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Be Careful What You Ask For

DA will look into Cy-Fair student’s suicide (Peggy O’Hare, Houston Chronicle):

Harris County District Attorney Pat Lykos said her office will investigate what led to the suicide of a 13-year-old Cypresswood-area boy whose parents said he suffered two years of intense bullying from other students at school.

. . . .

Lykos said her office will examine whether there were instances of “egregious conduct” before Brown’s death. “I’m very concerned about this,” she said. Brown killed himself around 4:30 p.m. on Sept. 23 at the family’s home in the 11700 block of Cypresswood after arriving home from school. He shot himself in his stepfather’s upstairs bedroom closet using a 9 mm Beretta that had been kept on a shelf there.

The death of a child is a terrible tragedy, for which it is natural to seek an explanation. It is normal for those who lose a loved one to seek to place blame (whether on themselves or on others) to try to make the tragedy less unfathomable. But suicide often defies any explanation beyond the facile. There might be plenty of blame to go around, or there might be none; only one person knew why he killed himself.

Whatever the answer, I’m pretty sure that it’s unwise for the folks who made a handgun available to a 13-year-old kid, knowing that he was suffering intense bullying at school, to ask the government to apportion blame.


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