Let me throw this thought out there for consideration:

Say a young man is sentenced to 12 years in prison. During that time, perhaps he’s bullied by the other inmates. Perhaps he’s ignored or even regularly disciplined by the prison guards, all of whom exhibit authoritarian attitudes. He’s acted out a few times, so they’ve put him on psychotropic meds in an attempt to medically instill his compliance within the highly strict and structured system. He absolutely hates it there, but he cannot leave until his sentence is up.

Then, one day, he somehow gets hold of a gun. What do you suppose he might do—especially given that his natural thought processes are being substantially altered by the meds he’s forced to take?

Also, consider the famous “rat park experiment“: a rat kept in a cage, when given the choice between regular water, and drugged water (laced with morphine), will much more often choose the drugged water over the clean, healthy water, and sometimes even drink more and more of it until it overdoses and dies. However, when rats are placed in a “rat park”, designed to accommodate the normal life of the rats, wherein they get to do normal, everyday rat things—socialize, play, climb, mate, sleep, etc—when given the same choice of water, they much more often avoid the drugged water, and opt for the clean, healthy water instead.

So I wonder: what if the rat in the cage was given some type of weapon, rather than just drugged water, which it could then use to take its misery out on the other rats, instead of just itself?

My point is this: what if kids—particularly boys, but not to the exclusion of girls—were given the choice, instead of sitting in a boring classroom all day (which, has it not, been rather feminized, like much of our culture today? And for which many boys must be drugged in order to tolerate?)—to work at a trade instead, perhaps even earning a little money in the process? I ask: how many trade schools—even those predominantly attended by young men—suffer mass shootings?

(And BTW, there’s already a massive and growing shortage of trade workers in the US…)

I’m not saying this is the answer, the solution, to such a complex issue; I’m by no means any kind of expert; I’m simply saying what if, in the case of school shootings, the environment were addressed, rather than just the guns involved? What if the environment was changed to be more conducive for the students to produce value, experience a sense of accomplishment and personal fulfillment, master a skill—and perhaps even earn a little money in the process?

Just a thought…