EDITORIAL: It is not funny
It is no longer funny. If it ever was.
It’s not cute, it’s not gangsta, it’s not going to earn you respect. It’s not “just kidding." Do it again, and you are going to juvey.
We might let you stop in at a Family Court Judge. Maybe.
If you post a threat about a school, we are going to put you in jail.
Maybe not real jail, but something pretty close.
You have been making these threats at Laurens, Woodmont, Hillcrest, Greenwood, Abbeville and Oconee - a couple years ago, threats like this came through the mail in Clinton. Now that 17 people have been shot to death at a school in Parkland, Florida - just the latest in America’s disgraceful inability to protect its children - it is not funny any more.
Plain-spoken Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright says it best:
“If you are 13, 14, 15 and up and want to post something on Snapchat and think no one will know, you might see my ugly mug coming to your door and put handcuffs on you. It is time for our schools — all schools all over the country, not just here — to stop worrying about your reputation and let law enforcement help you. Because when you don’t tell us that these things are going on, and it happens, and then we find out you know about it and nothing’s been really done, where does it lead us? It leads us back to peg one. We’re doing the best we can because we love our babies and we’re going to do whatever it takes to protect them. I mean, whatever it takes.”
We don’t care if you’ve been bullied. We don’t care if you are a loner - that’s OK, just go your own way. If you get the urge to shoot up a school, the mental health clinic is right behind the hospital, same distance from Clinton as it is from Laurens. Walk in there, and somebody will help you. It might be drugs, that’s OK, if it keeps those thoughts from becoming action. It might be counseling. It might be sports - it might be sitting in your room alone. It might be laps in the swimming pool. Whatever works for you - get help, if you are thinking about killing somebody.
It is a lie, and a deflection of the truth to say that psychopathic killing is a mental health problem.
These people are not mentally ill - their evil tendencies are not an indication that the mental health system is failing. And if it were failing, which it is not, state and federal governments can fix that problem quick. Give mental health more money to hire more counselors. Mental health is a people-to-people business - counselors who have 20 clients are more effective than counselors who have 200. Plain and simple.
Mentally ill people get shot - not do the shooting. Mentally ill people are scared to death of guns - scared to death of almost everything. They cannot process the world well enough to walk into the downtown gun store and buy an AK-15 semi-automatic rifle, and bullets, and install a bump stock, and learn how to use it by watching the Gun Channel on TV. Yes, mentally ill people can “freak out” and to an untrained person, that can be dangerous. But they can be “talked down” - there is only one way to stop a psychotic person with a rapid fire gun. That person will keep shooting until resistance is met. When the choice is between one dead intruder and 17 slain students and staff, we will take the dead gunman every time.
Dead. Not a hearing to see if he will be tried as an adult. Not victims’ impact statements that he doesn’t pay attention to. Not, “I wasn’t going to use it, lighten up! ” Shoot the gunman dead - some of them, that’s what they want; but some of them crave the attention of an arrest and trial. It will be their only 15 minutes of fame - let’s cut that to 15 seconds of fame.
Remember that, when the cops come knocking at your door. We are out of patience. And we are not kidding.