It’s that time again – Writer’s Workshop time. Kathy over at Mama’s Losin’ It had some good prompts this week and I chose:
Something that bothered me this week…
Note: Feel free to substitute all variations of the word ‘bother’ with the appropriate variations of the word ‘horrify.’
I’ve been following the story of an 8-year-old boy in Arizona who recently killed his father and his father’s friend with a rifle. The crime appears to have been premeditated and it’s possible the boy will be indicted for murder (murder charges can be filed against anyone who has reached the age of eight in Arizona).
I’m bothered by this situation for so many reasons, not the least of which is this child’s age. He's just one year younger than my own daughter. The idea that she, or one of her little friends, could be involved in something so horrible is beyond my comprehension.
I’m bothered by the fact that the little boy has no documented behavioral issues to date, nor do the men he killed. Police and prosecutors are investigating the possibility that he was being abused and the shootings were self-defense (or retaliation).
I’m bothered by the fact that I’m actually hoping he was abused because at least it would explain how a child could do something so seemingly sinister... and hoping a child has been abused, for any reason, is a truly horrible thing.
I’m bothered that this child felt, for reasons yet to be determined, that killing two people was the best solution to whatever problem he was facing.
I’m bothered that he didn’t feel he had anyone to turn to for help or guidance.
I’m bothered that an 8-year-old had access to a gun and ammunition.
I’m bothered that any state has established a law which allows them to file murder charges against 8-year-olds; and that any state determined it might even be necessary to do so.
I’m bothered by the fact that he could be incarcerated for the next ten or twelve years; and that he might possibly deserve (under the law, anyway) to be incarcerated for the next ten or twelve years.
I’m bothered that stories of children killing other children or adults are becoming less shocking because they’re becoming more frequent.
I’m bothered that we live in a society which embraces violence in its entertainment and that many children are exposed to it early on and at alarming levels.
I’m bothered that our Constitutional right to bear arms, or rather the consistently, persistently irresponsible manner in which we administer that right, has resulted in the gun violence we see and hear about every day, and that children are often exposed to it in real life or on the news.
I’m bothered that no matter how this turns out, two people are dead at the hands of a child, and that little boy's life has been irrevocably changed in a way that no child should ever have to face.
I'm bothered. I'm horrified. And I'm just so sad.