Most staff meetings have a certain level of tension. Someone didn't do a report. The boss has some unpopular news to deliver. You end up sitting beside the one team member you really don't like. Well, what I'm going to describe takes tension to a whole new level.
We were in a discussion about mental health on campus, and the topic of school shooters came up. Working at a University, we understand that these are times when young people are growing, developing, and are experiencing new levels of freedom. When all of that is mixed with access to firearms and weapons, we have to be prepared for violence on campus. One of my work responsibilities was sitting on the "Emergency Operations Team" and we did table top exercises to get ready for possible emergencies like campus shooters.
During our meeting, one of our colleagues, let's call her Amy, stated that while there are many factors around mass shooters, the common thread in most (not all cases) is that they are white men. After a quick bit of nervous energy, another colleague, let's call her Susan, shifted the attention to other factors. Not satisfied with this, Amy repeated herself and made it apparent that she wasn't going to let this go. This tennis match went on for quite some while until ultimately Amy said she was getting upset because we were overlooking the obvious reality...and then she got up and left.
While those moments were terribly awkward...I believe Amy had a point. These are just a few people that have completed mass shootings in America. There are plenty missing; however, the fact remains that many of them are. In regards to the shooter at the Texas school, we have another white male behind the trigger. Are we avoiding a problem by ignoring this seemingly obvious fact?