Any time a school shooting occurs, it is tragic. One school shooting is one too many, and it would be nice if we lived in a society where these things did not happen. Sadly, we do, so we try to make sense of it, learn from it, and do something to prevent it.
Now, it does not surprise me that this occurred it Taft. Taft is in the same County (Kern) that I live in, and I know the area. It is not far from Bakersfield (where the crime rate has skyrocketed over the last few years), has no real job base, poor economy, and is drowning in drugs. The joke is that Taft stands for, There’s Another Fucking Tweeker. Taft is a smaller town that can trace its roots to Oklahoman’s and Texans escaping the dust bowl, and Mexicans coming over for work as field hands. You can’t swing a cat by the tail in Bakersfield and the surrounding towns, without hitting someone who can’t speak English. I am not saying that this has anything to do with the shooting or to crime in the area, just setting the stage of the area.
Taft, is a high school football town, and the school revolves around sports. Bullying is rampant, and overlooked. I’ll bet you ten bucks this kid was bullied and saw no other way out. Does this excuse his behavior? Not at all. I grew up in a mining town that is just like Taft, and was bullied from Kindergarten all the way up. Did I kill anyone? No. However, I won’t say that I didn’t have violent fantasies from time to time that starred the bullies. I’m betting if the bullies were handled, or the kid talked to a little bit more by either the school or his parents, this could have been avoided.
How culpable is the media in this also?