06:53:53 am on
Thursday 13 Dec 2018

Response to Parkdale
AJ Robinson

Here is my official response to the most recent school shooting, the one that took place here in Florida. ….


What is there to say?

In case you missed it, my response is nothing! After so many of our children gunned down, what is there to say? We all know how this is going to play out.

The politicians will do the old “thoughts and prayers” routine. The Republicans will say now is not the time to be talking about gun control. No, it’s too soon after such a tragedy to speak of it. This sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

The media will trot out the victims and their families who will call for action, maybe even form a group to “hold politicians accountable” and pledge their efforts to break the stranglehold, by the National Rifle Association (NRA) on Washington and the states. Then there will be the experts, the psychologists and social workers that will wring their hands and lament the decay of our modern society; they will recite the usual causes of mass shootings. We’ll hear about the shooters home life, his upbringing, and maybe even get the old “he was such a quiet man” routine.

We might hear of all the warning signs, ignored, of course. An eighteen-year-old buying ten or more guns, legally, is okay; thus, what can we say. Only when he opened fire, after pulling a burglar alarm, did he do anything illegal.

We’ll also get the blame game. Why didn’t a family member say anything? ‘Gee,’ said his foster father, of a sort, ‘I thought I had the only key to gun safe.’ Why didn’t his friends warn the authorities? ‘We thought he was weird and wanted to stay away from him.’ Why didn’t the authorities do something? ‘He was low risk.’ Where were his teachers? ‘We suspended him from school.’

Someone should have stepped in! Someone likely thought of therapy. Forcing anyone to undergo therapy is a no-go.

Apparently, a few years ago, Cruz, the Parkdale shooter, had a psychiatric interview. He denied his depression and actions, such as frightening fellow students; he claimed he did not need or want treatment. At the time, the psychiatrist decided Cruz did not meet the standard for involuntary admission to a psychiatric facility.


If all this isn’t familiar, you are out of touch.

Nothing, of course, will come of the massacre. The Monday after the shooting, the Florida State legislature declined to even consider stricter gun laws; consider. The only change will be a loosening of some gun laws, so the good guy with a gun can try to take down the bad guy with a gun, next time.

The topic will change, fast. Conservative pundits will talk about god and mental health, maybe toss in a comment about bullying or single parent families and possibly lament the divorce rate. Gun control advocates will point to almost every other nation on earth as having gun control and no mass shootings; conservatives will accuse gun advocates of not loving America and repeat the Second Amendment as if it’s carved in stone.

They’ll be references to voting laws, car registration, abortion rights and so on; all regulated much more than are guns. The pundits will wonder if we’ll start restricting knives and other weapons, as if they’re equally dangerous, which will insult our intelligence. Some will take the bait and endless Facebook fights will ensue.

I guess other nations don’t have many, mostly young men, suffering mental health problems. Although the data are questionable, roughly forty-six percent of Americans suffer some form of mental illness compared with twenty-seven percent of Europeans. High divorce rates, single parent homes, god in the schools and no bullying are other excuses offered to account for fewer mass shootings elsewhere in the world.

Yes, only in America are men subject to bullying, on a daily basis. Yes, only in America do they suffer from all manner of mental illness that causes them to do one thing: shoot as many children as possible. Considering how often it happens, I’m surprised there isn’t a name for it.

Here’s a name suggestion, Dopey Don Derangement Syndrome. It works for me. If the president facilitates such violence, why not name the disorder after him. I would laugh if it wasn’t so sad and the fact that we’re going to go through this whole routine again in about two weeks or so.


More mass shootings are a certainty.

Think about that final statement for a minute, please. We know, almost for certain, another mass shooting is going to take place in this country soon. That is truly the saddest fact; unless and until unstable young men can no longer openly, freely, buy weapons of human destruction.

Combining the gimlet-eye, of Philip Roth, with the precisive mind of Lionel Trilling, AJ Robinson writes about what goes bump in the mind, of 21st century adults. Raised in Boston, with summers on Martha's Vineyard, AJ now lives in Florida. Most of the time he writes, but sometimes he works at Disney World to renew his fantasies and get a few dollars more. AJ writes, with insight and passion, about his family and his dog. His liberal, note the small "l," sensibilities often lead to bouts of righteous indignation, well focused and true.

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