I didn’t realize it was Kyle that had died that summer, saving his little sister from drowning – 15 years ago, this June. Walking into the lunchroom, not seeing him with a deck of Yu-Gi-Oh cards in front of him, I asked, “Where’s Kyle?”
Immediately, faces crinkled, tears began to flow, and the sober words, “It was him,” caused the nausea to hit me. The Courier Article had been put up in the JROTC case, but, like most of the students on those wooden hallways, I walked right by, blissfully unaware. Instantly, I knew why I had missed the memo – I didn’t see his picture, that day, I had only heard the monotone reporting from the other room, oblivious to the lives of my friends being ripped apart before the days of Facebook.
C.K. was his best friend; they were in the middle of their Eagle Scout project – he shows up the next day, ready to work and… that’s not my story to tell. The necrophilia-based fiction, humor and drama, prose and poetic, mundane and musical, just sort of… happened. There was no real way to process it, so we… not ‘trivialized’ it. Distanced ourselves. Observed clinically. Copy of a copy of a copy. His ex was one of my best friends – between her and C.K., I can tell you, heroic or not, losing someone your age when you’re a kid is fucked up.
Personally, I wasn’t even that close to Kyle, I was just one of the group at the lunch table. Sure, I was in JROTC, too, which we found out pretty quick on Friday, when the whole Corps was required to wear their Class ‘B’s, but that wasn’t how we knew each other. We were the weirdo eclectic kids – anime geeks, theatre/ choir/ band nerds; that was our bond.
Still, that’s the age where, barring a serious personality disorder, you buy it all hook, line, and sinker. He wanted to go into the Air Force to become a hero. Literally, saved his little sister’s life and became a hero before he could be expected to pay rent – can you imagine how he’d feel if he ended up piloting drones, instead? That wasn’t Kyle – Kyle was the Billy Joel song you’re thinking of right now.
Now, I’m seeing kids on TV grieving after seeing classmates die with their own two eyes – not even a hint of a willing sacrifice, no blissful buffer, just senseless slaughter with no warning. Those kids are going to develop a very, very dark sense of humor. Let them. Humor is much more healing than repressing feelings. They are going to feel very, very intense emotions – don’t drug the shit out of them, just because they have to be to school at 6 am because they’re in Band.
It just now occurred to me, the one Conspiracy Theory kid might not have been a bad actor doing multiple takes, he might just be out of his gourd on Gods-Know-What to do this freaking media tour. Or else it’s Operation Northwoods all over again. I digress.
It’s time to stop forcing kids to be perfect, to fear failure, to pretend they’re happy when they’re obviously not – they’re feeling that same feeling: something is not right, here. Only, instead of listening, we ignore them until the only way they can be heard is by shooting up a Church or a School.
It’s been two years since Columbine, and today, many people – especially some parents of the murdered children – still believe the worst school massacre in American history might have been averted if the Sheriff’s Department and school authorities had done their jobs.
60 Minutes has been investigating the shootings at Columbine for the past six months, and has found new and surprising information about what happened there. Some of that information was in the Sheriff’s files – undisclosed – until CBS News went to court to have it released. And some of it comes from two former security officials at the school district who say that eight months before the shootings, they developed a plan that they say might have prevent the killings, a plan that they say the school all but ignored.
This is happening AGAIN:
Suspected school shooter Nikolas Cruz became known to authorities in the fall of 2017 when he posted a comment on YouTube that was reported to the FBI: “I’m gonna be a professional school shooter.”
At a news conference Thursday morning, special FBI agent-in-charge of Miami-Dade Rob Lasky said that the agency had received the report of the comment from a video blogger in Mississippi in September. The comment was made under the name “Nikolas Cruz,” and yet the bureau said it was unable to establish a firm identity.
Now, I don’t mean to sound callous, but the FBI/ Police ignoring reports of weapons brandishing on top of weapons stockpiling doesn’t sound like they were very concerned with stopping an inevitable slaughter.
…and THAT is why I don’t believe they’ll change ANYTHING with the coming proposed legislation. 17 YEARS of Hindsight is Disgusting. They HAD the tools to identify this man as a threat, and they NEGLECTED to act. Why? WHY?!! What’s the point of all that blood you just WATCHED spill, when you know good and Goddamned well how to stop it?
What NEW law would have made the FBI spring into action? Making it a felony to sit back without preventing a bloodbath when that is literally your JOB.
Conduct professional investigations and authorized intelligence collection to identify and counter the threat posed by domestic and international terrorists and their supporters within the United States, and to pursue extraterritorial criminal investigations to bring the perpetrators of terrorist acts to justice. In furtherance of this function, the FBI designs, develops, and implements counterterrorism initiatives which enhance the FBI’s ability to minimize the terrorist threat.
Well, it was identified, and then what? Then, their faces crinkled, and that damned wailing began… and the ones who LET it happen are saying WE need more restrictions? WE are bad people for not handing over our guns? WE need to let THEM take MORE of our privacy?!
YOU CAN ALREADY SEE ALL THE NUDES ON MY PHONE – EAT A BAG OF DICKS.
If it wasn’t outright malice, it was grave incompetency which requires external investigation. I want answers. I want this to ACTUALLY stop, not just be a cool Facebook filter with the intention to neglect duties further down the line after the lip service ceremonies. #NeverAgain