On February 14, 1929, five members of the North Side Irish/German gang led by George "Bugs" Moran were shot and killed in Chicago, Illinois, by four members of Al "Scarface" Capone's South Side Italian gang. On February 14, 2008, five students at Northern Illinois University were senselessly killed in DeKalb, Illinois, when a former graduate and gunman dressed in a black trench coat walked into a lecture hall and opened fire with a shotgun and two handguns. In all, I've counted at least 14 different shootings at colleges or universities since 2000, resulting in approximately 60 fatalities and dozens more wounded.
And the question we're all once again asking is, "Why?" Why the escalation of murderous rampages upon our collegiate settings? What will stop the brutal butchering of our youth on campuses across the nation? What will give solace and security to students and parents sending their children away to schools, when they are potential shooting playgrounds? Will we continue to fight to reverse these appalling trends or simply surrender this social crisis to Congress? Will we allow another human hunting to headline tomorrow's news?
While we absolutely need to implement further campus securities to reduce the number of violent incidents (like the 10 mentioned at SecurityInfoWatch.com), we must equally address the deeper needs of individuals and society in order to eliminate these acts of evil from ever breaching the borders of another campus. We need to understand what creates, contributes to or exacerbates these heinous crimes and eliminate those negative infusions.
A decade ago, GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee wrote the book "Kids Who Kill," which examines and seeks remedies for school shootings. In it he points to modern day factors that contribute to a culture of killing. Among them are a devaluing and disregard for human life; a greater parental disconnection from and immoral license with their children; a fascination with antiheroes or gangsters that breeds cynicism and selfishness; a false sense of self-worth or a perceived incapability of obtaining status, notoriety or contentment; a thirst for adrenaline and extremes to acquire attention, as well as pushing the envelope of rebellion, chaos and brutality; the impersonalizing of society through such devices as the Internet and frequent transient shifts in employment, living localities and friendships; the legislation of subversive morality; an abandonment of a fellowship and moral center of community like a church; and a complete disregard for moral absolutes.