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Bullying the real issue among school shootings

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Raymond Strawn III

Students have gathered across the country to protest gun violence in March for Our Lives. There were also protests with walkouts among high school students. I agree with protesting and advocating about issues people feel strongly about, but I think the message is wrong when it comes to preventing school shootings. I think the root of the problem is bullying. We need to do more about bullying than gun violence if we want to protect students in schools.

I personally don’t support guns. I have never owned a gun and the first time I shot one was at a gun range as a gift for my 32nd birthday. However, I support the 2nd Amendment, and I can put my personal opinion aside. This country is built upon distrust of the government and on the right to abolish our current government to rebuild a new one if we must. The 2nd Amendment allows citizens not only the right to protect themselves and their home, but the ability to protect themselves against the government and to protect the right to rebuild a government if there ever comes a time.

When it comes to school shootings, we can take away all the guns from students and that will not stop victims of bullying from retaliating. There are other ways to inflict destruction and violence at a school. There is the extreme with bombs, knives, bats, or other weapons readily available for students. Taking away all guns may stop school shootings from happening, but it does not protect students from the violence that may still occur because of bullying.

I understand the argument students are making against gun violence. Assault rifles are designed to inflict more damage than a knife. But how about a bomb? A bomb can kill and cause more destruction than an assault rifle. The argument then could be made that in some states, it is legal to own an assault rifle; therefore, make assault rifles illegal. I understand that, but can’t you make a bomb with legal materials from a store? I personally do not know this and can’t say for sure. But it doesn’t seem too difficult to make a bomb if your intentions are to harm others. The recent Austin bombings comes to mind. The point I am trying to make is that no matter how illegal something may be, it will not stop someone who is determined in causing harm to others.

The focus should instead be on bullying. Wouldn’t it be better suited to prevent school violence from happening by going after the source? Why not prevent someone from getting to the point where they feel their only opinion is to hurt others at school? My other concern with the March for Our Lives and the Walk Out is, how many of those students are the ones who are bullies? How many of those students are the root of this issue and ignoring their impact they may have on school violence?

When you want to solve a problem, it is better to go straight to the source instead of fixing the symptoms. I think gun violence is a symptom and not the source of school violence. Sure, it may help, but it will not solve the problem. Until bullying is addressed, there will be students out there who may suffer and may come to a point where their only escape is to fight back. And sometimes when they fight back, it may result in school violence that may lead to casualties. A student does not need a gun to achieve this.


  1. Becca
    April 7, 2018 at 9:47 am — Reply

    Thought I’ve read a lot of stupid opinion pieces on the ASP lately but this one takes the cake. If bullying really caused school shootings, there would be way more LGBT shooters, women shooters, and POC shooters. Instead, it’s usually white males. Plus, schoolkids are bullied all over the world, but school shootings mainly only happen in the US. This “walk up, not out” idoicy is BS to distract us from the real problem: that disturbed people with a history of violence are able to get guns.

  2. Raymond Strawn III
    April 9, 2018 at 1:14 pm — Reply

    Thank you for your comment. You brought up a valid point about LGBT and women. I think if you did some research about the difference in men and women when it comes to violence, even sucide, you’ll find your answer as to why that is. Again, you brought up a good point about bullies all over the world. What is the extent to bullying on other parts of the world? I personally do not know. If you have some evidence, I would love to learn more about it. I can only write about my experiences on bullying in this country. And as someone who has been bullied, who has been labeled, and someone who has been falsely arrested, had his civil rights taken away, and left in jail for 48 days because of the prejudice and discrimination some people have because of the way you “dress”, yes, I will use my own personal experience to explain an opinion I have. I don’t think people can truly understand until they experience it themselves, but that won’t stop me speaking up and trying to spread awareness. I also stood up to bullies a lot, one reason why I had such a reputation, but yet I did not see many other students stepping up to bullies, in fact, I was the only one. As you can see, I wrote this from my own personal experience. Maybe I have an unique perspective, but I lived it. And I think your comment proves my point. Society is the real issue. It seems students do not know how to treat each other with respect and when they have the opportunity, would rather tear someone down. Thank you for your comment.

  3. Rozum
    April 13, 2018 at 2:50 am — Reply

    Raymond, in your zeal to defend the gun lobby you are libeling bullied kids and making excuses for murderous sociopaths — and of course, just like the NRA, you are acting with complete disregard for facts. One, there is NO credible proof that ANY of the indiscriminate mass shooters were motivated primarily by bullying. Two, motivation is not causation: a number of male mass shooters were provably motivated by ROMANTIC REJECTIONS, and consequently targeted females, but this does not mean the women who refused to date these monsters caused the mass murders! Third, no sane kid reacts to being bullied by dreaming of MASS EXTERMINATING CHILDREN they do not even know, like the ADULT murderers did in Sandy Hook and Parkland.

    If you have such feelings, you need to check with a psychiatrist ASAP since your mind is looking for any excuse possible and you will do something horrible unless you get help!

    In the meantime, please stop stigmatizing bullied kids by portraying them as potential mass murderers. And keep in mind that parroting NRA talking points makes you just one more sheep in the herd.

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