In the early 1980s, the US Government, both state and federal used drunk driving as a reason to raise the drinking age from 18 to 21. Wouldn’t be a good idea to use school shootings as a valid reason for federal law to raise the legal age to own or possess a gun to 21? The school shooter in Florida was old enough to own an assault rifle but not old enough to buy a beer. This is not an attack on the Second Amendment. Just a thought here.
Active Shooter America Under Fire, American football, Americans, Asperger's Syndrome, Autism, Bowling for Columbine, Columbine, Florida, He Was Weird, ice hockey, Las Vegas, obsessions, Sandy Hook, school shootings, television
This is a question I have been asking myself for the past week after my post on why my book, “He Was Weird,” wouldn’t make for good television viewing on the programme, “Active Shooter-America Under Fire.” I have watched three episodes of the mentioned television show and have recorded a fourth and will watch it. Furthermore, I have read four other books about school shootings. All of this has accumulated into me wondering whether or not I have some unhealthy fascination about mass shootings.
When I read the books about school shootings, I read them out of fear of being accused of plagiarism. What I discovered while I was writing “He Was Weird,” was that there are so many books about mass shootings there, it now has its own sub-genre. A bit scary if you think about it. However, I enjoyed reading all of those books. If I had more time, I would read more books on the subject. In addition, I have watched TV documentaries about Sandy Hook and Columbine and there was the film that first introduced me to the subject of mass shootings, “Bowling for Columbine.” I also have to admit that I also enjoyed watching the film “Runaway Jury,” which is about a civil case brought on as a result of an office shooting. Reading those books and watching those programmes and films makes me think that maybe I do have a fascination about mass shootings.
If I do have a fascination with mass shootings, the question to ask is why? One reason could be that people with Asperger’s Syndrome get obsessed with a couple of interests. So, obsessed sometimes, it’s what they only think about. Throughout my life, I had interests that I was extremely fanatical about at the time. Some of these were Native American/US Cavalry wars, American football, ice hockey, World War 2, and horror movies. One could argue that mass shootings is just another topic I am interested in. But do I obsess about it? I don’t like to think I do. An argument against was that with the recent school shooting in Florida, yeah, I followed it on the news but I didn’t go out of my way to do so. I wasn’t flipping through the news channels or surfing the net to gain more knowledge about it. It was the same for Sandy Hook and Las Vegas shootings. I followed them but not religiously.
I think the reason why I am asking myself if I have such a fascination about shootings is that I fear that while I might not have one now, I might develop one in the future. Maybe writing this post is a good way to keep my thoughts in check. I know a lot of people who have metal health issues write for the same reason. Writing about it is a good way to deal with it. However, no matter how much I fret about whether or not I am developing a morbid fascination with mass shootings, the one thing that has always rang true with me about them was that whenever I learned about a school shooting taking place, my first response has always been, “This could have been me.”
to buy He Was Weird, go to: https://www.amazon.co.uk/He-Was-Weird-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1909740942/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1519155818&sr=1-1&keywords=he+was+weird
“I was sitting in my room thinking about everything;
Then again, I was thinking about nothing;
And my mom came in and she called my name;
I didn’t know she was there and she started screaming, “Mike, Mike!”
I asked, “What’s the matter Mom?”
She asked “What’s the matter with you?”
And I said, I’m okay, I’m just thinking.”
She said, “Don’t tell me that, you’re on drugs.”
“No, I’m okay mom, I just thinking, why don’t you get me a Pepsi?”
She said, “No, you’re on drugs!”
“I’m not on drugs, I was just thinking.”
“No, you’re not thinking, you’re on drugs! Normal people don’t argue that way!”
“Mom, will you get me a Pepsi, please?”
All I wanted was a Pepsi and she wouldn’t give it to me;
All I wanted was a Pepsi, just one Pepsi and she wouldn’t give it to me;
Just a Pepsi.”
“If you think I’ll sit around as the world goes by;
You’re thinking like a fool bause it’s a case of do or die;
Out there is a fortune waiting to be had;
If you think I’ll let you go, you’re mad;
You got another thing comin,’ you got another thing comin.'”
Dedicated to Judas Priest guitarist Glenn Tipton, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease this week.
“I’ll keep my mouth shut, nothing else I can do;
At the rate you’re goin,’ baby, pretty soon;
The whole world’s gonna know, the whole world’s gonna know;
What you’ve done to me.”
In memory of former Mr Big drummer Pat Torpey who sadly passed away last week from Parkinson’s disease. R.I.P. Pat
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been watching a television programme called “Active Shooter- America Under Fire.” The programme is about mass shootings in America and how they happened, why the happened and how the police responded to them. I missed the very first episode of the series but have watched the three since.
Programme two was about the San Bernardino, California shooting where a Muslim couple went into a office where the husband worked and shot 36 people, killing 14 of them. The couple were later killed by police in a shootout after a car chase.
Programme three was about the Charleston, South Carolina shooting where a white supremacist went into a church and shot and killed nine African American people and wounded a tenth. Dylan Roof, the shooter, was arrested a day later and sentenced to death for hate crimes and also to life imprisonment for the nine counts of murder due to his guilty plea.
