Taft Shooting

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?

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4 thoughts on “Taft Shooting

  1. Media culpable as spawning copy cats? Parents culpable as not taking an active enough role in actual parenting? Society culpable as glorifying violence? Bullies culpable as preying on those they can? The shooter culpable for taking the actions they did?

    I read a very interesting article on Word Press this week related to the recent rash of school shootings that wondered about the possible correlation between these shootings and the decline in the “traditional” nuclear family. Our moral fabric as a society is unraveling and as it does more and more attrocities are going to occur? Who/what is culpable if there is a real corrrelation there?

    I too was bullied through most of my pre-college school years. I too had a list of people I thought the world would be better without. I too had fantasies about the day I couldn’t take it anymore and got to it. And what kept me from ever reaching that snapping point? My family. Worrying about disappointing them. Knowing they were there for me and while they couldn’t keep me from getting bullied they were doing what they could.

    I don’t have any answers. I don’t know what the cause of these shootings are. I don’t know how we can start changing our society so these kids no longer see this an option at all let alone their only one. It’s going to take more than new federal regulations. Laws are not going to solve what is going on at the heart of these issues.

  2. “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.” This I think is the most truest when it comes to bullied kids that hit back. At my last high school in Holland I was 5 years older than the rest (went back to school at 22). There was this one girl, the most popular, who would pick on a few kids in class. No teacher stood up for them – it almost seemed as if they wanted to be liked by the popular kids. Which was quite pathetic. I once yelled/cursed at her for 15 minutes after she made some vile remarks to a boy and refused to have him sit next to her.. Social suicide.. but I couldn’t care less.

    It’s not completely unthinkable that a child sees no other option than too hit back in the most violent way.

    Unless people recognize it’s not just the kids but the environment too – things are not likely to change. But I hope it does.

    • The thing I learned around Junior High School is that if you hit the bully back, they usually stop bullying. Unfortunately in today’s society, if you hit back then you get in more trouble than the bully. You are not allowed to stand up for yourself or fight back any more. It seems like that when kids do fight back, they are pushed to this point, or suicide.

      Also, as djmatticus asked in his comment, how much are the families to blame in this too? So many families are working families now, they do not spend time with their kids. They instead rely on school’s and daycare’s to raise their children, then they become shocked when something like this happens and can’t understand why their child did it. I worked in a daycare for five years, I can honestly say that I knew half of those kids better than their parents did.

      • That is a truly terrifying statement – that you knew those kids better than their parents; and a great illustartion of one of my comments/questions. Society should not be responsible for raising children – that is the parents job, and perhaps if more parents were doing their jobs instead of relying on TV and schools and everything else to fill that role, then we’d be seeing fewer of these trajedies.

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