Most people go back to the Columbine High School incident, but I go back further to the mass shooting at Cleveland Elementary School in Stockton, California. This was in the late 1980’s and I remember thinking “the shooter must have attended that school as a child.” In fact he had. Patrick Purdy was a “throw away” kid who bounced through the foster care system and was then dumped in the streets of Los Angeles as a young boy. One does not want to consider what may have happened to him. Before Purdy shot up a school yard full of mainly Hmong immigrant children, he was arrested for shooting up a stand of trees, sentenced to a month or so in jail. And then…
I will keep writing about this until someone decides to dig deep and pay attention to how neglected children can be turned into killers. Sure we have a child welfare system, but does it work? Sure we have a VA mental health system, but how’s that working? Isn’t The Borderline incident the second mass shooting by a deranged former member of the military if you count the church shooting in Texas (and the failure to provide DV info into the national data base)?
And how is it that the white male shooter in the Borderline incident had had repeated contacts with the police which he survived? In my experience Black and Brown men with mental illness get summarily executed for being not right in the head and acting out in public (yeah, yeah I know this also happens to non-minorities but there is a difference).
So let me end this screed with a prayer: we gotta do something, Gods, Goddesses and all Spirits of Good Intentions, show us where to start.