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Violence in educated people particularly students is a very serious matter. Adolescent age is the age of rebel. The newly acquired identity seeks protection by rebelling against known authority. Hormones do not help. Attention seeking behavior adds to the problems of adolescent. While adolescent age passes by, the habits acquired in this period do not part company easily. Children are raised in a pattern of military discipline, in schools, right from the Kinder Garden. Teachers often forget the human sensitiveness in their zeal to maintain school discipline. Matters get worse when the distinction between school and home is blurred for the purpose of discipline. Inside every mind are dark valleys of pain and dispair over disappointments over un-achieved results which everyone expects. A young lad keeping to himself, not mingling with his friends or having friends is a sure sign that he is drifting to the dark valleys of mind. Once in that valley, no relationship matters for pain overwhelms. For a parent killed by such an offspring, it becomes the last ignorant mistake in parenthood. The second last being the training to handle such weapon with dexterity.
Newtown in Connecticut is a small town with an area of 60 miles but population of less than thirty thousand and average household income of about $111000. It is also birthplace of famous game Scrabble. As regards Crime, the statistics for 2010 are as under:
Violent Crime 1
Property Crime 248
Motor Vehicle Theft 5
The above crime list shows one thing that people are not violent as the violent Crime is non-existent. In the face of above this is the news report, which was on front page of newspapers in India, as well:
A young gunman killed his mother and 25 other people, including 20 children, when he went on a shooting rampage inside US school, before turning the gun on himself, in one of the deadliest such incidents witnessed in the country.
The shooter whose act of firing indiscriminately at students and staff left the Connecticut city of Newtown shocked and paralyzed was identified as 20-year-old Adam Lanza.
He first shot and killed his mother and then shot 20 students in the classroom before killing himself inside the school.
The incident occurred at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown city of Connecticut state.
Lanza came dressed in all black carrying two guns. He opened fire first at the school’s office, then in his mother’s kindergarten class, according to news reports.” (Source: http://www.rediff.com/news/report/us-school-shootout-gunman-kills-mother-25-others/20121215.htm)
It is time that we reconsider our need for discipline with the need for co-operation. There is complete lack of teaching for co-existence. Individuality has touched a new low in which personal feelings have precedence over community or parents or any other living being.
We must acknowledge that young people, do not understand transient nature of frustration and commit by taking drastic violent action in a very trivial matter. USA has a piquant position. Right to bear arm is a constitutional right. Controlling availability of arms has not been easy. It never will be. Killing in games, movies, TV and where not, has made it painless experience which is not true. Position is not very different in India, even though number of such incidence of violence are few and number of casualties have rarely passed beyond one or two. But one thing can not be denied that young alone can not be blamed. Educational Institution also can not escape its responsibility. Unless channel of communication is broken, hope keeps frustration lingering. Respect for life what to speak of human life is stooping low.
Full facts have not surfaced yet. Small Towns are often more private than they appear to be. If schools are not safe, no place is. But it is a time that some mechanism may be brought into existence to study all such cases of violence and shoot outs and to recommend changes, which must be implemented even if it requires drastic changes in our way of living.
Added on 17 Dec. 2012:
The 21st Century religion called psychiatry is biggest hindrance. They think that by making few cosmetic changes they can discipline people. Here discipline is part of problem. What we need is to live and demonstrate a compassionate way of life based on co-existance. We should get rid of the 18th Century, violence based mentality and make a new beginning.
It appears that mother was shot dead by the son at home and then he headed to school in her mother’s car to finish little toddlers. The inhuman behaviour is explained by inhuman or violent way of life. It appears that mother was a gun enthusiast who owned five registered guns in her name and perhaps she taught her son how to shoot which resulted in precise shooting killing everyone who came in the way.
Any person who considers shooting by gun a sport, is barbaric. This is the problem. No one will admit to be a barbarian. Hence there shall be no solution to the problem which is hypocrisy.
Added on 22 Dec. 2012:
This is the picture of a school building with all its grandeur. On 18th December a 17-year-old boy studying in class XI jumped off the roof of this school building, due to his poor performance in the exams. Teacher had no clue. Nor can she have when there are 50 students in the class. Education with minimum interaction. What a loss of life. What a shame. Suicide is no different from killing. It is violence with self.
© Sandeep Bhalla