Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Taking life

Today, at the high school a mile from my house, there was a school shooting. I drove by the school on my way home a few hours later and I could feel death hanging in the air. It feels like a heavy dark curtain, so thick in the air, your throat closes up.

Right before the shooting, the shooter posted his final status on his Facebook page. It reads:
"Everybody that used to know me, I'm sorry, but Omaha changed me and fucked me up and the school I now attend is even worse. You are going to hear about the evil shit I did, but that fucking school drove me to this. I want you guys to remember me for who I was before this. I know I greatly affected the lives of the families I ruined, but I'm sorry. Goodbye."

I have never been so troubled by a tiny word as I am by his "but"s scattered throughout his apology/goodbye. "But" is a word used as an excuse. It is reasoning away actions rather than taking responsibility for them. How can you apologize to the families of people you are about to shoot? An apology is an expression of regret. If you were sorry before doing it, you shouldn't have done it.

He pleaded for people to remember him for who he was before this. People remember you for what you did in your life. Certain actions hold more weight in people's memories than others. And a school shooting holds more weight than anything else, one can be sure. We only get one chance at life: no do-overs allowed. We live by our choices and die by our mistakes.

2 comments:

Kimberly said...

Wow- Down the street from your house? David and I were just talking about it, but somehow it didn't occur to me that it was so close to you. I still remember the day of the Columbine shootings, probably one of the most disturbing and emotional confusing day's of my life! I do have to say that parts of this post are "quotable". Hope you're not offended if you see me quote you somewhere;, I'll be sure to give you credit;) Praying for your city- I know hard it is.

Karen F. said...

We had this happen at our high school just last month. One scared young boy decided to take his teacher and class hostage for over 5 hours and in the end he only took his own life.

It was a shock as he was a good student and liked by all who knew him. His family was so close and very supportive of him. I am still wondering if he was on any type of prescription drug for any reason.


We are a rinky dink town of only 12,000 people, things like this only happen on the news, until they open the door and walk right into your own neighborhood. I feel so sorry for the parents of this boy.

I wish we could figure out what makes these kids decide to do these desperate things, you're right: No do-overs!