From my very first post on Peaceful Rampage, I stated that whenever I heard about a school shooting, my first reaction was, "This could have been me." The reason why it was never me was down to having no access to guns. Even if I had access, I still wouldn't have shot up my school because back when I was going through the bullying hell, it was the early 1970s and school shootings were events which occurred in large inner city school as was very often gang related. Therefore, the thought of going into my school with a gun and shooting everyone in cold blood never entered my mind.

Thinking back, while I might not have thought about my school, I did used to fantasize that I was a junior police officer and had my own gun. In those fantasies, I would save the city from robberies and such where I would shoot the bad guys but those fantasies also included shooting some of the bullies when they were aggressive towards me because I was acting in self defense. So, that means the potential for me to carry out a school shooting was there, just thank God I had no guns.

Everyone has reasons why school shootings happen. Some of these are quite plausible while others are not. Access to guns is a definite contributor to why shootings happen. You can't shoot anyone if you don't have a gun. Bullying is another but that depends on the mind of the shooter and their idea of how bad the bullying was. Mental illness can definitely play a part. If a person has mental issues, then that person can be much more easily pushed over the edge and snap. These can all play a part as to why shootings occur. Another argument is religion being taken out of schools. That children today have no spiritual compass and if the ten commandments were hanging in every classroom, then children would be less likely to shoot up their school. Now, I am not knocking religion, I have my own beliefs there and many people have changed their lives and find great comfort and joy in finding God. But forcing it on people is more likely to have the opposite effect. In "He Was Weird," Mark believes God is behind his school shooting from verses in the Bible in Deuteronomy, where God is commanding the Israelites to wipe the Canaanites off the face of the Earth. One could argue that the Bible drove him to kill. It didn't but it did give him courage. However, I don't think the music of Marilyn Manson drove anyone to kill.

[caption id="attachment_794" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Marilyn Manson- He didn't inspire Mark in He Was Weird[/caption]

I think the main contributor to school shootings is the setting of the school. The ones where the 'weird' kid is outcast, bullied and made to feel they don't belong anywhere. Students and at times teachers treat such a person in a way they feel bad about themselves. In short, no one tolerates a 'weirdo.' What they fail to understand is that the kid might have mental problems. Like Mark, he might have Asperger's Syndrome or DAMP or some other mental affliction. Bullying or mercilessly teasing that person or doing anything along those lines isn't the way to go about it. People are different and because they don't conform to your idea of what is "normal," it doesn't mean you exclude them or bully them or anything else. Because if that person has access to guns and snaps, well, we know what the end result of that is. Fortunately, I didn't.

To buy He Was Weird, go to: https://www.amazon.co.uk/He-Was-Weird-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1909740942/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1520281520&sr=1-1&keywords=he+was+weird