Our Life: It Takes A Village

By Michael Armijo

“I am not insane.  I am angry.  I killed because people like me are mistreated every day.  I did this to show society push us and we will push back.”  This statement came from a note a boy wrote in Mississippi after he went to school and open fire killing two classmates with a rifle.  “Never in a million years did I think this would’ve happened here,” a  Kentucky resident said after another student open fire into an unsuspecting teacher.  Now these communities are struggling to find out why this happened and whether it could have been prevented.  Will we find ourselves saying the same some day?  How do we go about preventing this type of tragedy from happening here in our community?  Is anyone exempt from tragedy?

The recent shootings at schools and recent incidents involving students and children are on the increase and alarming.  I believe that none of us are exempt from tragedy, and I feel we need to prevent such tragedy, or at least try.

I believe the parents of these children are very much responsible for the actions of these kids.  As a parent of two children, a seven-year-old and a twelve-year-old, I am willing to take responsibility for my own.  I did not have a perfect childhood nor was I a perfect father.  But I’ve taken the time and effort to recognize how my parenting skills are and I’ve spent the last eight years trying to better myself.  Education, stronger health habits, counseling, and even forgiveness.  I’ve been there and done that.  Although I do not profess omniscience, I do know where my heart is and where my head should be.

As we’ve stated in our mission statement, this paper was designed to be a pro-positive publication that promotes education, communication, positive reinforcement, understanding, care and awareness.  We are not a forum for political power nor do we have a quest to be rich or famous.  We don’t want to change the world, we just want to change your outlook on life.  We just want to help.

In the last five months of 1997, there were four shootings, ten dead, and twenty-two wounded.  In each attack, a boy under the age of 16 was charged.  Child perpetrators that have lashed out at society by killing others didn’t develop this type of anger over night and they certainly weren’t born with it.  As a community we need to remember that it does take a village to raise a child.  I think it’s time to start watering the garden so that we can still stop and smell the roses. (originally written in Jan 1998. How much have we, as a society, changed since then?)