Every year, nearly 3000 children and teens die from gunfire, and nearly 14,000 are injured.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Follow up to 14 year old New Hampshire boy who shot himself in school cafeteria

A school shooting affects the entire community in which it happens. In a small New Hampshire town, a 14 year old boy shot himself in an alleged attempted suicide in front of his peers in the school cafeteria. We wrote about it previously. Now the whole town is trying to deal with this tragedy. This article highlights how difficult it is to come to terms with something so senseless and violent.
A 14-year-old student at the school, which serves grades 5 through 8, shot himself in the cafeteria yesterday as his peers looked on. The student, who relatives and residents identified as Hunter Mack, remains hospitalized. His condition was reported as serious on Friday, but officials today declined to give an update.
“It certainly has been a tragedy for us,” said Fall Mountain Regional School District superintendent Debra Livingston. “We’re healing. We’re a very close-knit community, and we respect the people that have offered us their thoughts.”
Further, the investigation continues as to how something like this could have happened. Finding explanations may lead to some thought provoking discussion about how children get their hands on guns in the first place.
Heed said he could not discuss how Mack obtained the gun and that it was too early to speculate about whether charges could be filed in the case.
David Edkins, who moderates the district’s annual school meeting, said the family was well-known in Walpole, a town of 3,700 residents, where “everybody knows everybody.”
“It’s absolutely tragic,” Edkins said. “They’re a longtime Walpole family, been there for several generations at least.”
Edkins said Hunter was a “nice kid,” and that the family enjoyed hunting.
“The old-time New England families, they learn to hunt early,” Edkins said. He called the family “responsible hunters.”
It is clear from our first story about this incident that this boy was having problems with depression. That, too, should be part of the community discussion. Mental illness in children and teens and guns do not go together. Attempts to deal with these issues can not be separated from each other.

Every gun in the hands of a child must first pass through the hands of an adult.

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