Saw this story on the national news today, about a 14 year old kid that shot his school bus driver. The most we ever did to our bus driver is exit the bus all at once in a form of protest. Well, that and one kid once threw a watermelon on the bus, but even then, it was mostly harmless. Anyway, it seems that they don’t want to try him as an adult… feh!
I’ll admit that this story sucked me in against my will. Hearing that a 14 year old had a gun with him on a school bus isn’t really “newsworthy” anymore. And that’s a problem in and of itself. I mean, that a kid has access to the gun, is a problem but that isn’t “newsworthy” either, and that too is a problem, but OK. Fine. I’ll swallow that back, too.
So the story goes that the kid shot the bus driver, while she was driving. The rest of the kids pulled the driver out of the way and took the wheel: they got the bus to stop by hitting a utility pole. No one – aside from the shot driver – was hurt and the kids that worked to stop the bus are being called heros.
During the newscast they had on the local public defender and the kids’ sister-in-law. Who was about 30. Yes, the 14 year old has a sister-in-law twice his age. Alright, that too can happen from a “surprisingly” late birth but whatever – I’ll leave any implied at-home issues out of this . The sister-in-law says that the kid was always happy, always laughing, never brooding or plotting. Every time they were together it was always a happy time.
The defender then says that the kid had once been yelled at by the bus driver for having chewing tobacco on the bus, but “that’s not why he [allegedly] shot the driver”. Well I sure as hell hope not! What does the defender think happened? He says that the kid got the pistol out of the closet to shoot himself because he’s been depressed for a while and that he never meant to shoot the driver.
Are you confused by this? I certainly am. The kid is happy and never brooding around family; the kid is depressed and wanted to kill himself; the kid didn’t mean to shoot the driver, but still the driver got shot.
And yet no one is asking the obvious questions: why did the kid have access to a gun? how did the kid get the gun on the bus? if it was on the ride home, how did the kid get through a school day with the gun? why is no one concerned that the kid was going to kill himself, until after he shot someone else? was it a situation where he was playing with the gun and it went off by accident because, that would change things a bit, but if so, why hasn’t that aspect come out yet? besides that, how could the sister-in-law have such a different impression of the kid, compared to the defender’s view? what in the hell is a 14 year old doing with dip in the first place, even if that had nothing to do with the whole situation?
Try him as a youth? Fuck that. He can shoot a gun, he can contemplate suicide: try him as an adult. Unless the depression is the start of a panicked defense strategy that is already being planted in public’s minds. Either way, if he really wanted to off himself, try him, send him to the Chair and help the kid out. Or sit around and wait for the “the video game told me to do it” defense that has to be just one story behind this one. Give it a week and you’ll hear about that from this case, too – I can feel it coming.
I say tag him with a “Get Off My Planet” sticker and be done with it.