I've long since given up in trying to understand why even with fatal mass shootings occurring with shocking regularity, the American government is no step closer to passing increased gun control regulations. I guess i just don't have it in me to see the second amendment as something that must be followed to the letter when lives are at stake. It's particularly unsettling when so many of these shootings have taken place in schools, including one this past week
. Certainly at the most basic level, the whole concept of a 'safe learning environment' cannot be observed in its entirety in the American classroom.
In any case, i'd always thought that over here, the possibility of a school shooting taking place is so low (one of many things to be thankful for about being in Singapore), so that would at least be one non-issue. More power to some American teachers if they think that arming themselves and getting weapons-handling training is the answer; over here i think we'll stick to the tried-and-tested method of eschewing firearms altogether, thank you very much (After all, there are so many other things that we need to train for; no need to add weapons-handling to the mix).
Then, while still reeling from the news of this most recent shooting, America was hit by another case of fatal school violence, but this time not involving guns. This time, a student has been arrested as the chief suspect in the murder of one of his teachers
. As far as i'm concerned, the details of the case ring alarm bells all over, if simply because they could easily apply to any school here as well. The weapon of choice was not a gun, but a readily-available box-cutter. The teacher was ambushed and murdered one afternoon after the bell had rung, in the girls' bathroom in the school. She was described as hardworking and dedicated, and also caring and compassionate
(i.e. hardly someone whom you can imagine any student wanting to harm in so brutal a manner). The accused student was described as the "nicest kid on the (soccer) team."
The case is, of course, less than a week old, so it's definitely premature to draw any conclusions as of yet. Furthermore, the last thing we would need would be to overreact, as is so often the case whenever there's any news with potentially wide-ranging implications breaking over here. Nevertheless, this case provides some much-needed food for thought. The least that should be done would be to be continually vigilant, doing whatever needs to be done to ensure that such an incident would never occur here. We owe it not only to our teachers, but to our students as well, to do so.