Thursday, September 14, 2006

The Final Word, For Now

I just watched our prime minister make a statement about the shootings yesterday. Following the statement, journalists asked a few questions.

Question #1 went to the heart of gun control policy and the laws. Question #2 went right to the internet.

I agree with Mr. Harper - today is not the day for politics. It is the day for support, to extend whatever help is needed.

Prior to his statement, however, they began to paint a background sketch of the shooter. It started with commenting that the polite, quiet boy had taken a dark turn, followed by notations that he 'stood out like a sore thumb' with neighbours commenting they wouldn't talk to him because he was weird.

It's the chicken and the egg debate - was he weird because he was alienated, was he alienated because he was weird? And what moral responsibility do we have to our neighbours?

Of course I wonder about all of this because, as many of you know, I was a victim of serious violence in my teen years, perpetrated by other teens, whom I didn't even know. It was 'anonymous' in that there was no personal connection, other than my reputation as a 'brain' and certainly my sister was quite known for her academic achievements. We were freaks.

So why did we turn out okay when others didn't? Why didn't it occur to me to solve my problems with a gun? Why does person kill themselves when others kill strangers? I must say I admire Prime Minister Stephen Harper for saying that no matter what people are sent online it doesn't change the fact that they have a responsibility for their actions.

I don't have any answers on this, just the fear that we're going around in circles and not getting to the heart of the problem, whatever that is.


Patry Francis said...

You ask a good question about our moral
responsibility to our neighbors.

The piece about the girl who committed suicide because of bullying was chilling.
One of my kids was the victim of bullies and it was so hard to get anyone to even listen--never mind actually do something about it. There's not enough acknowledgment about how serious this stuff can be.

Sandra Ruttan said...

I never realized until now this posted twice.

Weird. I need more sleep!

It's a tough issue Patry, no easy answers. Then again, we'd all be upset if someone dished out pat answers. I think that's part of the reason I really appreciated To The Power of Three - it made me think.

Sorry to hear you've had experience with this as a parent. Maybe if everyone took it seriously from the beginning, it would help a lot of people in the end. Maybe even save some lives.