The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Michigan School Shooting Tragedy

Dec 6, 2021

All over the country, people have expressed their horror and sorrow about the latest school shooting, in a suburb of Detroit, Michigan, with four young people dead and eight wounded. The student accused of these shootings has been arrested and charged with homicide as an adult, although he is 15. His parents were recently arrested and charged with felonies as well.

Whatever details come out in the months to come, we see again that we live in a culture that glorifies violence and tallies the most homicides in the world, with almost no control over firearms. We see that weapons are very simple to buy, with few conditions on gun safety or learning how to shoot.

And this case may also indicate another aspect of gun violence that is striking all over this country: a mental health crisis for young people. Early reports indicate that this young man who is accused of killing and wounding classmates did want help and did not get it, even up to and including on the day of the shooting.

But this country has almost no assistance to give young people unless parents are wealthy enough to pay for private care in what amounts to fancy lock-ups with nurses and a few doctors. And even in those cases, patients do not always get the care they need.

For parents or young people who have fewer means, neither schools nor communities have resources to help with mental health. The public health system has been gutted, and barely functions, as the pandemic shows too clearly. Schools have long since stopped having nurses or social workers on-site.

In a society so isolating and dehumanizing, a society that stigmatizes mental health assistance and makes such assistance nearly impossible to find, these tragedies will continue to happen.