Comment

Ali, I don't know the numbers, but isn't it possible that there ARE lots of black kids in the inner cities shooting other kids, and it just isn't reported because no one cares what happens to black inner city kids? Just like black children being abducted, or black women being raped. Doesn't it only make the national news if the case is "sexy" enough to grab the audience? Evidently, nothing is sexier to American tastes than for an 18 year old rich, white, pretty girl to be abduced and brutally assaulted and murdered. But no one cares if it's a poor black girl, or even a poor white girl. Or, for that matter, even a rich, white, ugly girl. Anyway, I'm just wodering about whether this might be why we don't hear about it when the black kids do this. It's just because no one cares. As for white kids being unable to cope...yes, I think that is true. I'd say, though, that it's any kid of any race who is part of white culture. Kids of my generation (Gen X) and younger are always searching for meaning, and getting disillusioned. Nothing is more difficut to handle than absolute freedom and unlimited opportunity. Evidently, we can't cope with having the ability to do absolutely anything - -we need barriers to push against, and we just don't have them that often. Strange result, but it is true. Evidently, it's been part of human nature for a long time. I just read a passage in War and Peace where Tolstoy talks about this very thing. "Nothing new under the sun", I guess.

Author
GLB
Date
2006-10-18T22:43:03-06:00
ID
73825
Comment

GLB: good points you raise. However, I think because the single homicide stuff takes place so often that we just filter it out. Read the Times Picayune on a daily basis and after awhile you will start filtering out all the crime stories in the paper. Unfortunately, it now takes a really brutal crime or mass murder to shock us now.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-10-18T22:48:06-06:00
ID
73826
Comment

I doubt any single bully, or bullying over the course of several years caused the killings at Pearl to occur. Nor were the killings at Columbine or any of the other schools throughout the country caused by just bullying. Millions of males attend and graduate from High Schools and millions of them were bullied, pushed around and made to feel bad about themselves for whatever reason. Kids in Jr. High and High School are like that. Not to say there is any excuse for bullying anyone, but my point is lots of kids are bullied and never kill anyone. Why did the Pearl shooting happen? Or Columbine? They were psychotic and homicidal. They were criminals who, like all criminals, take out there rage in the most cowardly way; by hurting innocent people. I do not buy into the idea that bullying caused these kids to kill, they killed for a host of reasons that built up in their minds, like all killers. Maybe their parents didn't love them, or they were abused, or they had drug problems, or they had chemical imbalances, and last of all they got bullied. These killings are all the culmination of a psychotic brain and I don't believe the bullying is dispositive of any of it. My rationale is based on what I said previously, millions of males go all the way through school and never hurt anyone. These killings are few and far between and are the progression of homocidal individuals who would have killed because of any reason, bullied or not. Additionally, Greggs, your pretty all-encompassing by saying that we aren't teaching our children to believe in themselves or teaching them that life isn't always rosey. I, like many of my friends, had a good childhood and I was always taught that life is tough and you don't always get what you want. I come from a single parent family and life has never been easy and still isn't but I, like millions of other productive males have somehow figured out how to make it through life without snapping. Additionally, I am from a very rural part of Mississippi and had many friends who grew up in broken homes, with abusive parents and somehow, now, live productive lives with good jobs and real devotion to their own children. I have no children of my own, but many of my friends do, and I would not be friends with them if they weren't good parents and I happen to believe that a new generation of kids will grow up with good values and a realistic view on life. Whew. Ok, Got to climb off my soapbox, jeez, I stacked these soapboxes up high!

