Normally when people want to avoid dangerous situations, they have a pretty good idea of what types of places and people to stay away from.
But these days it seems like horrible situations can happen anywhere and at any time, and places that we once thought were safe are being revealed for their vulnerability.
Since 2000, there have been 53 incidents where violence has erupted at schools in the United States, and firearms were involved in all of them.
Growing up, most kids enjoy going to school. It is the first real taste of independence, at least from the parent-child attachment.
The school grounds of the world play a much bigger role in the lives of everyone in society, which makes it sad that certain individuals have decided to turn these life-sculpting sanctuaries into places of terror.
People with bad intentions have used society’s secure connection with educational institutions to their advantage.
When someone at their breaking point decides to lash out or “go postal” on as many victims as he or she can, schools are some of the most populated and ill-prepared arenas.
The thought that you cannot send your child to school or go to school yourself without worrying about some crazy person showing up with a gun is a sign of the times. Grades, homework and social welfare are stressful enough for most as it is.
Without nationwide press on many incidents, the fear has been subdued to a tolerable level.
Yet these types of incidents leave one with a feeling of unease like no other.
The people committing these terrible acts are not your typical criminals.
Most of the time, these acts are carried out by students and other individuals who society would label as normal.
Not that such ruthlessness could ever be justified, but usually there is more to the story than meets the eye. Most of the time, these individuals have been victims themselves in some sense.
The two young men who shot dead 12 students and teachers at Columbine High School and then themselves were considered outcasts, loners and ridiculed by their peers.
The man who killed seven people at Oikos University in Oakland earlier this month felt that he had been wronged financially by the school.
Mental stability aside, it seems like they were driven to these extremes.
If one could look past the acts of violence, one would be able to see that society as a whole played a role in these happenings.
When something like a school shooting happens, it deserves to be acknowledged because these acts affect so many lives when they do happen.
From the students to the parents to the entire faculty, everyone is affected.
On the other hand, there are so many other incidents that happen that do not make the national news due to them being on a smaller scale.
Do we supply more security for these schools? Do we turn these institutions into locked down, prison-type facilities?
Some might think that sounds like the perfect idea, but if we were to do that we would be turning an institution that promotes growth in all positive manners into a place of confinement.
As a society, all we can do is hope that humanity someday changes and people realize that mistreating other people is wrong.
The day everyone is treated with the respect and dignity they deserve is the day these random acts of violence will cease.