The fallout from the school shooting continues to be felt. Everywhere. The county prosecutor has her hands full with a shit-ton of copycat threats to other schools in the area. I have no doubt they’re all bullshit, but it certainly suggests kids kinda…hate their schools? Yes, that seems to be it.
Of course, lots of kids “hate” school, but they miss it terribly when they’re not there. It’s the center of their social lives, but even kids like me — stable home, lots of support, did well in what was indisputably a first-class public school district — had days when, if the building had burned to the ground, I would have stood outside, roasting marshmallows.
Lots of the threats are at the middle-school level, which tracks. I mean: Middle school, amirite? Others are more serious, leading to evacuations, dismissals for the day, and the expected messages to panicked parents: Don’t panic!
Well, we’re all on edge. I think it’s not just because this shooting happened close to home. Rather, because we look at those mugshots of the Crumbleys and realize: I know 25 people exactly like this. How many of them leave guns lying around for their disturbed teenagers to pick up? Probably more than a few, because really, what good is a “properly secured” weapon worth in a tense situation? Home invaders don’t send advance notice; you wake up in the night and think you heard something. Or you walk into the kitchen on a warm summer day and realize someone’s there who shouldn’t be. Do you say, “Hold that thought while I unlock my properly secured weapon?” Or maybe you don’t have children, so you leave the gun in the nightstand, or on the nightstand — badass! — or somewhere else. And then someone breaks in while you’re gone, and steals it.
Someone called in a threat to my high school, maybe a year before I arrived there. Only there really was a bomb, a homemade thing made of fireworks, as I recall. It blew up a toilet, and a kid was injured by flying porcelain. The perpetrator was expelled, the only permanent expulsion I’m aware of during my time there. He wasn’t a terrible kid, just one lost in the dark tunnel of adolescence. I just looked him up on Facebook, and he appears to be fine. Has an interest in general aviation. Who knows what Ethan Crumbley might have become, with different parents? A question for the ages, I guess.
I once saw a cop show that featured a middle-of-the-night home invasion, of Regina King’s house. She played a cop. Leapt from her bed to the closet, quickly keyed in a four-digit combination on her gun safe, and took out a Mossberg pump-action shotgun, which which she dispatched the bad guys. Now there’s a well-secured firearm. I’ve heard police say a shotgun is actually the safest home-protection weapon you can have, because the rounds won’t fly through your walls or windows into the neighbor’s nursery, and you can keep it loaded with rock salt rounds (do those even exist outside of southern gothic fiction) just in case you accidentally shoot your daughter’s boyfriend, sneaking in for some middle-of-the-night shenanigans.
OK then! Must run — the Deadline Detroit holiday party is tonight, and I have to throw together my contribution to the buffet. And get a Covid test first, which is scheduled in about 30 minutes. Probably be crowded, too, what with our heedlessness and surging case load. Best get moving. Happy weekend to all.