We need to put an end to teenage wastland

Let me begin by saying how deeply saddened I was hearing of the school shooting in Uvalde,Texas that killed 19 elementary school kids and two teachers. It was heartbreaking.

The fact that Salvador Ramos in Texas shot and killed his grandmother before going to the Robb Elementary School should tell mental health officials everything they need to know about this youth’s troubled thoughts.

However, now the cries for crackdowns on guns and rifles begins. Proponents of stricter gun laws — including President Joe Biden and much of the Democrats — are howling for banning the right to have certain arms in the hands of teens over the shooting.

However, when you have 21 people shot on any weekend in New York City or Chicago with illegal, unregistered guns, the chorus is silent for the most part.

Millions of sons in Texas and upstate New York — where Payton Gendron allegedly shot and killed 10 people in a Buffalo supermarket — have legal long guns to hunt with family members.

The fact that these outliers — and they truly are a tiny percentage of the group of male teenagers — should dictate the law for the many is a rush to the extreme. Should we ban McDonald’s because of the growing epidemic of heart attacks?

No, each and every shooting by a teenage male is a local problem that needs local solutions.

It’s a cry for help, because no one is there to hear them. Look at the social media posts of these troubled youths. They post photos of their guns or other menacing images like killing small animals. They post strange diatribes with troubling social commentary, or they have a history of school problems and isolation. They are screaming inside themselves for help, but no one hears them until it’s to late.

While it is a tiny amount of these troubled kids who go on to kill, no parent wants to think their school is vulnerable to this level of violence. So they look the other way of the boy who suddenly started dressing all in black after the parents divorced and the mother is working long hours and the father is long gone.

This boy is now being raised by first-person shooter video games where life has little meaning and some outlandish Reddit pages covering strange topics. He may also be medicated with some anti-psychotic pills, which may or may not be doing the job, but there is no one following up on this troubled youth.

It must be up to the local community to pull these kids up and give them the positive energy so they can get past this black hole they feel they are in.

Taking guns away from all teenage boys for the sake of the fewest is not the answer. Better social service outreach to these kids is the best long-term solution to this situation.


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