anxiety, Asperger's Syndrome, bullying, colleges, Columbine, D.A.M.P., exclusion, guns, He Was Weird, Sandy Hook, school shootings, schools, Self Esteem, social settings, stereotypes, teasing, Virginia Tech
Way back when I first began Peaceful Rampage, I stated that whenever I learned about a school shooting, my first reaction to it was, “This could have been me.” It was that belief that inspired me to write “He Was Weird” and even though writing that book has been a huge release for me in many ways, that feeling still stands when I hear about a school shooting.What’s scary is the fact that I’m not really that much different from many of those who actually carry out such acts.
Applying that feeling to “He Was Weird” was quite straight forward. All the basic ingredients for me to carry out a school shooting were there. I was an outcast and perceived as weird by my classmates. Furthermore, I was bullied horrendously and like Mark in the story, it seemed that those with the power to do something about the bullying I was suffering did next to nothing. Some of the teachers played a part in exacerbating the bullying. Therefore, it would not have taken much for me to go into the school one day and exact my revenge. Fortunately, I had absolutely no access to guns.
If you read my post from last week, you will know that I had a lot of anxiety due to the treatment I received from my classmates while I was in college. No, I didn’t suffer any bullying in the traditional sense. I was never punched or pushed nor was I ever under any threat of those things happening. Instead, I was ignored and excluded, the reason was my long hair and native American boots. I was perceived as weird by most people before they even got to know me. No one was interested in my reasons for my eccentric apparel. Nobody cared about the fact that I had spent four years wearing a crew cut and dressing in a uniform in the service of my country. All they wanted to see was a freak with long hair and strange boots. It was the typical intolerance of 80s Regan America.
One point I would like to add came when I told my counselor that I had been persecuted for my hair and footwear. She was surprised that this happened in college because most college students tend to be more open minded and accepting. Unfortunately, I went to a community college after I got out of the marines. The problem with those is that community colleges are nothing more than glorified high schools. Yes, like a college, students have more control over their curriculum and greater privileges but most students who attend them, especially those who come right out of high school, bring their high school prejudices and stereotypes with them. Seeing, some guy with long hair and strange boots did not fit into any of their neat stereotypes, so I was stereotyped as weird. This high school mentality really frustrated me, especially the way these people viewed me. All I could think about in my Aspereger’s/DAMP addled mind was that I had been in the marines. I had done things and seen places they could only have seen on television or read in a book. That frustration, if it had been left unchecked, could have resulted in me snapping and carrying out the unthinkable.
What is scarier is the fact that I would have had the tools to do it. While I never owned a gun, I was an adult with no criminal record who had honourably served his country. Buying and registering a gun would have been no problem. Furthermore, I had intense military training and have handled explosives. I could have easily planned and carried out a massacre that would have inflicted a lot of damage.
Why not me? I think the main answer to the question was that in 1984-5, school shootings didn’t happen. It would be almost another fifteen years until Columbine. Therefore, the thought of carrying out such a horrific act never occurred to me. Even then, I know for a fact that I was never pushed to the point of wanting to carry such a thing out. I never had any though of taking the lives of others at that time and down deep, I knew that I was right in my thinking. So, while it could have been me, it was most likely that it never would have been me.
To buy He Was Weird go to: http://www.amazon.co.uk/He-Was-Weird-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1909740942/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1460998750&sr=1-1&keywords=he+was+weird