Of all the mothers of school shooters in books I have covered thus far, the least known is the mother from “Endgame” by Nancy Garden. This is probably because we don’t really get to know her from the story. What we do find out about her is that her name is Samantha Wilton, although I didn’t learn her first name until at least 50 pages into the story. She is married and has two teenage sons named Peter and Grayson (Gray for short). Gray turns out to be the school shooter. We also know that like Lacy Houghton, she works as a nurse. The most important thing we know is that she never stands up to her husband.
One prime example of this is when the father announces that he’s taking the boys hunting and Gray states that he has plans with his friend. The father forcefully suggests that Gray invite his friend to come along to which he protests. When Samantha tries to intervene on her son’s behalf, the father tells her to keep quiet because they’re talking about man’s stuff and she obeys. My mind is already guessing what thoughts are going through the minds of females who are reading this. And I think I can guess fairly accurately too because my wife and my ex wife would have told me on no uncertain terms what I could do with man’s stuff. I suppose many would have done the same and agree that Mr Wilton is himself a bully.
What I ask myself here is “Did Samantha’s inability to stand up to her husband have anything to do with Gray shooting up his school?” It sounds far fetched but it is something that must be looked at. In the beginning of the story, when Gray is telling himself that things are going to be different at his new school, he also hopes that this is the year that his mother is finally going to stand up to his father. As the story goes on, we soon find out that neither of those things happen and that could possibly have had a knock on effect on Gray.
Another issue which makes Samantha Wilton come across as a failure is that she seems to do little or nothing about the bullying her younger son is suffering. She doesn’t appear to offer him any advice nor does she counter the father’s ludicrous suggestion that if Gray went out for a team in school, then he wouldn’t be bullied so much. It could be argued that had she not been so non existent in the story, maybe the outcome would have been different and her son not carried out the tragedy.
So, can we blame Samantha Wilton for her son going into his school one day and shooting and killing four people? Does the fact that she has such a low profile in the story have any effect on the outcome? Some could say Gray seeing his father bullying his mother had an effect on him and that somehow him shooting his bullies was a way of getting at his bullying father. I don’t agree with this because Gray’s bullies were real and if anything, his father’s non action other than saying go out for a team had more of an effect at the end. We can’t blame Samantha for that.
Next post: Part IV, Donna Leversee