I apologize that it has taken me this long to write something about this event. I can blame school, but it‘s all me. I have finished one class and I am slacking off on the other. I have a research paper due in four days, and I haven’t finished finding two other non-Internet-related sources. I am a bad student, I admit it.
When Columbine happened, I was a high school freshman. We didn’t have TVs in the classroom, so I didn’t know what was happening until I came home from school that afternoon. I was glued to the TV in the kitchen (Which my mom used when she was cooking), watching a recap of the events, horrified beyond measure (which later was replaced by 9/11). I felt sorry for the kids at Columbine, because they had an indoor school, when my high school had an open campus. I was disgusted by the shooters and their blatant disregard for human lives. I knew some goths and was an outcast kid myself, but I never could imagine being so bullied or enraged that I would walk onto Poway High’s campus and begin shooting random people. I knew people who knew how to pester me, but I never would be able to do something so destructive.
And the fallout from Columbine was nasty. We had several bomb threats called in, and I skipped school once because we’d [The whole student body] heard about the threats, and we didn’t want to be in school if something like that was going to happen. Paranoia was very palpable at that time, and for several weeks, it consumed my thoughts. Every morning I walked onto campus wondering if someone was going to begin randomly shooting at classrooms. There was even a lock-down one day. I happened to be in a classroom with two doors and no windows. I sat with my back to the outside wall. I wondered if a shooter began unloading a gun, would it hit me? This is not something a fifteen-year old should be thinking.
So, I wonder, what was going through those poor kids’ minds? I cannot imagine their fright. If something like that had happened when I was their age, I would have been fucking hysterical. I have seen firsthand children’s fear of something like this. It may have been a drill or a legitimate event, but we had a lock-down in the Childcare class I was in second semester. We locked the doors, shut off the lights, and placed the snack-time tables and benches on their sides for extra coverage. Children have no idea what is going on in those situations. They were just as afraid as their teenage caretakers. I don’t need to make your minds go to that morning in Connecticut, you can do that on your own, but it’s not easy to shush 2-5 year olds who are afraid of the dark and want to ask what is going on. They cried. I had one of them sitting on my lap, and I kept rocking him/her while this went on. We had an escape route, luckily; there was a large window we could have escaped from with the children.
So, when I heard about the tragedy, I was saddened. I am not a parent, but I love kids. And having been around them in a school setting more than once (I have younger sisters and have visited their classes during school hours when I was in high school), I can imagine everything. I applaud the teachers and administrators for their actions. I am sorry to those affected by this event. I am even more sorry to the parents who planned a happy Christmas with their babies (I am going to make myself cry). I’ve been a kid, I remember the excitement that built this time of year, counting down to the moment when Santa would drop off presents. I cannot even imagine what those parents feel.
I also have just finished Psychology. And we just learned about psychological disorders. I don’t know if the shooter had mental health issues, but I would like to say he did. I am kind of sorry we won’t know for sure.
I am not going to grandstand and say there needs to be gun control. I believe there should be stronger measures into determining who is fit to get a gun license. I also think mental healthcare should be more accessible. I realize that most of the time, people with psychological disorders are usually brought in by family, because mental disorders aren’t always obvious to the sufferer. But I definitely think mental healthcare should be more accessible to those who think they may have a problem.
I may not get any comments on this, and that’s okay. I just wanted to share my piece on this tragedy, and get some feelings off of my chest.