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  • Writer's pictureHoward McBroom

Dark World: Mass Shooting at Oxford High School

On November 30th, a horrific incident occurred in Oxford Township, Michigan. A 15-year old boy opened fire at Oxford High School, killing four students and wounding several others. The gun he used was purchased by his parents just four days before the shooting. The prosecutor thinks the boy may have had that gun in his backpack earlier that day when he and his parents met with school authorities who were concerned about the boy’s behavior and strange drawings of blood and bullets. His parents are thought to have known about the gun at this time, but never said anything. Because of this, his parents are facing four charges of involuntary manslaughter and the boy is facing four counts of first-degree murder and one charge of terrorism. This shooting has broken the entire community up. Kids are afraid to go back to school and the parents of the children who were killed are living in unimaginable grief. There have been several candlelight vigils for those who lost their lives and the community is traumatized beyond belief. This is the 28th mass school shooting this year. We are clearly living in a dark world. People are afraid to send their children to school knowing that they might get shot. This truly is a despair and we need to do something about it.

How do we combat this dark world? First of all, we must not give into desensitization. We can’t allow ourselves to become desensitized and give up when another school shooting occurs, thinking this is the way things are now. We much summon up our love and courage and start fighting back. In order to do that, parents have to take accountability for their children’s actions and be more involved in their lives. We also have to confront hate at every corner. We need to ask people why they hate and what they think it does for them. We need to let them know that hate is bad for them, it doesn’t solve anything, and if they hate enough to kill people, they’re hurting themselves, too. If I were Biden, I’d be making speeches every day about the dangers of hate and letting people know that guns aren’t the answer. Killing people is wrong, but somehow we’ve forgotten that. We need to recover humanity and regain respect for human life, two things that have sadly gone down the drain these last few years. We have to stop mass shootings from happening because the trauma and suffering are unimaginable. When you lose a child like that, the grief is unending. The parents of the children who died during the Oxford shooting say there’s a hole in their lives that nothing can ever fill. They will never be able to get over the loss of their child. One minute they were alive, the next they were gone because a 15-year-old pulled out a gun and started shooting. That’s not how life is supposed to be. We can do much better.

How can we get the message across that a gun is not the answer? It’s okay to have a gun, but it’s not okay to shoot people with it. If you have a gun, you need to treat it responsibly. You need to keep it locked up and make sure that children understand the power of it because kids these days are picking up on a lot of things that are going on in society and they’re acting out. They think guns are cool and powerful and therefore want to use them. We need to stop this. We need to confront hate on all levels and instead treat our fellow human beings with respect, love, and compassion. Those things will help us far more than hate ever will. Hate will only destroy us. We cannot continue living in a dark world where we might get shot at any moment. That kind of trauma, suffering, and agony will wipe our country completely if we don’t stop it. A dark world will crush our souls, desensitize us, and undermine our faith in democracy. When that happens, the right wing will come along preaching an authoritarian regime and revolution and people will accept it. That’s not a world we can live in. We can bring light to this world by preaching love and kindness. Those are things that are necessary to stop the dark world and bring light to it, otherwise we’re going to go under.

We can’t live in a world where 28 school shootings occur each year. The school authorities at Oxford High School knew the 15-year-old boy was trouble. They might’ve known he was a potential shooter, too, but didn’t quite know what to do about it. They were right in deciding to meet with his parents, but the parents said their son was okay and that there was nothing to worry about. However, a few hours later, the boy shot and killed four students. We need parental responsibility and we need to give hateful people alternatives. We know how to identify these people and can see the warning signs, but we don’t know what to do once we are aware of that information. We need to develop effective ways of dealing with these people by mentoring and roleplaying with them to teach them how to acquire the skills to function in society. This kid certainly didn’t get any good skills from his parents; he grew up not knowing how to deal with people. Because of this, he went on a shooting rampage, leaving an entire community torn apart.

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