One L. Goh, accused of going on a shooting rampage at Oikos University in Oakland, Cali., has been charged with seven counts of murder (all with special circumstances) three counts of attempted murder, making him eligible for the death penalty.
According to police, the South Korean native allegedly opened fire and killed seven people because he was angry about being teased for his poor English skills.
"He said he was too old to go school with all the young people, and he said all his classmates were mean to him," Romie John Delariman, one of Goh's former nursing professors, told The Associated Press.
Goh is 43 years old.
It seems to me that bullying is the catalyst for many school shootings involving teens in our country. Emil Chiaberi, director of the 2010 documentary film, “Murder By Proxy: How America Went Postal,” says it doesn’t stop with teens. According to Chiaberi, bullying tends to be the main driving factor in most mass killing incidents, involving teens and adults alike.
“The real problem is that somehow our culture produces a lot of depressed, powerless, alienated, angry, and hopeless individuals who blame others (employers or society) for their problems,” Chiaberi said.
No matter your age, dealing with bullying can be traumatic. Adult bullies are prevalent, and they cause grief and sadness in their victims’ lives. However, it’s important to understand that adult bullies were once children, and there’s a high likelihood that they either were bullies as children or that they were bullied as children.
So what’s the single greatest weapon in our arsenal to combat bullies of any age? Parenting. If we, as parents, start teaching our kids coping skills now so they can deal with unpleasant social situations without resorting to drastic, violent measures, maybe we can avoid tragedies in the future.
We need to teach our kids that they have worth, that they have power to improve their lives, and that the bullying they’re being subjected to is not their fault. Let's teach them to keep smiling, to look to the positive things in their lives and to kill 'em with kindness-- not guns.
We also need to make sure our kids won’t be bullies themselves. It’s important to help your child understand that it is never acceptable to harm others physically, emotionally, verbally or electronically (cyberbullying).
I think moms (and dads) should also teach their kids to stand up to bullies who may be harassing other children. If your child and his or her friends are willing to come to the aid of others who are being bullied, soon the bully will have no one left to pick on.
If we band together and raise kids who are empathetic, responsible and kind, we can head adult bullies off at the pass.
What do you think? Have you been bullied in your adult life? What measures did you take to stop it? What do you teach your kids about bullying?