I have been thinking about this young man in Florida who walked into a school and started shooting. His mom died in November, and that is no excuse, but maybe it is because my kids lost their dad when they were 10 and 13, and being a socioogy major, I knew the statistics of kids who endure that. Do you know that young man fit those statistics? He did an extreme action because he was hurting and didn't have a way to fix it, so he hurt others...and himself.
I don't know what he was like before his mom died, but I know I was criticized for being a helicopter mom during the 3-4 years after the kids' dad died. I was told I needed to give them room, that their being allowed to crawl in my bed was wrong or "sick", that I was trying to fix them. Some people simply could not see that I was giving them room to grieve honestly with someone who might be able to help them process their grief and pain and anger. Some people couldn't see that night time is hell when you are hurting and being able to reach over and touch the parent that was still alive was stabliity, not sickness. Some people couldn't see thatI knew I couldn't fix them, but I never wanted them to feel abandoned in their pain.
And I am left wondering about this kid who may have had issues before his mom died but clearly was lost in grief afterward. Could this have been avoided? Could someone have helped him grieve better? Could someone have stopped these horrifying statistics, not just for him but the friends and families who lost their loved ones?
The truth is, my heart is broken for all of them.
And I know the whole issue of gun control, but, y'all, I don't see an issue of gun control. I see an issue of a kid who was hurting, who got lost in the darkness and wasn't found. What if he had been found? HOW could he have been found?
My kids have never threatened to kill people. Shoot, my son uses a glass and paper to take spiders outside because he won't kill them. But then, they also weren't left to find their way through trauma alone. One absolute truth about trauma is: if you leave trauma unaddressed, it will beget futher trauma. I wonder if this young man in Florida had anyone who tried to step into the trauma with him.
I don't know. I guess we will never know.
What I know is if we make this an issue about guns, then we only see this young man as a gunman who should have been stopped, not as a hurting person who really need help. As long as we only see the gun, we don't see the people in pain holding them...or find a way to help those people so they never consider picking the gun up in the first place.