Teenage mass murdering is a horrifying subject. It immediately brings up memories of Columbine massacre, Virginia Tech shooting and other mass murders, which took place in past 20 years. It cannot be forgotten, and people still remember what had happened but there is no clear answer to why did this happen. There have been thousands of articles on this topic and numerous books were written, however, this problem still exists. What or who is the one to blame? Thoughts vary from blaming parents to blaming videogames, government or church. Even if it is unlikely to change the whole world, it still is important to research this problem in order to find out the way to prevent as many teenagers from choosing the wrong path as it is possible.
Since tragic Columbine shooting in April 1999 and till today, only in United States there were approximately 12 other teenage mass murderers. Each of them happened in the different places and at different times, in each of the massacres died up to 35 innocent victims. This table shows how different were these shootings. The only thing in common is that each of them initiated adolescent.
At the first look it seems practically impossible to gather a portrait of a mass murderer, these killings were too different, and they had different motives and prehistory. Basing my judgment on the life of six chosen murderers, I would like to point out that all of them needed help. All of them were lonely, Robert Hawkins left a suicide note to his parents and his friends, where he actually stated, that he feels like burden and that they would be better off without him. Jeff Weise was constantly bullied at school, and he needed someone to help him and be his friend. Story is the same with most all of the murderers. Any teenager feels very vulnerable at this age and needs to feel the support, especially when it is a troubled kid.
Government works on preventing murders, and tries to improve the situation. However, it is hard to say that they are successful. They tried to push new gun control legislation but most of them were turned down in Congress. The last news state that Barack Obama directs new gun background check measurements, but it seems that this is much ado about nothing (REUTERS.com).
Teenagers have easy access to guns and other weapons; they can get them from their parents and relatives or friends. Politics is still arguing about the Second Amendment and some of them are claiming that easier access to weapons should be permitted and that people should be able to have guns at home for self-protection. They, however, are not talking about the sorts of large-capacity weapons used in mass shootings. Instead of regulating weaponry, they should pay more attention to the atmosphere in the society. Each school must have a professional psychologist, whom teenagers can go to in case they are in trouble. Government needs to take care of the people instead of arguing something global. Every change needs to take place inside of the country first.
Another cause of teenage murders might be gaming. Fast development of technology brought an arising issue of accessibility, meaning that anyone can access almost anything on Internet. Society was not ready for this change to take place so fast. Young children are better users than their parents and it is not a bad thing. The bad thing is when they have uncontrollable access to almost anything they want. It is not surprising anymore to see a 10 year old walking with the player or a phone or tablet. Children will use this access in order to get an explanation to the things they do not understand. But it is not okay, when parents are fine with it, it is their obligation and responsibility to explain to their children what is good and what is bad. Nowadays, most of the teenagers usually stay in their rooms all the time and spend a lot of time on the Internet. The variety of content available there is amazing. Besides just surfing on the web, teenagers love playing games. Video games became like a drug to some of them; they are literally addicted to the game, and they are ready to spend all night long just to pass the level or get a higher score. Some of these games are terrifying and violent, and the fact that they are so popular is only disturbing. World of Warcraft and Counter Strike have always topped the list of most popular games. Both of them include war and shooting. Teenagers get too obsessed with the game, and they do not take part in the social life of the school or college. Some of them try to leave their troubles behind and relax while playing these games. Others just try to accomplish high scores and beat other players to prove to themselves at the first place that they are capable of being the best. If teenagers spend too much time in front of their computer screens, it should be another wake up call for their parents.
People need to understand that it is not enough to give birth to someone to be called a parent. Once the baby is born, he is a brand new person, he can become anyone he wants, but only if his parents are supporting. Life is hard enough on its own, and when a child feels like a burden to his parents it should be the first sign that parents are doing something wrong. It is tremendously important to teach teenagers how to be strong and how to be proud of who he is. Parenting needs to be taken seriously, and child needs to know that his actions have consequences. Unfortunately, parenting is not always desired, and that is when a child actually becomes a burden to his parents. When teenager feels that he has no support from his parents, he will look and search for people who understand him. This only leads a teenager deeper on the wrong path, because most likely, that he will become close friends with someone who experiences the same problems. Parents must be involved in the life of their teen, on top of that it is important to know that teenagers are very protective of their privacy. Parents need to understand that invading teens privacy will only make things worse, there is a fine line between participating and controlling.
Another reason behind murders is society. Society actually shapes a person into what he is. Once you are surrounded by other people, it is most likely that you will be influenced by them. It starts with the small things, like listening to the same music, but society, and by that I mean a circle of friends can become lethal to a person. People do lots of crazy things, while together. There are different reasons, but usually it is because of the competition. But once you do not fit in the standards, most likely, that you will be bullied. Especially in school, children can be very mean to each other.
All of the childhood traumas, failed classes, disappointments, lack of friends, all of this and many more might wake a murderer in a teenager. There are a lot of different motives, but looking at the mentioned six killing, I would like to highlight the following: revenge for bullying, obsession, personal stress, depression. Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold were not the first ones to commit a crime like that, but they were probably the first ones to show it from the angle of obsession. Most of the teenage murderers start shooting to be seen and heard. They commit suicide after the shooting because they think that there is no way back. Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold were cruel and cold blooded murderers, and they never hesitated, they had a plan, that was thought over thousands of times and they wanted to make a show, they actually wanted to be remembered. This only shows that besides being bullied, they had psychological problems, and they needed medical treatment. In this particular situation, who is to blame?
In order to prevent teenagers from killing each other, society needs to be more flexible. Parents need to teach their kids that it is okay to be different, that it is bad to be mean to other people. Children need to know and understand that hurting each other will not solve the problem; it will only hurt. It is vital for children to learn how to cooperate with each other, how to achieve results without manhandling each other. Parents need to teach shy kids how to become more active and involved, they need to take part in life of their children. When a kid becomes a teenager, he is very sensitive and vulnerable. Every teenager tries to find himself in the world, tries to find his style, his passion. If he knows that his parents will always help him out with advice, he will turn to them, and this might be a clue to avoiding not only this issue but many others. Teenagers are hard to deal with, and it is only one more reason to be extra attentive to their needs. It is important for teenagers to know that, besides parents and friends, there are other people, professionals, who will help them to solve their problems and give advices on how to behave the right way.
Teenage mass murdering can be stopped and prevented. There always is another way out from any problem that teenager is facing. Mass media must stop inspiring copycat teenage murderers. Parents must be more attentive to their children’s needs, and they must support them. Government is responsible for the overall atmosphere in the society and country. There should be new gun control legislation that can help prevent teenage mass murdering. It is important for every person to take responsibility for his words and actions. All in all, teenage mass murdering might be put to end if people were kinder and more caring.
“A history of mass shootings in the US since Columbine.” Telegraph.co.uk.,24 Aug. 2012. Web. 7 Apr. 2014
“Mass shootings in America: A history, 1999 through 2013.” Nydailynews.com., 16 Sep. 2013 Web. 7 Apr. 2014
Mason, Jeff, Rampton, Roberta. “Obama directs new gun background check measures.” Reuters.com., 3 Jan. 2014. Web. 7 Apr. 2014