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We are Sorry For Your Loss
I have battled within myself since Friday whether or not to write a blog on the latest school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas, [3 hours east from my birthplace in San Antonio] where 10 students were shot and killed by one of their fellow’s classmates. According to the latest report, 10 other people were wounded in this on-going, seemingly, senseless tragedies.
My Heavenly Father please care and empower those who have suffered losses, while aiding us as a community to understand what our roles and our responsibilities are for those who yet remain. Amen.
In my quiet time, I entertained series of personal introspective thoughts which caused me to demand answers to many very real and pressing realities that deeply troubled me as a human; a father, a man, a citizen of the United States of America, and finally, as a man of Faith.
I am reminded of other school shootings where an authority figure attempted to console the grieving parents, classmates, and friends of the victims with this constant reframe, “We are sorry for your Loss!” With the frequency of these premeditated terroristic shooting, this reframes, in my personal opinion, does nothing substantial to effectively answer the hard questions of the grieving parents, [and all others] who will never see their children as adults in this lifetime.
Culture of Lawlessness
nihilism, n. 1. [Rejection]-Syn. repudiation, atheism, renunciation; see denial 1, refusal. 2. [Anarchy]-Syn. apolitical, situation, lawlessness, mob rule; see disorder.
In my quest toward obtaining meaningful relevant and clinical data for this blog post on the hidden truths of these school shootings, I quickly discovered that many social scientists have been tracking this activity for some while, since 1990’s. Many of them have identified the multiple school shootings as a strong indicator of a nihilistic culture.
One of the most surprising findings in my research on school shootings was after the social scientists have sorted through all the hype and public emotions about school shootings, they noted that community schools are among the safest places for children, compared to their homes and neighborhood system. [key finding; place of origin the seedbed for distorted views, indoctrination, and various forms of abuse?]
After scanning through many reports, reviews and scientific analysis from a social science perspective, I located a research review by Glenn W. Muschert [https://doi.org/10.111/j.1751-9020.2007.00008.x], that aided me in answering some of my own questions about these school shootings and their negative impact on our culture. From a moral and spiritual perspective, I wanted to explore the potential of finding ways to create a means of preventing and or identifying the root causes of this nihilistic culture. Below is the results of my findings, I pray that this data will aid you in some way in understanding the often hidden rationale surrounding human dysfunction.
Five Types of Cultural Terrorism
In each listing, please note the who the perpetrator is, their motive and the symbolic significance of their actions.
Incident type 1 Rampage shooting. The perpetrator is a member or former members, such as a student, former student, employee, or former employee. The motive is an attack on the school or group of students selected for symbolic significance, often to exact revenge on a community or gain power.
Incident type 2 Mass murder. Non-members, typically an adult perpetrator, who is not a former student or employee. The motive for the attack is of symbolic significance, often to gain power.
Incident type 3 Terrorist attacks. Individuals or group engaging in violent acts to advance political or ideological goals. The motive is political as the attacks are on school or group of students selected for their symbolic importance.
Incident type 4 Targeted shootings. Members or former members, such as a student, former student, employee, or former employee. The motive is revenge targeted at individuals for some real or perceived maltreatment.
Incident type 5 Government shootings. Government agent such as military or police. The motive is a response to student protest or riot behavior, often in response to a crisis of government legitimacy.
- Of the five types of incident shootings, the rampage shootings are among those that have recently attracted the most public attention, next is the targeted attack with the major difference is that a targeted attack is not a symbolic attack on the entire school.
- Another observation is that with the exception of government shootings, all other school shootings depict very similar individual motive toward their target victim, with the symbolic significance of either revenge or the quest for power. Within the mindset of these perpetrators, their acts of violence on others were real or perceived maltreatment from others! [perhaps various forms of mental illness, unreported bullying in the school systems, domestic abuse in their place of origin]
Role of Mass Media
Researchers and social scientists all contend that when it comes to understanding the mass media’s dynamic related to social problems, it is worth noting that the profit motive behind news production may confuse a problem with extraneous information while disabling a deeper understanding of social problems and constructive generation of solutions. Reporting journalist is caught between the need to maintain the need to garner attention for profit-oriented industry and the need to maintain the ethical standard of their profession.
Case in question, in an effort in understanding the rise of the perceived school problem, the social scientists contend that it is important to understand the broader social discourse surrounding youth and delinquency in the decade before rampage shootings became widely discussed. As early as 2002, David Altheide, https://books.google.com/books/about/Creating_Fear.html?id=gjOcdg-LdukC discussed the emergence in the 1980’s of the connected discourses of childhood and fear that peaked in 1994, an important historical context regarding the problem of school-related violence that garnered attention in late 1990’s and 2000’s.
Furthermore, these concerns reflected public anxiety over crime and disaster, and public outcry surrounding school shootings was a permutation of this calculus of fear as noted by other researchers. The emergence of the school shooting as an issue of national significance in the USA was recognized as a social problem in 1997. As a result of this study, two facts emerged, first, prior to that time, incidents were largely characterized as local in their relevance and impact. Second, at the peak of public interest of school issues as a social problem, news media covered increased in its intensity up to 2001. Issues such as US terrorism, the economy, and foreign military involvement had displaced school shooting as a social problem.
Hope is not the conviction that something will turn out well,
but the certainty that something makes sense,
regardless of how it turns out.
For this very complex matter of random school shootings can very much so leave all of us feeling hopeless and frightened beyond measure. I pray somehow you have gleaned something worthwhile form this post, at least from a sociological perspective, that will assist you as it has for me, some facts or realities that were hidden, now have light for me to make some sense of this social evil.
Morally and Biblically there are many disclosed issues in this blog post that were not addressed in an effort to provide meaningful solutions for obvious reasons, yet warrants me listing them nonetheless. [Spirit(s) of revenge; fear, murder. A culture of nothingness, lawlessness. The role of mass media in our lives. Abuse of all sorts. Mental illness, distorted mental perceptions. Dealing effectively with grief, loss, and loneliness. The need for self-importance and purpose. The importance of healthy family structure in shaping and nurturing souls for the primary family and the larger social family.]
In the upcoming blog post, I pray that my Heavenly Father will move upon me to communicate from the Holy Scriptures, meaningful ways in which those of us who have been commissioned to minister to the soul-care of God’s people, may find practical ways to address some of the issues that this blog presented.
Much Grace and Peace