This day and age we are hearing about acts of unbelievable violence, and the most alarming fact is that some of them are being committed by children. Elementary and middle school students are making the news more than ever before. Just last week a 12-year-old boy brought a shotgun to school and shot and injured two classmates. He immediately surrendered the weapon, which leads me to believe that his focus was one of the two students. For a child to feel that they had no other solution to a problem should scare us all. I remember the occasional fistfight between boys after school or during recess. This usually resulted in a conclusion to a dispute or clearly stated a case of bullying. Remember the movie “Three O’Clock High?”
The feeling of hatred always starts with a little seed called fear — an equally concerning four-letter word. When fear builds beyond reason, it becomes hate. As humans we often allow emotion to override common sense, thereby fueling the fire.
I don’t hate things without good reason. I hate the cancer that stole my mother because I feared it and couldn’t help her control it. I had no choice; my emotions switched to hate.
Today’s society has lost touch. We no longer feel open about talking about fears without expecting ridicule. This is wrong. It is okay to fear things. I fear spiders, snakes and things that go bump in the night. It is easy to be overwhelmed by fear; but we have to ask, what could this 12-year-old boy have feared so much that he was willing to kill another child over it? We need to know so that we can make an attempt at stopping it from ever happening again.
If you hear someone using the word hate, ask them what it is they are afraid of. It’s not an insult; it’s an attempt to remove the emotion and to have a sensible solution. We are still human, we do make mistakes, we do sometimes speak before thinking, and that’s OK — as long as we learn from it.
Remember, knowledge is a beautiful thing.
Dorothy Royal is the owner of Surf City Guns and Ammo, mother of two wonderful children, ringmaster of a herd of miniature ponies and an avid member of the Surf City Writers Group and Topsail Book Club.