School Shootings Are Treated Like A Video Game

Shirley Jones Luke
ZORA
Published in
3 min readMar 28, 2023

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Our addiction to violence has deadly consequences.

Another school shooting. More children were hurt and killed. The adults in their care were also hurt and/or killed. The shooter was taken out by the police.

I wish the shooter had been taken alive. I want to know why the shooter would enter a school and kill people, especially children. In one report, I read online that the shooter was a woman, which surprised me. Generally, mass shooters are men.

I later read that the shooter was a White transgender man who broke into the school in Nashville, Tennessee, and shot several students and staff members. Three children, all nine years old, were taken to the hospital where there later died. Three adults were also shot and died at the scene. The adults were in their early 60s.

America is a mess. We are a country that thrives on violence. Laws mean nothing. The mental health of this country is in a terminal condition. People are sick and need to be evaluated, medicated, and treated. But our culture spews out more domestic terrorists than our mental health professionals can help.

How many parents must bury their children? How many parents must worry if their child will be next? There’s a reason why homeschooling is on the rise. Between COVID and school shootings, parents with means would rather have their children at home. Schools and local governments aren’t doing enough to protect students.

School shootings are akin to video games. Think about it. In many video games, Grand Theft Auto, for example, there is a lot of violence. Men and women in the game are targeted by gun-toting avatars. Innocent people are gunned down. Yet, when the game is over, everything resets. But that’s not how the real world works.

Too many gamers, after several hours of playing, over the course of days, weeks, and months have a harder time connecting to the real world. There is no reset button. The violence is real. People get hurt or killed. Their deaths are real. Oftentimes, these mass murderers have checked out from reality. Their actions reflect video games. They go into a school, movie theater, or office building and shoot people. The shooter's actions are calculated and methodical — just like playing a video game.

America is addicted to violence. We, as a country, have checked out from reality. For too many of us, violence is the only answer. Too many citizens are unstable. They’re angry and don’t know how to handle their anger rationally. For them, violence solves their issues. It’s the only way in their minds. They want the pain of their anger to stop, by hurting and causing pain to others.

We can send all our thoughts and prayers to the people of Nashville. We can send all our thoughts and prayers to the parents and children of the school. But it will not return the victims to their families and loved ones. There is no reset button. Their lives were unfairly ended. Where is the justice?

America, something needs to be done!

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Shirley Jones Luke
ZORA

Shirley is a poet and writer. Ms. Luke enjoys reading, fashion and travel. She is working on a manuscript of her poems and an essay collection.