I know that I have a reputation for condemning some criminals (like Albert de Guzman) prior to trial. But I also advocate taking strict responsibility for one’s actions. That said, I have some questions about the Santee shootings.
[ul][li]Most importantly, where were all of these grief stricken and sympathetic students when this kid was being picked on all of the time?[/ul]If people were willing to ignore the continual persecution of this kid, they may have wittingly contributed to his eventual meltdown. This does not absolve the perpetrator in any way, but it may distribute the blame a little.[ul]Why did his peers continue to think that the shooter was merely joking when they were being invited to participate?[/ul]This should have been a strong indicator that something was afoot. Sadly, one of his friends even frisked him entering school that day but neglected to search his backpack. To give credit where credit is due, one of the parents did try to contact the shooter’s home but the phone was not answered. I cannot help but wonder why the police were not called after that. In the absence of any outright resolution, if it’s enough to call their home, isn’t it also enough to alert the authorities?[ul]How come the weapon and so much ammunition was available to this child?[/ul]The parents of the shooter should probably be assigned some degree of culpability if they inadequately supervised the storage and safekeeping of the gun involved.[/li]
None of this ameliorates the principal responsibility borne by the perpetrator. I merely wish to point out that there were influencing factors that bear examination. Most prominent of all is the acceptability of this kid being picked on all of the time. It is more than likely that other students turned a blind eye to the bullying and physical intimidation that this kid went through.
I wonder if any of them will lose sleep over their lack of action to prevent such unfair conduct? I hope that the thieves that stole two of the kid’s skateboards in one week will feel some pangs of conscience. From all reports, the perpetrator may have had a few behavior problems prior to the shooting, but it also appears that they were exacerbated by the actions of others.
In closing, do you feel that there were significant contributing factors to what occured or was the shooter without any conceivable motivation? None of this is helped by the fact that this kid killed at random, but I think the question is worth asking.