You may have missed it during spring break, but kids, guns and death were all in the headlines last week.

In Santee, Calif., a 15-year-old boy, who friends thought was only joking, shot and killed two students and injured another baker?s dozen at his high school.

What is this world coming to?

Why do some kids feel that the only way to solve problems is to blow people away? The answers may be harder to swallow than most people think.

Charles Andrew Williams, the alleged shooter, said he was bullied and that he hated going to school in California and would have rather been back in Maryland.

How many of you reading this column have been bullied in your lifetime? Did you ever think that shooting the bully was a good idea? If you did, you need help.

And so does Williams, who consequently will be charged under California law as an adult.


Being convicted and then being sent to prison with a bunch of hardcore adult prisoners will not help this kid, and that is the mistake of our justice system and anyone who thinks that the answer to crime is locking people up.

Therapy, especially in a case like a school shooting, is essential to understanding why the crime was committed and is a primary step in making sure that the perpetrator never does it again.

In therapy, a person can learn how to channel their anger so that better options than a mob-like hit will come to mind to solve problems.

This is not to say that the kid should not be punished for his crime. He should, and that punishment should be imprisonment.

However, while Williams is incarcerated, he should get help, and his family should have to pay for it.

That?s right, his family should pay to get him help, because they didn?t do it before. Taxpayers should not be penalized for this kid?s armed emotional outburst or the parents? inability to see that their child had the potential to be homicidal.

Active parents

But the answer to all of these horrific problems cannot be found simply in therapy alone.

There needs to be preemptive action to ensure that the Santee shooting and the numerous copycat incidents that popped up immediately after Williams shot from his bathroom bunker don?t make a resurgence in any other school in the nation.

One thing that can be done is to have parents take an active role in the lives of their children. You brought them into this world ? don?t expect the world to take care of them.

I will admit that talking to kids is sometimes hard but showing interest in them and understanding what is going on in their heads is the first step of many on the road to rehabilitating our hurting youth culture.

Focus on the kids, and the problems will be solved.

Parents are the anchors in all of this. Not the shoot-?em-up games, or the rap music or even the bullying. These are all factors that do influence the child, but in the end it is the child who decides to do the terrible things that have made high schools across the country go into lockdown mode.

By talking to our youth and helping them to understand that violence, especially gun violence, is never the answer, we may be on our way to a safer society.

The value of Rochester journalism

When big events are over, the national news has to move on. Local news is what covers the aftermath.

To everyone, everything, that’s no longer mine

You left so many pieces of you with me — I’m a mosaic. You gave me pretty stained glass, and when you left it cracked into shards.

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