Dear Whoever – Gunned down in school

She's young, she's innocent, she's growing up in our dirty old world. And she's wondering what the hell is going on.
This is the world through the eyes of a child.

girl bomb

Dear Whoever,

I’m praying to you but I don’t know who you are. My grandparents used to pray to God, but now lots of people say there is no such person and anyone who’s religious is just imagining it. And other people say there is, but not the one that Christians call God, the one who had a son called Jesus. They have other names for their god. Whatever, this is what’s on my mind this week.

As a student myself I’m wondering why it is that when we hear about random shooting sprees they often take place in schools. Out in the wider world, killers with guns tend to have specific targets, but in schools they just get in there and shoot as many people as they can and then kill themselves.

gun 1

It’s crazy to kill anybody anyway and I was going to say it’s a sin. But sinning is a religious thing, isn’t it? The word ‘sin’ implies doing something that you won’t like, you as in God, that is. So people who don’t believe in you or anything apart from themselves don’t actually sin (in their own mind, anyway). They just do something that is generally regarded as bad.

But as usual, I digress. Funny how when I’m talking to you I tend to wander off the point. I suppose it’s because there is so much I don’t know and I’d like to discuss everything with you – not that it would be a discussion really. I wouldn’t have much to say except asking the questions.

gun 4

Digressing again. Back to the shootings. This week it was at a school in Canada, which you don’t expect, because Canada is such a decent, civilized country. Americans make fun of Canadians as if they’re rather slow and not as clever, but really they’re just nice and kind of respectful. In general, that is. There’s always somebody who lets the side down.

But I think it’s true to say that when you hear about an atrocity like this you assume it’s going to have happened in a small town in America. That must be very worrying for them, and embarrassing to say the least. I would rather be considered slow and naïve than a potential lunatic.

But as I said, there’s always a bad apple. People think of Scotland as a peaceful country full of lads and lassies running through the hills and glens. But 20 years ago in Dunblane, where Andy Murray the tennis player comes from, there was a massacre when a man with several guns and loads of ammunition burst into a school gym and just shot people. Apparently he used to be a scout leader but people suspected he had an unhealthy interest in boys so his scout career and his business were ruined. I suppose he just felt he had to take it out on someone and he chose that school.

gun 3

Often in America it’s students who do it – the sort of loners who spend too much time thinking and not enough time actually doing something productive. I suppose I spend too much time thinking, really, but at least I’ve got you to talk to. So please keep me safe – from myself as well as others.



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