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Opinion >  Letters

Culture of militarized solutions

Another deranged shooter kills 17 students. How could this happen yet again? From press reports we learn that the shooter’s adoptive father died in 2005 and his mother died of pneumonia in November 2017.

Depressed and angry, Nikolas Cruz was kicked out of school for fighting. The school that dismissed him out of hand failed him badly. Where was the counseling? The follow-up to see how he was coping? Where was the compassion and outreach he needed as his world collapsed around him? Tossed out and humiliated, he planned his revenge. Our culture gave him the means to exact it with easy access to military-style weapons. There is blood on all of our hands.

Nikolas Cruz got kicked to the curb while his tortured soul stewed, plotting his revenge. But what if we had a single-payer health care system like the other industrialized nations? Cruz could have received treatment and psychiatric care to help him battle his demons instead of being ostracized and ignored. It is there, in those dark places of rejection, that plans of revenge are hatched.

When a culture places more value on militarized solutions to problems instead of providing a place for those in pain to receive the help they need, that culture places all of our fingers on the trigger, while 17 innocents paid the ultimate price for our negligence.

Kurt Koepke

Walla Walla


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