Editorials

Our View – Research needed to solve shootings

The past week has been a difficult one for people across the nation, especially parents. The recent violence at children’s schools is cause for serious alarm, not merely because of the fact there was violence in a place where children should feel comfortable and safe, but because of the nature of these attacks.

Instead, immediately after these attacks people were already dismissing these tragedies as the work of insane rouges who “just snapped” – a pathetic excuse and disservice to those who were harmed in these tragic events.

But what if these attacks are not merely random acts of violence, but a reflection of a larger societal problem that has been growing? Why does it seem that these kinds of attacks are increasing and becoming more violent and cruel in their nature? Why do these people feel compelled to act out in such a destructive and brutal way? Is it just that there is more news coverage of these events since the atrocities at Columbine, or is this an increasing trend?

These are important questions that should be looked into further instead of just dismissing these acts as those of insane, unstable people. The recent attacks began last week with a 15-year-old student shooting his principal in Wisconsin and followed by the actions of a drifter, Duane Morrison, in Colorado who barricaded himself in an English class, dismissing the teacher and male students and sexually assaulting many of the remaining female students before killing one student and himself.

The most recent incident occurred in the most unlikely of places – Amish country. Charles Carl Roberts IV, a milk truck driver, also barricaded himself into an Amish schoolroom, asked the male students and teacher’s aids with infants to leave and shot the remaining girls in the head.

Robert’s actions appear to be extremely deliberate and planned out, especially since he brought massive amounts of ammunition and weaponry, including 600 rounds of ammunition, three types of guns, explosives and a hacksaw and binding the girls feet together and lining them up in front of the classroom, according to an article in the Oct. 3 edition of the Los Angeles Times.

When seen together, it is almost impossible to not see a pattern or correlation between these separate instances. Among the common themes are the apparent deliberation of the attackers and the violence of older men (Roberts, 32, Morrison, 53) upon young children, especially young women.

Whether these cases have a spurious relationship or have some kind of connection has yet to be discovered, there definitely needs to be more research investigating the possible motives, backgrounds or any connection people who behave so violently have to one another.

Schools need to regain their status as safe places where parents can leave their children and feel confident that they will see them in the afternoon when they come home. The first step in achieving this goal is demanding research and investigation into what motivates these people from public officials and researchers. Thankfully, President George W. Bush will be holding a conference with law enforcement and education officials together to discuss this kind of violence, according to a recent article on ABCnews.com.

Let’s not waste any more time researching superfluous things and focus our efforts on a basic need that appeals to everyone – the safety and security of children.

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