The latest programme, which I watched this morning, was about the the shooting at the Washington Naval Yard in 2013. A lone African American man went into one of the buildings with a shot gun and shot and killed 12 people and wounded three others including a police officer. It is also reported that he took a pistol from one of the security officers he had killed and began using that when he ran out of ammo for the shot gun. He was eventually killed by police officers in a shoot out.
While I was watching the latest episode, I was wondering about how such a programme would be made for the shooting that occurs in my book, “He Was Weird.” In the story, the shooter, Mark Leversee, my main character, goes into school one day with an Uzi and a nine millimeter pistol and opens fire on his classmates in the school playground. After causing many casualties, (you’ll have to read the book for exact numbers), and all possible targets either down or cowering in their classrooms and hearing the sound of police sirens, Mark carries out the final objective of his plan going out on his own terms. Because of the above, there would have been no car chases or no shoot outs. The reader does get to experience the account of the first police officer to arrive on the scene and his inner battle at the prospect of an armed confrontation with a thirteen year old boy, but that confrontation never happens. Therefore, the police officer arriving at the scene and finding the shooter already down, may not make for exciting television.
Of course, after the shooting as in the story, there would be much lamentation of how and why such a tragedy happened. How a boy of thirteen could get a hold of such high power weapons and what made him do it. The bullying hell Mark went through would have been mentioned and loosely linked to why he did it. Although many would be quick to try to downplay it. More would be made of his Asperger’s Syndrome and DAMP conditions, much more so than before he took up arms and did the deed. Then of course, there would be the ones who used the shooting to cash in, they would have definitely hogged the limelight in any TV programme.
On the other hand, the planning and method in which Mark carried out his shooting might have been more interesting. During their investigation, law enforcement officials all agreed that he had received some marksmanship and military training, even if the latter was inadvertently. Probably why I say that the true innocent victim of it all was Mark’s mother’s boyfriend, Ted Ziminsky, who taught Mark how to shoot. Also, a recreation of the carnage that followed as a result might have been an interesting view too. It would have to be a recreation because I never say that there are any cameras around the school to show the event. Even if it had, some of those who read “He Was Weird,” stated that the shooting would be too brutal to show live, especially if the camera should happen to catch Mark when he double taps some of his victims.
All in all, as much as I find it amusing that my shooting in “He Was Weird,” could appear on “Active Shooter- America Under Fire,” I’m glad that it’s just fiction and never will. Still, I’m not convinced that it would have made for good ratings anyway. However, the best way to find out for yourself is to read the book.
To buy He Was Weird, go to: https://www.amazon.co.uk/He-Was-Weird-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1909740942/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1518441942&sr=1-1&keywords=he+was+weird
He’s your life’s mistake. All you’re looking for is an even break;
He lies right at you, you know you hate this game;
He slaps you once in awhile and you live and love the pain.
She cries alone at night most often, he smokes and drinks and don’t come home at all;
Only women bleed.”
In the past, I called posts like the one I am about to make, “A Victory for the Bullies,” however, I get the impression that some of you are tired of seeing that title. Therefore, I’m using stealth tactics and giving the post another title. This does not stop what you are about to read being yet another victory for the bullies.
Following the death of her friend, who took her own life on account of the bullying she was receiving, Emily Gipson of Lebanon Tennessee, posted a free verse poem about the bullying and suicide going on at her school. She was given permission by a teacher to use his classroom as a backdrop for a school project. The video she made for her poem chalked up 600,000 views on Youtube.
If you have been following my posts for awhile, you probably already have guessed that the school reacted to the video in a way that was not favourable to Emily. That’s right, she was suspended from school for two days. The school’s reason behind the suspension: She was in the school after hours and after all students were told they had to be out of the building. While the school denies the suspension was anything due to the content of the video, the teacher was mortified by the content, and even denied claims that the suspension was down to the video inciting violence, I still can’t help wonder that the denial was a smokescreen. Once again, we see a school using some bullshit violation of a school rule to punish someone who wants to do something about the bullying at their school.
Please watch the video and judge for yourself:
To address any possible backlash, I am in no way saying that being a bullying victim or speaking out against bullying is an excuse to break the rules. True, Miss Gipson might have been in the school building when she shouldn’t have been, but she was given permission by a teacher to be there. Plus, as a teacher myself, if I had given a pupil permission to use my classroom for a project, I would have at least checked on the pupil at least once, for safety reasons if anything else. This way, if Emily was saying anything shocking or inflammatory, he could have stopped it. So, this teacher isn’t totally guiltless here.
As for the school, I believe that the suspension of Emily was a reaction to the fact that she had highlighted bullying at the school. No school likes to admit that such a thing goes on in their institution. They have even stated that they never had any complaints of bullying from Emily or her friend who committed suicide. However, other students have claimed that it did go on. Besides, how many cases of unreported bullying are there in schools across America? I suspect millions. Many victims are too scared to report bullying and that’s probably why the school never heard about it. But instead of trying to address the issue of bullying, they decided to suspended this brave girl who had the stones to speak out against the terrible plague that is bullying.