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OPINION

Taft CA Teen Shoots Bully in School

January 11, 2013. This week, a 16 year old high school boy brought a shot gun to school, called out his 16 year old personal tormentor by name and shot him in the chest. He took a second shot and, fortunately, missed the boy and everyone else in the classroom.

No one should take this as me encouraging revenge. I don't. All the violence has to stop. I don't condone any of the damage done, the cruelty of bullies or the vengeance raging against them in our schools. Nor do I hold this gun victim blameless.

Still, in this case, I have empathy for this shooter, and little if any for the boy who was nearly killed. I am glad he will survive, of course. But this tormentor-for-entertainment-value wasn't just having a bad day or a bad week. This was at least a year long character flaw coming home to roost, making school the last place every day his victim-turned-shooter wanted to come. For at least a year, school was never a safe place for him to be, either.

Shouldn't it become obvious at some point that if you keep poking the bear with a stick - even a skinny little bear cub, that this poking strategy can end badly? Push someone around, rob him or her of any self-respect, give them nothing to lose simply because you can and it entertains you, and one should anticipate an explosive response. Shouldn't one?

Anyone willing to be caught and punished for bringing a weapon to school and using it, can get that weapon onto school grounds. Give that kid you love to pick on sufficient motivation, and you can find yourself looking down the barrell of a shotgun, too. Relentless abuse of others has consequences you might not be counting on.

School administrators are seldom a protective answer. They don't like to get involved (nor criticized for not wanting to get involved). True, plenty classmates would rather tolerate and even participate in the abuse in hopes of keeping the wolf off their own front porches. Better him than them, Pal.

This is unfortunate. But I feel the same way about a bully whose victim explodes on him, as I feel about a bomb-maker whose work blows up on the work bench before the bomber gets to deliver the device to a place where others will be maimed or killed. Better you than me, Pal.

Many parents feel this is not their problem. "My kids aren't bullies or victims of bullies." Then one day, some small, bullied kid snaps under his abuse and brings a gun to school intent on extracting revenge, no matter the cost and no matter who is caught between the gun and the target. Yes, he can get a gun. Americans are unbelievably armed.

Now who's interested in getting to the bottom of this?

Steve Stewart Seminars | 276 N. El Camino Real #184 | Oceanside CA 92058 | 760-298-8146/Direct 760-216-1353/Cell | www.Steve-Stewart.com/ChooseLife