Bullying Causes Kids to Arm Themselves
Oh, the horror! Reason:
When children in school are subjected to bullying by their peers, they often make a logical but potentially dangerous choice: They arm themselves.
Researchers used a poll to calculate how frequently such behavior occurs. Twenty percent of high school students reported being bullied. They were twice as likely as the non-bullied to admit to having brought weapons to schools. The base percentage is small, 8.6 percent compared to 4.6 percent. But the likelihood the student carries a weapon increases the more different kinds of bullying the student has to deal with, from violence and intimidation to property theft. Researchers estimate based on the poll that 200,000 teens being bullied are bringing weapons to school.
The response from the researchers has a strong whiff of “Somebody do something!”-ism. From Science Daily:
“With estimates of more than 200,000 victims of bullying carrying a weapon to high school, more effective prevention efforts and intervention strategies need to be identified,” [principal investigator Lana] Schapiro added. “The greatest focus should not just be on bullies, but on the victims of bullies most likely to carry a weapon and potentially use deadly force if threatened.”
But if all these students are carrying weapons and yet there aren’t hundreds of thousands of incidences of school violence by bullying victims every day, what is the actual extent of the problem versus the fearmongering? Schools already have their terrible zero tolerance rules that have resulted in all sorts of twisted outcomes for stupid reasons. It’s easy to imagine misguided, indifferent school administrators responding to the study by exposing the bullied students to increased scrutiny, all in the guise of protecting student safety. That could have the additional impact of causing students to be even less likely to report harassment.
It’s easier for school administrators to bully the bullied than it is actually to combat bullying in any real sense, particularly when they’ve made it impossible for those being truly bullied to have any real effective recourse save being labeled “snitch”. Like, for instance, hiring Adam Baldwin to tell Matt Dillon and his friends to stay the hell away from Chris Makepeace, or somebody was going to get a beating.
Such studies are nothing more than propaganda pieces aimed at boosting the anti-gun agenda; were we really concerned about “bullying,” we’d forget zero tolerance policies and work to identify the aggressors and cut those being abused some slack when they make the brave determination to fight back. Finally.
But then, that’s too difficult. And really, if these bullied kids are going to keep making waves, perhaps its best if we just “nudge” them into keeping their goddamn baby mouths shut.
Man, how the times have changed. And no, we aren’t better off for it.