The Worst School Shooting Since Sandy Hook Happened, And No One’s Looking For An Explanation

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The worst school shooting since Sandy Hook happened three weeks ago – and the news has all but forgotten about it. Apart from the few updates about victims continuing to die, we’ve somehow accepted the narrative that a popular, attractive boy snapped because of some heartbreak or bullying — and the best thing that we can all do is move on and let the families heal.


Everything plays out in the media now. Everything. The radio silence that has occurred since this shooting is sending a rather loud message to our children — and it’s one that we should be very concerned about.

Should we be happy that this shooter wasn’t vilified in the media like every, single other school shooter in our history was?  Should we be comforted with the image of one of the only surviving victims smiling with a pop star? Should we be glad his ex-girlfriend — the one he sent a gun selfie to before he shot five of his friends and turned the gun on himself — is so nonplussed about being connected to a killer and this tragedy that she keeps an image of him on her public Facebook page and writes loving messages to him that she knows the world will see?

I’m going to say, “no.”

In the days after the shooting, stories began to appear about a heartbreak and a love triangle. The media seemed to be excusing this killer for taking three lives and his own because he was sad about a girl. There were hints of “betrayal” in several news stories. Articles covering the shooting seemed to be memorializing the killer right along with his victims.

In a commentary after the shooting, I pointed out how troubling the message we were sending to young girls and boys was — that heartbreak was an excuse for murder. That girls were tantamount to property, and weren’t allowed to make decisions about their own bodies and love lives without feeling a real fear that there may be repercussions — and that society was only too happy to explain those repercussions away. I immediately began being contacted by “friends” of the shooter.

(Related: Stop Excusing The Actions Of A Murderer By Calling Him ‘Heartbroken’)

Those who claimed to know the shooter were angry that there was some fallacies in the “love triangle” the media was portraying. The story I was responding to was one that talked about a possible involvement between Fryberg and one of the girls that he shot. Anonymous commenters on the internet kept insisting that was false. Fryberg was upset about another girl – and she wasn’t there that day. Same narrative – different girl. The message was still the same — screw over a guy and you may have to fear for your life or worse — be blamed for his violent actions.

Day after day, I check for commentary; for stories about motive. All we have is police saying they may never get to the bottom of it. Why? There are texts. There’s an ex-girlfriend who is still alive. There are plenty of peers who know the ins-and-outs of what goes on between friends. Yet no one has a clue what happened that day? No one thinks there should be some kind of explanation?

The worst school shooting since Sandy Hook, and no one seems to care why it happened.

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