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Why teenagers shoot

Why teenagers shoot

        Imagine, as a parent of a teenager, you go to sleep, wake up the next day, and before 12 noon you are the parent of a teenage shooter. There is no more peace in the valley.  You are living the nightmare. Others, upon first hearing news of the shooting tragedy, are upset, in shock, and angry. Many have no children. They could only imagine how a parent might have felt upon hearing the horrific news. Nevertheless, being a parent is not a prerequisite to feel strong emotion when children are suspected shooters. Nor, is being a parent a prerequisite of wanting to know why teenage children become shooters. The only prerequisite is having a conscious. Why teenagers become shooters is not a mystery. Teenagers become shooters by the same process which they become politicians, doctors, lawyers, and mechanics. They are conceived, born, and influenced by adults and their environment.

Conception is the genesis of life. Once upon a time, the shooter’s parents followed the path of reproduction. It began with lust, passion, and then conception. The mother hoped as she shared the news of her pregnancy, the father would receive it with pride and joy. Unfortunately, hope is not reality. There was no pride or joy. Just remorse, like the kind felt after a drunken one night stand.  Remorseful parents raise children who feel unloved and unwanted, then lash out and commit cold-blooded acts of violence. Sadly, too many pregnancy “mistakes” are birthed into a cauldron of hate and violence called society. That is why men and women must think with their brains, not the genitals before intimacy. The conception “mistake” happens when reason is overruled by lust. Then, over time the unloved, unwanted “mistake” may transform into a hate filled shooter. Too often in America, the genitals have the upper hand in the decision making process.

When lust has overruled reason, a child is conceived in heated passion. Months later, a child is born in joyous pain. Then, it is hoped a house of love follows the joyous pain. Unfortunately, too many children are raised in a house of pain and torment. Regrettably, tormented children grow up to torment others. They lash out in violence, like the white school shooter or the Black gang banger. Obviously, something sinister has happened in between the birth and the heinous act of violence. In the beginning, the child was born with a pure heart and mind. Neither heart nor mind was filled with hatred or a desire to kill.

Nor, is the child genetically programmed to worship and use firearms. Moreover, neither are they time-delayed to casually drive by a neighbor’s house or walk in-to a school and mow down innocent lives. Those behaviors were taught over time by reprobate adults and a violent society. Such a society is a breeding ground for shooters.  The adults are the farmers who sow the gun worship seed, apply the hate fertilizer, and agitate the soil with all types of “isms” and phobias until it produces children bent on hate and lethal retaliation. Furthermore, any adult who produces or spends money to consume violent entertainment, in any form, is culpable. Their hands are not clean. Anyone whose voice and actions are not in opposition to the violence peddled as entertainment, helped pull the trigger.

Moreover, teenagers are not born to kill, they learn to kill.  They have many teachers who follow a lesson plan of human cruelty, gun worship, and violence as problem solving. The lesson plan has been effective. Since the rampage of the Columbine High School massacre, more and more shooting tragedies have followed. Many impressionable teenagers have acted out. Therefore, when society wants to know who’s to blame, the mirror provides the answer. It is the adult in the mirror who determines what a child becomes. They are the potters who shape the clay. They are the farmers who plant the seed and contaminate the soil.

When it comes to explaining why teenagers become shooters, the finger is pointed everywhere except in the mirror. Teenagers kill and the parents pretend to be clueless. Society denies culpability. The potter is unable to explain the crack in the pot. The answer to the tragedy seems to be out of reach. But, out of reach does not mean to stop reaching. At one time the moon was out of reach, until resolve and persistence found a way. The same resolve and persistence must find a way to break the birth to shooter cycle. The stakes are much higher than reaching the moon. It is about reaching the children.


Kevin Palmer, Martinez, GA, (706) 231-1831

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