Last week’s shooting at a Memphis middle school

Last week's shooting at a Memphis middle school

There were two ‘notable’ school shootings last week. Here’s the first one of them.

This past Thursday, a 13-year-old student of Cummings K-8 Optional Elementary in Memphis, Tennessee, allegedly shot another 13-year-old at the school. According to reports, the shooter and the victim have had a long-standing issue. Surveillance footage is said to show the suspect hiding behind a stairwell, and when the victim passed by, the shooter approaches the victim from behind, takes out a gun and shoots the victim in the abdomen. The suspect fled the scene in a car driven by someone else, but later turned himself into police. I haven’t seen word yet if the driver of the car will be charged with anything. The victim is expected to recover fully from his injuries.

The unnamed suspect made his initial court appearance on Friday, and has been charged with criminal attempted first degree murder, carrying a firearm on school property and employing a firearm during a dangerous felony. So far, the suspect is still in the juvenile system. According to Tennessee law, this suspect could be charged as an adult if prosecutors deem it so. I have not seen any report yet where prosecutors have stated any intention to do so.

And once again, the question remains where the suspect obtained the gun. At the time of this writing, police have not said where the gun came from, stating that this is still an ongoing investigation. Metal detectors were said to have been in use at the school on the day of the shooting, which I think further shows that metal detectors are not the be all and end all that some people seem to think they are. A number of infamous school shootings where many people died have been committed at schools where metal detectors were in operation. I’m not saying that metal detectors shouldn’t be used, as any deterrent to school shootings should be implemented, but they’re not a 100% guarantee of safety for students.

I know I’m always touting about how I’ve been writing about school shootings for 21 years, but in those 21 years, I still don’t think there’s ever been a school year when shootings have been so prolific, and we’re only up to October. I still have a backlog on a number of shootings that I haven’t written about yet. It feels like some kind of malevolent presence has convinced these students that violence is the only way to solve their problems. Of course, I don’t actually believe that, but damn if that’s not what it feels like.

Maybe if these shooters had better access to mental healthcare and more restricted access to guns, this force could be contained once and for all. Or we can keep stigmatizing mental healthcare and let guns have more rights than children, and we can keep counting the bodies.

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