This time it happened in California. You can read the story here.
Normally, I don't do this, but for the sake of argument, let's play the blame game. Who is to blame for this shooting?
Please note, I did not ask who was responsible. The shooter is obviously responsible for his own actions. What I am after is who or what to blame. Let's list some possibilities:
We can blame the shooter himself to begin with, who obviously didn't have very good coping mechanisms.
Yet, I don't think we can stop there because we get our coping mechanisms from our families. Therefore we can blame the shooter's family for not doing a better job of raising their kid.
Oh, but wait, how we raise our kids is often influenced greatly by the surrounding culture and peer group as well as our families. Therefore, we must spread some blame to the family's peer group as well as any the authors of any books the family read pertaining to parenting as well as any television counselors the family saw and followed concerning child rearing. And we must blame previous generations for instilling their thoughts on child rearing on the shooter's parents.
Yet, this seems inadequate considering the student said that he was bullied. Doesn't the bully share some of the blame? Shouldn't he be held accountable in some fashion as he contributed to the circumstances leading up to the shooting?
And if we learn such bullying behavior in our families, then doesn't the shooter's family deserve some blame? And, of course, this family was influenced by their peer group and the surrounding culture and previous family members as well.
But what about the school and the teachers and coaches? Shouldn't they have been more proactive in watching the dynamics between students? Shouldn't they have been more diligent in observing how athletes treated others? Shouldn't they have caught this before it had a chance to escalate?
And what about the other students? Did they not have opportunity to either address the bullying themselves or reach out to the bullied to offer support, compassion, or care that might have prevented this from going too far?
Or what about Hollywood which revels in telling stories about the weak guy who became strong and exacted revenge upon those who bullied him in the first place?
What about those violent video games which stimulate those portions of our brains prone to violence and make killing entertainment?
And what about the ease of the shooter to obtain his brother's shot gun? Shouldn't the ease of access to the weapon share some of the blame?
Oh, I guess we can begin blaming the NRA for its stance on the right to bear arms.
And where was the Church or other organized religion in this ordeal? Why weren't they reaching out to the shooter to show him another way of handling being bullied? Why weren't they reaching out to the alleged bully football player teaching him that strength is best used to protect instead of inflict harm?
Is there anyone else we can add to this list? I am quite sure it has not been exhausted yet. I haven't said anything about blaming the media, Democrats, Republicans, or even God. I'm sure I could spread some blame there as well.
But perhaps I don't need to. Perhaps you have already come to see the point of this post. Perhaps you have come to see the futility in placing blame. But I have no doubt there will be a myriad of pundits once again trying to assessed it and fix the problem.
But the problem is actually quite complex when trying to assess blame and then fix. Once again it boils down to human nature and the way the world works. This is why when people stop and think after tragic events, they often come to the conclusion that nothing really can be done to solve the problem. You and I cannot fix what is wrong with the world or what is wrong with humanity.
The best we can do is turn to the One who can and beseech Him to get busy working on His promised transformation. And, it would behoove each of us to remember that transformation is desperately needed within us and that as such transformation occurs within each of us, it slowly but surely addresses the problem -- piece by piece, individual by individual.