Targets of Bullying at Risk of Becoming School Shooters

With the many shootings which have happened, such as the Jonesboro, Parkland, and Santa Fe school massacres, it has been placed on my heart to write about something which needs to be discussed but, sadly, isn’t by many. It should be no surprise that bullying is almost always a factor in the uptick of school shootings, which have plagued our country for the last twenty years. Before we go any further, let me remind you that being bullied, no matter how severe, is absolutely no excuse for taking human lives, and I would never condone such an action!

However, many shooters have been victims of bullying, who were pushed to the breaking point. They finally snapped after many years of relentless and repetitive abuse by their peers and being rebuffed by school staff in their attempts to report bullying incidences and get help. Therefore, they resort to bringing a gun to school and leaving death and mayhem in their wake! The shooters then turn the gun on themselves to avoid prison, and the end result is that families and loved ones on both sides and entire communities are left devastated!

One such example is the Columbine Shooting in April of 1999. I have read many articles about this particular case. It was stated by many experts that the perpetrators, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, had for years been bullied outcasts, who’d only gotten fed up with the continuous negative treatment and finally went into a rage and lashed out, as have so many other victims since then. Again, I cannot stress enough how wrong and counterproductive bringing a gun to school really is, much less using it to shoot people! However, I believe there is something we’re missing here- the issue of mental health and bullying, which often leads to these tragedies.

Before the pandemic, school shootings had become so common that they’d become a political issue and fodder for the agendas of both the left and the right wings, with the left pushing for gun control and the right’s push to arm teachers and tighten school security. Although these certainly are legitimate issues that need to be addressed before the end of the pandemic and schools are fully functional again, it seems that almost no one is discussing the root cause of these shootings- bullying and/or mental health.

I believe that “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”! Perhaps if we reach these bullied and at-risk youth and show them that they are not alone and that they matter just like everyone else, we will be able to save them from the possibility of becoming violent and, ultimately, bring down these horribly high statistics! I will explain this in more detail in part two.

(To be continued in Part 2…)

20 thoughts on “Targets of Bullying at Risk of Becoming School Shooters

  1. Wow, thank you for talking about this. This is such an important topic and seeing how unfortunately prevalent it is in today’s society, I think it’s vital that people learned more about it!

  2. Working in education I see so many students who do not fit in for one reason or another and because they have become experts at being invisible in a busy class, where adhering to the rigid curriculum is paramount, they get behind academically and become so low before it is noticed. The teenage years are so hard and confusing. Schools continue to avoid addressing this. Kat x

    • Thank you so much for your comment, Kat. You couldn’t have said that any better. Bullying does cause the target’s grades to tank and it’s because the target has no choice but to make personal safety a priority. Who can concentrate on lessons and studies when they’re constantly having to look over their shoulders and endure such abuse?

      And when a kid’s self-esteem has been battered for so long, they stop believing in themselves and give up. It’s heartbreaking!

  3. Little things sums up to big things. Anger not moderated will always end up at the wrong side. Nice post on real issue that needs to be discussed. I don’t think everybody would agree but parents can play an important role here.

  4. I was bullied in high school and believe me, I completely understand the mentality the shooters like those in Columbine had. They are made to feel so worthless and so without hope of ever amounting to anything they feel they will take their own lives and a few of those that tormented them too. Unfortunately, innocents get caught up in their plans too. I’m glad I never lost hope at having a better life.

    We actually had a shooting at my high school in the early 1980’s, but the kid just shot the one that was doing the bullying (calling him a “chink”). It may sound awful, but I had more sympathy for the shooter.

    Where I live now, it seems to be better. I think a small community like ours handles it better than some of the larger suburban areas.

    • I completely get that and Ive felt the same way. However, my heart breaks because in shooting their bullies, the target messes up their own lives as well. Either they commit suicide afterwards or they end up in prison for the rest of their lives. It’s terrible. That’s why I urge targets to think about what it would do to their own lives before they take a gun to school.

  5. Yes… this!

    The 2014 Isla Vista shooting happened a few weeks after I started my previous blog, and one of my first posts there was making a similar point to what you’re saying here. (Granted, that shooting was off campus in a university town, not exactly a school shooting, but a lot of what you’re saying here about the shooters having been bullied applied to that situation as well.) Let me go find it… here: https://highwaypi.wordpress.com/2014/05/25/exit-4-it-could-have-been-me/

    I shared this with some people in real life, and at one point I was accused of “victim-shaming” for saying this, like I’m saying that it is the fault of the people who bullied the shooter that they got shot, because they were bullies. No, I’m not saying that. Nor am I agreeing with the shooter in this case that these women owed him sex. They did not. But they could have treated him with a little bit of decency.

    I seriously think I could have turned out like those mass shooters, had not people come along and rescued me and shown me that not everyone was out to make fun of me and reject me. And it all started with the night I threw the box at Sarah (the March 3 and 4, 1995 episodes of my current blog).

    • I totally agree, Greg. I remember hearing about that shooting on the news right after it happened. I think it’s vital that targets think about what shooting their bullies could do to their own lives as well. Anytime you shoot someone, regardless if they severely wronged you, not only is their life over, but your life is also over too. That’s the message I want to send to targets of bullying.

      And I’m so glad that you had people in your life who made a difference and that things turned out for the better for you.

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