Author
E
Date
2006-10-18T22:51:23-06:00
ID
73827
Comment

as a sidenote on Pearl, those kids were just evil. Justin Sledge wound up in Jail a few years later due to firearms law violations. Another one wound up in jail for stealing some computers if I remember correctly.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-10-18T23:00:34-06:00
ID
73828
Comment

Well, very rarely do you have large scale African American violence in schools. Usually, its kid on kid. The main point I was trying to make is that danger comes in all froms...and many things feed into this...one of the major ones being the idea that everyone is entitled to the perfect life. I think "these days' *(chirst, that makes me feel old) parents are so scared of anything bad happenign to their children, they often don't teach the coping skill necessary to deal with bullying or how to deal with uncomfortable social situations. The other part being that I was rushed to write this column...and couldn't include a full development of the idea because it would have ended at three thousand words. I had a fever and was coughing up lung juice. You guys got the dumbed down version. :) But, I think the point is valid. E-as you said-there are exceptions to every rule. I'm just more angered that social scientists act as if their is "no profile". That whole "dog killing" thing is one of our "red flags" as therapists. If a child wets the bed after an appropriate age, starts small fires, or tortures animals....well, its pretty much known he will later have violent tendencies in life without counseling or some sort of intensive intervention. A lot of middle class families don't get these "interventions" because they toss it off as "teenage" behavior. Whereas I'll get a call from an African American woman the SAME DAY her child sets a fire in the house or wets the bed screaming 'His head ain't right." I think its more parents not being in denial about the possibility that something might be wrong with their own children. We could call it White Denial...but I'm sure that might get some of you guys panties in a bunch. Which could be fun for all of us. :P

Author
Lori G
Date
2006-10-18T23:13:05-06:00
ID
73829
Comment

I think the longer you protect someone from facing any kind of adversity, the less prepared he is for life. I had a principal once who if we wanted to fight, would say fine, we go to gym, we going to lace up the boxing gloves, and let you two go at it. The result was few fights if any. That would make everyone realize the fight was a stupid idea and everyone would chill out.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-10-18T23:16:27-06:00
ID
73830
Comment

Despite your sickness, I am glad you made it out of bed to write, you always keep us on our toes and gives me a reason to think. Get better and remember whiskey and/or scotch are the miracle cures of our age. I'm like a snake-oil salesman, "Uncle E's Old Fashioned Cure-All, 180 Proof." LOL.

Author
E
Date
2006-10-18T23:17:25-06:00
ID
73831
Comment

Ali -- no need to apologize for original thinking and writing. If someone dismisses everything you say just because there are some pieces that are not in place, then they aren't really gonna be receptive to anything you have to say. Such people aren't interested in learning -- they're interested in being right. I know -- I've been such a person many times in my life, and certanly wil be again. Dumb me.

Author
GLB
Date
2006-10-18T23:32:47-06:00
ID
73832
Comment

Ali writes: Well, very rarely do you have large scale African American violence in schools. Usually, its kid on kid. And there are almost no black serial killers, either. And if you've read the Harris and Klebold journals (I don't recommend it--it's a distressing experience), having read much primary material from serial killers, it's all the same mindset. Luke Woodham, Eric Harris, Dylan Klebold--these were all essentially serial killers who functioned as spree killers because they didn't have the means to get away with isolated homicides and essentially gorged themselves on murders for that reason, much like a camel filling up on water before a long dry spell. You've written a wonderful article here, but I don't think the issue is that these kids have been shielded from adversity. I think the issue is that they're sociopaths, sadists, and that they got that way through the very white media driven, the very entitlement-driven, cult of male violence, just like serial killers did. None of the school shooters I've ever read about just snapped; all of them built up to that point, writing and saying horrifically violent and hateful stuff for months or years in advance of their crimes. I knew a guy kind of like that once, and he scared the hell out of me because his thought patterns were so violent, so hateful. I haven't heard from him for upwards of five years, but every now and then I google his name just to be sure he hasn't killed anybody yet. So far, no dice. Using graphically violent metaphors and spewing hate isn't illegal, so short of finding out what state this guy lives in now and running around behind him screaming "STAY AWAY! STAY AWAY!," all I can do--just as all Luke Woodham's and Eric Harris' and Dylan Klebold's friends could do--is hope I'm wrong. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-10-19T00:34:31-06:00
ID
73833
Comment

