I guess it was only a matter of time until the epidemic of school shootings hit my hometown. Yesterday, at EO Green junior high in Oxnard, a 15-year old 8th grader was shot in the head by another student. As in any town, once something like this happens, the rumors start flying so I have heard many different reports. It would seem that the victim was a homosexual male that would often come to school in make-up and dressed more in the style a young girl would prefer rather than a young boy. Naturally, the shooter was a racist homophobe.
The victim has been upgraded serious condition so that is one bright side of this story. The shooter was apprehended and is now in custody. EO Green is lucky that this didn't turn into a deadly rampage. We all are. But how long will that luck last? And why did this happen at a junior high as opposed to what seems like the unfortunately obvious location of a high school?
What the hell is wrong with our society? Do children know the ramifications of their actions? Are they aware that guns are deadly or have violent movies and video games completely brainwashed them into believing their victim will just get up and walk away? There is no "1-Up" in real life. Where are the parents? It is alleged that the shooter used his father's gun. Why wasn't it locked up? Do parents really believe that their children won't touch their things simply because they are told not to?
This whole situation has provoked so many emotions in me. There is a definite sadness that this is not the Oxnard I grew up in. There is a blatant awareness that innocence seems all but lost in this generation of children. When I was an 8th grader I had no desire to play with guns. The only access I had to make-up was to tinted lip gloss. Thank God for dress codes that made us all into nondescript little clones. There was nothing about our clothing that would provoke the hatred that the victim received because he marched to the beat of a different drummer.
That in and of itself makes me wonder... Of course we are all brought up to accept people for who they are and that we are all different but at what point does a parent of a cross-dressing 8th grader have to step in? Should they say, "We accept you for who you are but we live in a world where people don't. For your safety, maybe you can refrain from dressing like a girl unless we are with you?" I don't know what the answer is. All I know is that this world is clearly not ready for sexual ambiguity and that is a damn shame.
MORAL OF THIS STORY: Savor each day as if it will be your last, it very well could be.