A teen armed with a pump action shotgun, a simple IED (likely a ‘pipe bomb’), and a small caliber handgun attacked his Perry Iowa school yesterday. The attack took place as students were returning from winter break, the 7:37 am time luckily meant that most students and faculty had not yet arrived.
The 17 year old student killed a sixth grade student and wounded five others, including the high school principal. A motive has not been confirmed, but sources are reporting the rather expected line of the perpetrator being the victim of long term bullying and harassment.
The student killed himself within the 7 minute response window from law enforcement, he was found dead of a self inflicted gun shot wound.
Headlines like ‘…the first mass shooting we’ll forget in 2024’ are already starting to rhetoric rather than report, and even they are wrong. The first mass shooting of that scale has apparently already been forgotten as it happen in LA, involved 10 victims, 2 dead, but it was on against a block party. One shooter reported. The bigotry of low expectations continues.
But it will be forgotten
Just not for the uncaring reasons AZ Central is likely insinuating.
This will be forgotten because it happened with the wrong guns for a humanizing reason, bullying. Nearly all of us can sympathize with a victim of bullying, even as we decry the act of rage and vengeance that the bullying and decisions from the student finally culminated in.
It also didn’t involve an AR-15 or an AK-47. Those weapons we are told time and time again are the only ones killers really use to do their killing. The ones we are assured are extra dangerous and make this style of violence possible and attractive to the disenfranchised. This makes it uncomfortably clear that the conclusions I have discussed before for gun control only has one logical and impossible solution, total prohibition.
LA illustrates the futility of overly-illegalizing murder, the new rules against carrying in public took effect and California immediately had the worst mass shooting of the year thus far. It will likely remain one of the worst too, ten casualties with two deaths is a large and thankfully rare occurrence.
What it will be leveraged for?
The child victim aspect will be poked at and talked around without going to far into the teen perpetrator. Bullying and mental health will be mentioned, the way the shooter got the guns may be examined and the student’s parents or guardians may be held to some manner of liability. But if it turns out the student stole the guns and built the rudimentary explosive on his own initiative, and well enough concealed to avoid scrutiny, then this will go into the forgotten events bin quickly for the nation at large.
Violence is neither new nor strange. The novelty of today is how quickly it can be heard of and how much society has put emphasis on ‘look at me, my struggle, my uniqueness, and my victimhood’.
This clashes with the truly limited bandwidth for empathy, efficacy, and compassion, people have, along with our myriad other faults. We want to save every child, from being bullied and from any other great harm. We want to do all these things and manifest all these good events for all the children, the cold reality is that is impossible. We can but do the best we can with the time we have. In certain places, with certain people, and under certain circumstances that will not be enough. Ever.
Why won’t it stop?
This anger and these stresses are not removable from human existence. They are mitigable but and risks can be managed but the lie we keep being sold is that the risks can be removed if we do just X, Y, or Z…
They cannot, and anyone who tells you otherwise is stupid or lying.