...but I think you're so right about the white denial, "not MY baby" mindset. At least one of the Columbine shooters' parents had reason, to say the least, to get the kid treated in an institutional setting. I suspect they've been kicking themselves hard for years about it, so I'm not going to condemn them, but the reason the media loves violence = blackness is because if violence = blackness, blackness = violence -- and as long as we stay in our nice white neighborhoods with our nice white friends and our nice white families, everything will be hunky-dory. The idea that human evil can be found everywhere is much less scary to whites than believing that it can be found west of Gallatin after dark. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-10-19T00:38:44-06:00
ID
73834
Comment

"much less scary" --> "much more scary." Bother. I need more sleep. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-10-19T00:39:22-06:00
ID
73835
Comment

I'll comment on this one later. Going to take a shot at going to sleep again. Shot! Ah! I slay me. :D

Author
Ironghost
Date
2006-10-19T03:42:18-06:00
ID
73836
Comment

Thanks Tom. The "not my kid" was what I was getting at. And if there ARE red flags, if there IS evidence of bullying, if the kid is torturing animals for God's sakes, when are we going to say, "Hey...hold up here..." instead of "Oh kids will be kids." I'm not into that "y'all fight it out" crap. Sorry. We can teach coping skills while at the same time teach kids to not be assholes to each other. We depend on our churches to do it for us, and we don't carry the sentiment home. The fight it out thing also reinforces that there's an all-right all-wrong way of life, and that's untrue. And yes Kingfish, I know what they did was evil. Made me sick. I was in college to be a teacher, then was teaching during Columbine. The day after Columbine my Honors Senior English Class, at a all-black school (had one white kid the whole time) journalled about it and talked about it. We were all in such a state of shock, that Shakespeare did not seem possible that day. That's also the day that the ONE white kid, the one whose hygeine was not so good, whose parents may or may not have ever bothered to talk to him, was sent home for carrying a 2 x 4 down the hallway. Those Seniors told me point blank that morning that THAT kid was the type they'd expect to go "postal" one day. Our kids can identify who to look out for; why can't we? One thing I love about my son's school is the sign a "bully contract" that says essentially, I'll treat others with respect, and if I witness behavior that could hurt others, I will tell a grown-up. Sure it's easy to implement in grade school, but I really do think that if we are more AWARE of the problems in these suburban schools, we can start making it a less scary place. Finally, I had the weird fortune of meeting an MBN officer, on drug task force, who's worked the country, mostly New Orleans and Rankin County. He told me point blank that ALL schools should have an armed officer. I'm not so sure about armed, but I do think they ALL should have one who is a "buddy," they feel comfortable talking too and can help identifying behaviors our teachers and parents don't.

Author
emilyb
Date
2006-10-19T06:42:24-06:00
ID
73837
Comment

This was a fascinating column, Ali, and one that I can identify with, though I will wait until later to comment as I'm currently between meetings. I will confess that growing up in a poor/working class black neighborhood, even with a loving Christian family, that I harbored murderous thoughts towards some of my classmates and neighborhood kids, mainly the ones who bullied me and made my life a living hell at times. I was a nerd, and the feelings of isolation and rejection that comes from being different in a society that requires that one fit in and conform in order to be accepted is a powerful and painful emotion, and mixed with other negative influences it may drive some to commit horrendous acts of violence and vengence.

Author
Jeff Lucas
Date
2006-10-19T08:43:43-06:00
ID
73838
Comment

Ali, I don't know the numbers, but isn't it possible that there ARE lots of black kids in the inner cities shooting other kids, and it just isn't reported because no one cares what happens to black inner city kids? Actually, those are the *first* the media would jump all over. You couldn't cover up school shootings in black schools. And they're not. A large part of a fellowship I did studied this stuff, and it absolutely true that this is overwhelmingly a white, middle-class phenomenon. Now, it's more complicated than one column can get into. If we don't discuss these kids' (a) easy access to weapons, (b) upbringing in sheltered/"gated" communities (actually or proverbially, and Ali is touching on this, or (c) the presence of legal psychotropic drugs in many of these kids when they committed the shootings, then we really aren't interested in getting at the heart of it. (And all of those issues are very real in white middle-class suburbia.) Also, Kingfish, just saying they are "evil" is silly, and won't help anything. If we're actually interested in preventing these things, we've got to get beyond looking for "evil" kids and figure out how to change the culture so that they have the desire or ability to blow up everyone around them one day. And none of their parents thought they were "evil," so clearly the signs of evilness aren't as exact as you might like.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-10-19T10:39:32-06:00
ID
73839
Comment

