Comments on life, the universe and everything from an aging Sixties survivor.

Location: Massachusetts, United States

Ummm, isn't "about me" part of the point of the blog?

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Another Thing we Don't Talk About

Everyone has been on about gun control this past week. As usual, hardly anyone has commented on the real leitmotif of most major American incidents of violence these past ten years. I mean the violence by children toward other children, who sometimes find a way to get back: most don’t seethe as long as Cho did.

We are told that “bullying” is just being picked on and that our children should toughen up (so we can have a higher quality victim?) and should inform the authorities. We are told it is inevitable. (
If school violence is so inevitable, how is it that relatively few people have experienced it? This could be one more reason to fire the Punditocracy wholesale and find talking heads with brains inside. ) When they can take no more, the children who respond with rage, taking so many lives and their own, are just “crazed killers.”

“Bullied” has become a weasel word, thanks to the punditry, so I will not say I was bullied in seventh grade. I was pushed up against a brick wall and beaten three to five times a week for most of the school year, by a group of five boys. That was in addition to the much more usual tripping in the halls or on the stairs, the threatening phone calls (no Internet then), and ridicule in class or, worse, in gym. Neither my parents, nor teachers, nor administrators of the school did anything. They knew and ignored it. Before I was 13, I learnt that in such situations, I was on my own. Authority was of no use to me, and would (as once happened) even punish me if I fought back.

I comprehend these killers in ways that most people do not understand. They have my pity, but also my anger. (It is not your anger. This smug bourgeois moral superiority over the “crazed killer” must go down very well in Baghdad, where bombs and IEDs kill that many innocent people every day.) I’m angry because I held on and it is very hard inside to know why Cho and all the others could not. I’m outraged that so many people in Cho’s life had the power to help this broken boy and did not. They became Pilates washing their hands of him. They walked away and left him to destroy the lives of people who could neither help him nor hurt him even as much as he had already been hurt.

And all we want to talk about is gun control, as if it would fix it all. Jesus wept: gun control doesn’t matter jack until we face up to this problem and fix it for good.


Blogger Alessandra said...

Thanks for telling your experience.

11:47 am  

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