I was sitting in my home office this morning after having a cup of coffee and reading the daily electronic newspaper. Since it was the first day of school, I decided to turn on the television to look at the local news. There are usually some interesting people-interest stories reported on the first day. If there were some light-hearted people-interest stories reported, I don’t remember them, because they were overshadowed by some disturbing stories, a least they were disturbing to me.

One local school district in Central Arkansas is hiring nine resource officers this year. These are police officers hired under contract from the city’s police department. (I’ve decided not to name the school district or the local police department.) I moved through the television channels and the reporting was the same. Security is a top priority this year. I couldn’t help but get the sense that going to school these days is like entering a high security government facility. I also couldn’t help but to allow images of school violence to develop in my mind. God forbid there be demented school shooters this year. The decrease in onsite school attendance over these last two covid-pandemic years has lessened the opportunities for mentally unbalanced people to enter our schools to end the lives of some of our most valuable resources.

I remember when I attended school back in the 1950s and 60s, even though this was during a time when segregation and the emergence of the civil rights movement were at loggerheads, there wasn’t the practice of using schools as shooting galleries. I was more concerned with how I would protect myself from the infamous school bully, who had promised to beat me up on the playground. These little high-noon type encounters didn’t have guns or knives added to the mix, only plain old fisticuffs. As I look back now, these scrimmages weren’t as bad as they seemed at the time. They almost seem comical.

I could write more, but I’m overwhelmed with the question: WHY? Of course, I could dedicate countless words to answering that question; however, I don’t feel they would amply define the social illness under which we live these days. So, I’m left with WHY.

I’m old and blessed…hope you will be too.

3 thoughts on “                                                                                         Why?

  1. Linda Lee Adams/Lady Quixote August 22, 2022 / 9:24 pm

    We live in a small town in eastern New Mexico. Our home is about three blocks away from the schools. Earlier this year, the school was closed for a couple of days, because one of the students had posted things online that were alarming. Yes, indeed — WHY.


  2. rangewriter August 26, 2022 / 9:19 pm

    Oh dear. I saw similar images here in Idaho. School resources officers practicing active shooter drills, with weapons drawn, school desks blurred in the background. I kept thinking, “It’s come to this?”

    I remember grades school days in late 50s/early 60s with air raid drills. But there was little terror associated with those because they seemed so implausible, sort of like men from mars arriving. We kids sort of enjoyed the break in routine.

    Last night my local Braver Angels chapter had a discussion about gun regulation. It was an uneven conversation because three of us are in favor of safe and sane gun regulations. One fellow is very defensive (respectfully so, I must add) about his right to carry protection. We talked about how gun “culture” has changed drastically since about the 80s. He sees this as a response to drugs and wants to decriminalize drug use. I see his point…however, I also know that the NRA used to be a gun EDUCATION organization before they became a gun promotion and lobbying arm for the weapons industry. That plays into our culture, too.

    His personal story is important though. At the age of 19, he marched off to college on a full-ride scholarship only to be one of the survivors of the Virginia Tech massacre. He has carried that trauma all his life and freely questions if he could have done anything positive, had he had a gun on his belt. How each person processes danger and trauma is different. At least this man is determined to have sand and respectful conversations with people who disagree with him.

    I weep for what we’re leaving for the generations to come.

    Liked by 1 person

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