BTW, the whole school-shooting spate of the late 1990s is one of several factors that helped negate the "super-predator" theory about young blacks that was being pushed by conservatives like Bill Bennett and all sorts of Reagan-Bushie types at the time.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-10-19T10:40:32-06:00
ID
73840
Comment

And the "bullying" argument is simplistic and a bit of a scapegoat as Ali alludes to.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-10-19T10:41:46-06:00
ID
73841
Comment

good thread.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-10-19T10:42:28-06:00
ID
73842
Comment

Oh, and Tom makes a good point, Kingfish. You can call them "evil," but the real question is how they got there, and why that particular "evil" is pretty much happening in one type of community.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-10-19T10:43:14-06:00
ID
73843
Comment

you don't see me disagreeing with much on this thread, do you? NOW let me ask this question. I'll take your word for it on stats of black on black shootings at schools. How much takes place not at school but outside of school among Black students or Blacks that are school-age? I don't know the answer or have any idea, just thought I would ask. If a good bit takes place (which you see in N.O. too much unfortunately) then the numbers might even out a little. Just a thought I had, not an opinion.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-10-19T10:46:07-06:00
ID
73844
Comment

Kingfish, this one hit that defensive nerve you have on race issues, didn't it? The fact is that this type of violence is not epidemic in the black community. Why don't we deal with where it is a problem, and what we can do about it, rather than waste time trying to, er, whitewash the facts?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-10-19T10:56:38-06:00
ID
73845
Comment

Also, what is underreported are individual acts of violence by middle-class and upper-class *white* kids. For obvious reasons (because their parents are often in a position to squash it). Now, one reason why "zero tolerance" policies became so controversial in recent years was because policies that were previously used to discriminate against certain kids (usually poor and/or of color) started to be applied more "evenly," and that started pissing off white parents. It's one of those situations where binary thinking is really challenged: "zero tolerance" policies are bad for all kids, and much worse (and often discriminatory) for kids of color—and both of those things are true at the same time! This was the primary topic of my six-month fellowship; I can really unload on this one, but no time right now. ;-)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-10-19T11:00:25-06:00
ID
73846
Comment

Kingfish, the issue is not whether or not whites are "worse" than blacks. The issue is typology. There are very few black serial killers and very few black school shooters. Both, unlike the majority of black shooters in other contexts, are sociopaths who kill for killing's sake. It's almost exclusively a white male thing, and what it demonstrates is that whites can be just as dangerous as members of any other race. Now, am I arguing for a kind of race essentialism that says that there can't be black serial killers and can't be black school shooters because this all comes with having straight hair and a pointy nose and a low melanin count? Heavens, no. But just as poverty is responsible for the homicide rate in black communities, there is obviously something about the majority white culture that helps create serial killers and school shooters; otherwise we'd see more of these folks in other ethnic categories. So the key is to figure out what that mysterious X factor might be, and what we can maybe do to work towards correcting it. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-10-19T11:01:46-06:00
ID
73847
Comment

I question studies in general and numbers. I haven't disputed anything you've said really. I honestly don't have any explanations for the school shootings. I have ideas but none I could put to paper. I've learned quite a few things just from reading all the posts in this thread. What you interpret as defensiveness is alot of times me just playing devils advocate. Don't always think of what I post as what I think. I might just ask questions just to see what the answer will be or if there is additional info on something. I'm about to start giving some of the more um, right leaning sites a dose of it. To be candid, you've given me some good information in these posts I was not aware of.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-10-19T11:04:55-06:00
ID
73848
Comment

Good one, Tom. You nailed it.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-10-19T11:05:33-06:00
ID
73849
Comment

Did anyone see Bowling for Columbine? Michael Moore made some interesting comments in that film, the one I recall most clearly was looking at why similar shooting sprees are not as common in Canada and Western European countries. His analysis was that the national government's actions set an example for its citizens. When you look at our military behavior compared with Canada and Western Europe you can see our leaders certainly belive in using weapons to settle a score. This sets an example for people within that society - i.e. , the government's doing it, it must be right.

