Well there was another highly publicized "school shooting" this week. Actually was it a shooting if no one was shot? This time, it was in my neck of the woods about 45 minutes away from where I live. Although, I have no connection with the incident except being from the same state-- I feel like I do because I've heard about it incessantly in the news and feel like I know all the important characters.
Antoinette Tuff, Ronald E. McNair School clerk talked a disturbed Michael Brandon Hill out of taking the lives of many students and staff with his AK-47 and into turning himself in. In doing she saved lives and he won't gain his place in the dark infamy he initially coveted like many before him.
But why does this seem like it's becoming a new normal in the news? It is because people are interested in these stories and broadcast news stations cater to what people want in order to keep ratings. Because of this incident the gun control debate has resurfaced. But should gun control really be a number one priority we should all worry about?
It is completely understandable victims, survivors, and parents of deceased of senseless violence like what Columbine, VA Tech, Newtown, etc., would feel the need to control gun violence but statistically it's not a leading cause of death in this country even though it seems that way in mass media. According to the CDC gun related murder isn't a leading cause of death in the United States. It's not guns that need to be the number one priority in what this country needs to be controlled. Although, I will admit there needs to be some reform in gun ownership but shootings are rare. Suicide however, is not and is the 10 th leading cause of death in the United States according to the National Institute of Mental Health.
Instead of focusing on the fact that this was almost a school shooting we should point out the fact that Michael Brandon Hill was very suicidal exactly like all his past high profile mass-shooter predecessors we've been fascinated with in the past. So, here's a thought, instead of going out to buy a gun to arm our school children and teachers from a potential threat maybe we should ask them how they're feeling first and if they are experiencing suicidal symptoms. Don't jump to brash conclusions. It's just a suggestion.
For more information on suicide statistics visit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention at http://www.afsp.org/