This post contains no direct mention of firearms, so if you’d rather look at another blog filled with ballistics, or at photos of Ms. Ronda Rousey, I will not be offended.
In recent years, I’ve observed the following changes in our society. First, no one under 40 ever looks up from a handheld device, no matter what else they’re doing at the moment. Second, the idea that if you’re unhappy with your lot in life you kill a bunch of people who had nothing to do with it, has taken permanent root in our culture. And third, if you want to find real lunacy, go to any school.
According to Fox News, on April 7, a 7th grader named Ethan Chaplin who attends Glen Meadow Middle School in Vernon, New Jersey, was suspended and sent for a physical and psychological evaluation after he allegedly pointed a pencil at a fellow student in math class and made what the kid called “gun motions.”
According to the Vernon Schools Superintendent, their policy requires that all “threatening” situations be investigated, as one never knows what evil lurks in the minds of 7th graders. As it turns out, Ethan Chaplin’s psychological screening showed him to be normal, and so presumably he was readmitted to math class.
Meanwhile, in Murrysville, PA, a 16-year-old high school sophomore went on a rampage with two kitchen knives, injuring at least 20 students and a security guard. The assailant, Alex Hribal, was described as “really shy,” but was otherwise unexceptional, except that he was teased a lot. Usually when something like this happens, the gun-law-lovers say that if he had not had access to a firearm, he would not have done so much damage. But all Mr. Hribal had were two knives, and the mayhem he wrought with them was pretty impressive anyway.
(When I was a sophomore in high school we had plenty of kids who were picked on. But what they did by way of revenge was study extra hard, get admitted to Harvard and the Harvard School of Business, and spend their careers making everyone else’s life a living hell.)
In Milford, Connecticut, a high school student stabbed a girl to death when she turned down his invitation to the prom. Both kids were described as well adjusted and well liked.
When I was in high school, if a girl turned you down for the prom you didn’t kill her. You’d say “Peggy Sue, you broke my heart,” and go off to listen to Rick Nelson records. But we have come a very long way in these United States and no one is asking why we are on this journey, or where it will lead, or how we can stop it.
It’s also worth noting in the case of the two knife-related killings that as a result there were no demonstrations, no speeches in Congress, no editorials in The New York Times, no lectures from Gabrielle Gifford or Michael Bloomberg. Murder is only murder, it seems, if it involves guns. However, the kids are just as dead.