Following the horrific events in Parkland, Florida on Wednesday, a lot of people have a lot to say. Unfortunately, most of it is plagued with a massive case of “the dumb.”
Even then, there are variances in just how dumb some people can be. Leave it to CNN to try and hold on to their championship crown.
CNN national security analyst Juliette Kayyem said the U.S. is the only nation in the world where children are the target of gun violence.
Kayyem was reacting a gunman opening fire at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida Wednesday afternoon. Broward County Public Schools superintendent Robert Runcie told reporters that there are “numerous fatalities” in the incident.
“Yet again, you cannot have these conversations with at least saying every time, we are the only nation that has this kind of violence, and presumably gun violence, obviously, in particular, focused on our children,” Kayyem told CNN anchor Brooke Baldwin.
“It is just ridiculous,” she continued. “It’s like no other country lives or allows themselves to live. Here we are, another time, having a discussion about guns as being a security issue for our children.”
Why is this so dumb? Because, as The Washington Post has noted previously, we’re far from unique in such a horrible regard.
A school shooting in Britain back in 1996 claimed 16 children, for example. There were also German school shootings in 2002 and 2009.
Not only that but, as also noted by The Post, we’re not even responsible for most of the more deadly shootings. Of the 17 most deadly mass shootings in world history, only six are American.
Now, on a per capita basis, that’s still high. Don’t get me wrong here, it’s still very much an American problem. However, there’s nothing truly unique about these shootings, nothing that makes them distinctly American. They happen all over the world, and contrary to Juliette Kayyem’s claims, they’re not uniquely targeting children.
In the case of Parkland, the shooter went to his old school, a place he was kicked out of. You’re delusional if you think his choice of target was random or motivated solely because of where he was born.
What happened on Wednesday was an atrocity, but it does no one any good to pretend that this is something it’s not. Americans, myself included, tend to become very ethnocentric when it comes to things like this. We tend to think of everything from an American perspective. However, that’s our own odd version of national pride, which makes us think we’re unique in every regard.
In the process, however, it does no one any good to pretend a problem is more of an American problem than a human problem. There are sick, disturbed people all over the world. Some of them target children. Some, target their peers. In this case, it appears the shooter did both. They were approximately his age and at the school he had been expelled from, but they were still kids.
Let’s not read things into this other than what we know. It doesn’t do anyone any good.