In yet another example of America’s relationship to guns gone wrong, On Friday a first grader at Richneck Elementary School in Virginia got into an argument with his teacher. kThats when the six-year-old pulled out a gun and shot her. Apparently he’s a decent aim, because she was listed in critical condition. Thankfully, no other students were injured. They boy was taken into custody without incident.
There certainly aren’t any winners here. It’s easy to demonize someone who walks into a classroom and shoots a bunch of first-graders. But what do you do when the 6-year-old is the shooter? Nothing productive unfortunetly. This boy is now in for a childhood of institutionalized care, which is apt to make whatever pre-exising problems he might have had worse.
Tragedies like this have multiple causes, but the chief ones all revolve around guns .both their availability and our attitudes towards them. Theres the frequently asked question: How does a 6-year=old get hold of a gun to bring to school. Answer: when there’s more guns than people and households keep guns readily accessible under the misguided notions that they’re needed for self protection, those guns are also readily accessible to children.
Or the age-old question: Why? Answer: our culture celebrates guns as a symbol of power and promotes the idea that violence is an affective means of resolving conflict, and believe it or not, our children are paying attention.
This certainly isn’t the first time such a thing has happened. There have been previous incidents of students this age bringing a gun to school and shooting someone, only usually its a little boy or girl in their class. Maybe one day, we’ll take a hard look at our priorities. In the meantime, we’ll just have to keep pretending to be surprised when stuff like this happens.