So, I have been thinking about Lindsay Kanitha Souvannarath, Randell Shepherd, and James Gamble. They were the young people who plotted to open fire at the Halifax Shopping Centre food court a few years ago. The plot was foiled when someone tipped off the police, and the police arrested Shepherd and her. The police were closing in on Gamble when he killed himself with the firearm he was going to use to kill his parents before he and Lindsay carried out their plan. This transpired in a house down the road from where I live.
We dodged one, didn't we?
But, it can happen again, if not here, then somewhere else.
There are plenty of young people out there who are disaffected and pissed off at the world because they perceive the world has done them wrong. They are usually poorly educated, underemployed if not unemployed, and have few prospects for a positive future. They were bullied in school. They feel worthless, are miserable, and painfully single. They are a seething cauldron of anger looking for an outlet. Because of some out-there websites and chatrooms that I have never bothered to look up, and won't, they find others who share their twisted beliefs. And, sometimes, they start to plot things best not considered.
Except for the education thing, I was a lot like them.
I was bullied in school. I was made to feel worthless, and unintelligent. I was worried nearly to death I'd end up unemployed, unemployable, and disaffected. I was as single as a fella could get. I also had the anger, the kind of anger that my family is known for, and which has got many of them in trouble over the years.
When I was their age, the internet was... well, we had Compuserve and BBS's, which had chatrooms, and I'm guessing that some of them were off the beaten path.
I do not recall anybody in particular who took me under their wing to set me on the straight and narrow. I just realized the path that I was on would not work out well for me. I changed schools, and left the bullies behind. My grades improved. I finished high school and got a university education. I really feel that my education is what saved me from a life that might have spiraled out of control.
People like the ones who plotted the shooting need to be dealt with by the courts. Don't get me wrong. But society needs to do more to prevent people from getting that way in the first place. Maybe treating people with a bit more respect, especially the ones who are not fitting in socially, would go a long way to helping them.
What are your thoughts on this?
See you tomorrow.