School shootings are acts of terrorism
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Are We Afraid Of Homocide/Suicide School Shooters

By James Burns

A gunman dressed all in black stepped on stage in a lecture hall at Northern Illinois University on Thursday and opened fire on a geology class. A short time later, five students were dead and the gunman had killed himself on the lecture hall stage. Twenty one others were wounded, at least two of them critically. Early Friday, the DeKalb County coroner said another student shot at the lecture hall had died, bringing the toll to seven, including the gunman.

It was the fifth school shooting in a week in the U.S.

You read that. Correct. This was the fifth school shooting in a week in the U.S. After the shooting spree the gunman turned the gun on himself and committed suicide. The unidentified 27-year-old man grew up in the Chicago suburbs and was enrolled as a graduate student at another state school far removed from the site of Thursday's bloodbath at Northern Illinois University. If this gunman intended to kill himself, then why did he have to take innocent people with him? Why did defenseless students sitting in a college lecture hall have to become part of this person's plan to kill himself?. You may think this sounds insensitive of me, but how would you like to be the parent of one of these students? Put yourself in the place of parents who have just sent their child off to college and then find out that their child was just shot down and killed by some deranged person who just walked on the stage of a lecture hall stage and opened fire.

I think the most alarming part is that this was the fifth school shooting in the United States this week. If an individual has to worry about being killed sitting in a college class in this country, well we are no better off than the Israelis who have to be on guard sitting in their local pizzeria worrying if an Arab terrorist will decide to blow himself up and them as well. The one advantage that the Israelis have is that they have a pretty good idea of what the terrorist might look like. On college campuses students don't have that advantage. The killer could be someone's roommate. The killer probably looks no different than the boy next door. It almost seems like guerilla warfare where the enemy hides in the trees and is camouflaged so well that you don't know where he is until someone is dead.

Motive is the one thing that no one seems to have a clue about right now. Do we really care about motive? I don't, and I don't think any of the parents who are receiving notification today that their child was killed in a school shooting do either. What are they going to tell us, that he had dating problems? That he wasn't on his medication? Lack of medication seems to be what everybody is blaming this on right now. But to the parents of the victims, knowing the motive of the killer will not alleviate any of their pain.

School shootings were something that was unheard of until the massacre at Columbine High School, which should have been the wake up call to the country. Harris and Kleboltz were not the only demented people in this world, there are plenty of them. September 11, 2001 proved that. The nation is constantly on guard at airports, subways, highways, and sporting events. We are constantly looking over our shoulder and are wondering when another terrorist will blow up another landmark that the country seems to hold so near and dear. Individuals hold things personally near and dear also. Like their children. I don't want my daughter looking over her shoulder on a college campus wondering if the next stranger she sees is going to be so deranged that he decides to open fire and shoot innocent students including her. Do you? The time has come for the country to treat these school shootings as terroristic acts. Instead of the government pouring money into public schools in order to raise test scores let's start using the money to better protect our kids. Instead of colleges using government funds to build bigger campuses let's start focusing on the real problem - the well being and safety of our students, our children. I know that this sounds like pie in the sky, but do you know what? It wasn't your kid that was killed today. I don't want my daughters or anybody else's children to get killed tomorrow.

We have to take a new view of these school shootings. We have to understand what those students felt today when they saw their classmates gunned down They felt terrorized, and that's exactly how these shooting should be looked at - as acts of terrorism.

About the Author

For more about Jim Burns


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