After the gunfire stopped in Santa Fe, Texas, what remained were lost lives, broken hearts, and a community ripped apart by 30 minutes of mayhem.
The 17-year-old suspect, who will not be named here, began shooting fellow students at Santa Fe High School shortly after classes began on Friday, May 18. After 10 people died, including two teachers, and 13 more were wounded, the shooter surrendered to authorities, reportedly admitting he didn’t have the courage to kill himself.
Of the 10 dead, six were female.
One of the male students killed, Christian Riley Garcia, has been hailed as a hero for holding a door shut, seeking to protect others.
One of the injured, school police officer John Barnes, was shot when he confronted the suspect.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott released a statement calling for a moment of silence at 10 a.m. C.T. on May 21 to honor the memory of the victims. “The act of evil that occurred in Santa Fe has deeply touched the core of who we are as Texans,” he said. “In the midst of such tragedy, we pray for the victims and those mourning….”
Information about the shooter remains limited but indicates he was not an avowed terrorist. This begs the question: what can turn a boy into a killer of innocents? What can create someone capable of ending so many others’ hopes and dreams, and ruining the lives of their families and loved ones?
While the search for answers to those questions occupies much of the media’s time, certain facts should be considered. Rifles, shotguns and handguns have been around for a long time. The Santa Fe killer used a shotgun and a revolver—weapons in common use since the 19th century.
But while such weapons have been around—even the AR-15 was available in the 1960s—school shootings were never the concern that they are today. In recent years, they have surged.
Something is seriously wrong. The question remains—what lies behind this increase in violence? Among the factors to be considered are a decline in spiritual values and, conversely, an increase in psychiatric domination of mental health “counseling” and “treatment” that denies the existence of the human spirit.
Whereas for decades, even centuries, a person with a problem could and did turn for advice or help to his or her minister, priest, rabbi, imam or other religious leader, all too often today “assistance” comes from a psychiatrist or his proxy, a medical doctor, in the form of a pill. A litany of these pills have been documented to increase the possibility of violent and psychotic effects. Indeed, in dozens of cases of school violence, perpetrators have been shown to have a history of use of such drugs.
STAND’s International Director Edward Parkin stated, “Our hearts go to those who lost family members or friends in this latest tragedy. The murder of schoolchildren might be considered the ultimate discrimination because it relegates them to a class of people unworthy of life. It is long past time to identify the cause of this epidemic and to eradicate it.”