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School Shootings

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SCHOOL SHOOTINGS
I am going to write about the topic school shootings, based on the two texts “Warning” by Terry McCarthy and “It’s only me” by Nancy Gibbs, who both deal with an event which happened 10 years ago.

A school shooting is an incident in which gun violence occurs at an educational institution.
It most commonly describes an act committed by either students or intruders from outside school campus. They are to be distinguished from crowd-containment shootings enforced by law personnel and are also differentiated from other kinds of school violence, or terror attacks involving multiple weapons.

The incident was committed by a, at the time, 15 year old boy called Charles Andrew Williams, Andy for short. He recently moved to Santee, California, a suburb with around 58.000 inhabitants. He was described as being a “good Christian boy” from rural Maryland. Andy was bullied at school, neglected by his father and rarely saw his mother. His parents divorced when he was 5, and things were not good at home. Even his own friends taunted him, but he just slacked it off, like he kept it all inside.

His friends described him as being a “follower” and someone you could easily manipulate with. Andy started hanging out with a different group people called the “Grommits”, who were basically a couple of dope-smoking skateboarders. Andy’s friends noticed he started acting different – he ditched school and got into trouble. He talked openly about “pulling a Columbine” and some of his friends even frisked him before he entered the school, the day of the shooting. But still, they failed to prevent the incident from happening.

The social setting where Andy lived was quite poor. He spent a lot of time with Josh at the apartment blocks - an area that could be described as a ghetto; people lived in poverty and there were a lot of gangs, violence, crime and drugs. Santee was, on the surface, a peaceful pacific suburb in California. People were shocked after the incident, and everyone had always thought that something in that caliber could never happen in their town. Turns out, they were wrong. Although according to the statistics at the time, youth violence was dropping, schools were getting safer and less than 1 % of teen related deaths occurred in schools, it did not mean that it could not have happened. Beneath the surface there was a lot of hate, and it almost seemed like the high school was waiting for something like this to happen.
There were not one, but numerous reasons to why an incident like Andy’s could happen. One could be the absence of parents. Andy never had anyone to look up to, a role model during his childhood. The sentence “It’s only me” describes Andy’s situation very well, because even though he met Josh and Reynolds they, in the end, was guilty as to why Andy committed the school shooting. Josh tried to push the responsibility away from himself, but he was a part of what caused Andy’s fuse to blow, he pushed him and made him commit the shooting amongst many others. No one was ever there for him. Not even his parents bothered to show up court, or pay for a lawyer.

But Andy was not the only one to commit a school shooting. Since the Columbine, there have been numerous incidents involving gun violence at educational institutions. An 11 year-old threatened to kill the girl he liked and the boy who had kissed her. Another 11 year-old threatened to kill his teacher’s tape player and then the teacher, because he did not like the music. Columbine have almost become an ideal for young people across the world. That leads us to another possible reason, which is the presence of guns. In the United States of America, one is allowed to bear and keep arms, according to the Second Amendment. Unlike in Denmark, the Americans have extremely easy access to weapons.

The overall conclusion as to why incidents like this can occur at educational institution must be that a school shooting does not have one single reason and does not follow a pattern, but is really unpredictable.

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