Author
Izzy
Date
2006-10-19T11:20:13-06:00
ID
73850
Comment

Yeah, that was a great film, especially when you figured out what it was really about (not guns). And that cartoon that summarized American history was amazing. Last night, we saw "The Corporation," by the way. Highly recommended. I should start a different thread about it. Definitely explains why Gannett is such an idiot citizen.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-10-19T11:23:56-06:00
ID
73851
Comment

Thanks for this. :o) The cartoon is fantastic--the only caveat I feel the need to throw in is that the NRA was actually founded by Union folks and protected gun rights for former slaves, which really ticked off the Klan for obvious reasons, but that's a few seconds out of an otherwise perfect three-minute cartoon. Great, great stuff! Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-10-19T11:41:37-06:00
ID
73852
Comment

I may be in the minority opinion, but I think bullying is often a major contributing factor in school shootings. Yes, bullying alone doesn't make one a serial killer, but it does add an additional motivation to pull the trigger. If you abuse a person long enough, a lot of them are eventually going to strike back in the only way they FEEL they can - espeically if nobody takes their concerns seriously. That's not to dismiss the concerns about psychotic behavior, psychtrophic drugs and such. These certainly play a factor as well. My point is that we need to look at every potential contributing factor. Who do you think has more motivation to hurt other students: a psychotic who was NOT bullies or a psychotic who IS bullied? I'll leave it to you to decide which you'd "bet your hundred dollar" on.

Author
Philip
Date
2006-10-19T18:14:09-06:00
ID
73853
Comment

There is certainly a lot of black on black crime -- no question. But there does seem to be a difference in the motives and reasons for it, a difference that means that the black on black crime doesn't often take on the serial killer/school shooter profile. I think Tom's post above (the one posted Oct 19 at 11:01 am) makes a lot of sense. However, I think the statement "poverty is responsible for the homicide rate in black commubities" is probably an oversimplification, and there are almost certainly many other factors. I don't know what those are specifically: I assume Ladd's research can shed a lot of light on that. But, if we want to look at what causes white kids to snap, I doubt we'll find one simple reason for it, adn we might clod the issue if the try to force all the data to fit one beautiful theory (nothing like data to destroy a beautiful theory!) Still, getting back to Ali's original point, it certainly can't hurt for parents to be more attentive to their own kids and their kid's friends and classmates. Heck, just pay attention to their Myspace pages.

Author
GLB
Date
2006-10-20T00:09:27-06:00
ID
73854
Comment

As a AA iwant to state that IMO we learn at a early age that some of our people are cruel and often mean and to just look over them because they have personal issues that as a child u would not understand so leave them alone and most times they either drop out or go forward. The black on black crimes are usually about money owed or a girl friend. Most "Men" seem to put these things above all else. I don't know if it is a "black thing" or not but since the great influx of drugs into our communities we now have most of our black on black crimes. these males know what they are doing and why. The people who get shot know who and why they just aren't talking. I think Ali is more on point than not. I wonder myself about the school shootings. If a black child was so inclined I think they would do the same thing but because we look at bullyning differently those things rarely happen in our community. As bad as things are U hardly ever hear about a child taking out his whole family for some minor thing or taking on the whole school. What to Do??/

Author
jada
Date
2006-10-20T02:14:41-06:00
ID
73855
Comment

Just a reminder that school remains the safest place for children. In a study published last year in the medical journal Pediatrics, Teplin and her co-authors reported that school shootings resulted in 52 deaths between 1990 and 2000. By comparison, they noted that in New York City alone during the same time period, homicides accounted for the deaths of 840 inner city youths, ages 14 to 17.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2006-10-20T11:57:29-06:00
ID
73856
Comment

