DAMMIT! REVISITING THE ACTIVE (RAGE) SHOOTER ISSUE
NOT THAT I AM SHOCKED, but, here we are, less than a month after I posted about the FBI Study concerning active shooters in America and maybe three months after I posted that, “If there is a School, there will be an Active Shooter Event.” So, if you are wondering, absolutely no, I am not the least surprised it happened, this time in the formerly sleepy village of Marysville, Washington and in the previously-uneventful Pilchuck High School. There are some A-typical aspects to this tragedy, like Jaylen Fryberg, the shooter, being a popular kid – voted Homecoming Prince, or something like that – a good student, and, as far as I know, not a victim of bullying, harassment, or other scar-makers of depression and hopelessness that torments typical rage-shooters.
But, make no mistake, folks, Fryberg was tormented. That much is clear. Maybe it was only perception, self-induced. Maybe it was as real as the darkest of nights. But the thing is, Fryberg was likely possessed by anger that blossomed into rage and even beyond that. Fact is, he posted about it on Facebook and texted about it. As a matter of fact, he texted his cousins and friends and invited them to meet with him in the cafeteria on October 25.
And on that fateful day he strode up to that table loaded with cousins and others from his tightknit Indian community and, without preamble or warning, fired an opening salvo into the beautiful face of Gia Soriano, his cousin, and rocketed four more rounds into the writhing bodies of the others at the table with a .40 caliber Berretta, killing another beautiful cousin and critically wounding two others before eventually turning the gun on himself.
CAN WE LEARN ANYTHING
Heck, yes, we can learn from this. For instance, parents, please do not allow your child (unsupervised) access to your firearms. Good parenting can include teaching your child responsible recreational use of a gun. Target shooting or hunting with a parent can be a wonderful way to enjoy a father-son moment. But, please, lock your guns.
(1) Parents, Exercise Sensible Gun Control at home.
(2) Parents, Teachers, Administrators, talk with your children, students, and others. Be available for counseling, advise. Be a sounding board. This shooter was troubled and I believe there were kids and maybe adults who knew it. If you see something, say something!
(3) Again, I say, schools and communities need to increase awareness about recognizing and stopping an active shooter. For instance, Fryberg likely spoke to others about his anger over events with his cousins. His feelings were clear. He texted his cousins and told them they were no longer family to him.
(4) Enhance, Train and Improve Security. Fryberg entered the school toting a large firearm. A metal detector would have alerted security if the school’s security system was up to snuff. Failing that, security and others should be trained to recognize signs that someone is carrying a concealed firearm.
Next Post: How To Recognize Signs that Someone is Carrying a Concealed Firearm.
Until then, Stay Safe.