Friday, February 15, 2008

School Shootings Continue

I remember there being an explosion in dramatic school shootings at the end of the 1990s, topping off with the infamous Columbine shootings. It seems like that trend is on the rise again, with shootings by the young and unhappy occuring at college campuses, shopping malls and, once again, high schools. I don't know if there's any meaning or relevance to the end of another decade bringing about a great deal of youth violence, but it's certainly interesting.

Maybe it's the libertarian in me who always doubts the ability of officials to be able to do anything, but I really worry about schools only making things worse and creating new problems while trying to keep violence from erupting in their schools. I, as just about any public school student at the time of the last wave of shootings, was indirectly effected by this by well-meaning but ultimately misguided school officials cracked down to make sure this didn't happen again. Teenagers and young people in general are often and almost by definition emotionally unstable, and it seems like common sense that the last thing they should have access to is guns. That doesn't, however, make every teenager who has problems a serial killer. This seems obvious but it needs some reminding. We should meet them with a level of respect and high expectation and not as murderers waiting to happen.

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