And that includes public schools.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-10-20T11:58:53-06:00
ID
73857
Comment

Tom: "The cartoon is fantastic--the only caveat I feel the need to throw in is that the NRA was actually founded by Union folks and protected gun rights for former slaves, which really ticked off the Klan for obvious reasons, but that's a few seconds out of an otherwise perfect three-minute cartoon..." Thanks for pointing out this complete lie in the movie. As you mentioned, the exact opposite was true of the NRA. To equate members of the NRA with the KKK is sick. For this, I have no respect for anything Michael Moore will ever do. The South Park bunch for that matter as well.

Author
Cliff Cargill
Date
2006-10-20T19:49:33-06:00
ID
73858
Comment

I suspect it was ignorance rather than a lie--Michael Moore makes good films but he's actually not all that terribly knowledgeable, when it gets right down to the nitty gritty of it--but yeah, during the first few decades of its existence especially, the NRA could legitimately claim to be in practice one of the very few truly antiracist groups in the country. Across the board gun rights for everybody--including slaves, who were to be disarmed by the Black Codes. I'm pretty sure Grant and Sheridan both served, at different times, as NRA presidents. It was a good organization. Arguably still is; I don't always agree with it, but I have tremendous respect for the intellectual honesty of the NRA position, which is unimpeachable. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-10-20T21:33:47-06:00
ID
73859
Comment

I had to tell you Ali that this is a very thoughtful article. It ranks with your best despite the surprised brevity. Hopefully, I'll learn someday to write as well as you. It's my goal. I got a few things I want to tell some people too. I've long tired of people from these neighborhoods saying "this kind of thing just doesn't happen here." I've always wanted to be present just to say, ____, please, where else has it been happening?

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-10-23T14:56:32-06:00
ID
73860
Comment

I hear you, Ray. I hate that, too. And often when you visit the neighborhoods where school shootings do happen and find soulless communities with few sidewalks and little community, you think, "Why wouldn't it happen here?" This was a huge issue in the Columbine shootings. The New York Times ran an aerial photo of the neighhood where Klebold and Harris lived, with all the cul-de-sacs leading nowhere and few, if any, sidewalks. It was very sad to think of children growing up in such places.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-10-23T15:00:51-06:00
ID
73861
Comment

Found this late, so just a quick thought: I think Greggs hit on a point concerning mainstream middle to upper-class white culture failing to teach its children that life will be hard, and failing to provide adequate coping mechanisms. I would add to this, that the quality of life (that is, the level of ease) enjoyed by the average middle to upper-class white child actually encourages self-obsession. I am not black, and I have never lived in a ghetto -- but I would imagine that when you are worried about your next meal, or whether the corner drug-dealer is coming to kill your brother, you have less time and energy to focus on all slights, perceived and real, against you. Rich white kids typically don't have any real physical distress to speak of...which frees them to spend way too much time stewing over what the bully and the pretty cheerleader did to them that day. In other words: it's a lot easier to get bitterly homocidal when you can waste all your time navel-gazing instead of trying to survive. This is also, I would venture, why poor black-on-black crime is typically over much more concrete conflicts...money, territory, etc. The day-to-day crises of the ghetto don't allow much time to wallow in the existential emptiness of life.

Author
Mark Geoffriau
Date
2006-10-24T16:14:18-06:00
ID
73862
Comment

Interesting points, mgeo. They *feel* correct to me. This is a good discussion. Cheers to Ali for instigating it.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-10-24T16:35:01-06:00
ID
73863
Comment

But, of course, we all know the WHITE twin MUST be smarter. {:) http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,225958,00.html

Author
GLB
Date
2006-10-27T14:51:11-06:00

Like independent media outlets around the world, the Jackson Free Press works hard to produce important content on a limited budget. We'd love your help! Become a JFP VIP member today and/or donate to our journalism fund. Thanks for considering a JFP VIP membership or one-time support.

Comments

Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

comments powered by Disqus