Robert Paul Reyes was born in San Francisco and currently resides in Alameda, Calif. A year and a half after launching his web page, he became an unofficial Cyber-Columnist in April and shortly thereafter became a "regular" Fort Worth Star-Telegram cybercolumnist, writing essays in "My Turn," where he makes his observations on anything and everything in life.
A graduate of Jefferson High School in Daly City, Calif., Robert describes himself as "self-educated and a voracious reader." He works as a claims examiner for an insurance company in Oakland, Calif, but says his real job "is simply being a writer." Robert had never had a single work published before this year. He has now had his essays published by over one hundred newspapers and magazines including the Op-ed page of the Oakland Tribune.
Automatic gunfire erupts. Shrapnel explodes. Bombs go off. Assailants armed with an arsenal of guns and explosives methodically and viciously murder innocent children.
Where is this wanton insanity taking place? Beirut? Kosovo? New York City. This hellish scene is happening in Littleton, Colorado. Anytown, USA. No place in America is immune from the madness that has infected us. No town in this country is safe from the hatred that is seething just below the surface. Not even our schools can provide a refuge from the violence that seems to be endemic in our society.
The killers. Hardened criminals? Heartless terrorists? Escaped inmates from an asylum? The murderers are children themselves. Children killing children. Just boys. Boys who should be flirting with girls or tossing a football, are throwing bombs at their classmates and callously riddling them with bullets.
The immediate aftermath? For the students who survived the bloodbath at Columbine High, a loss of innocence and a sense of dread that will never fully dissipate. For the parents whose children were injured, unbearable pain. For the parents who lost a son or a daughter, grief that is unfathomable. For a nation watching the massacre unfold on live television, seething anger and deep despair.
But then, what? Make our schools into fortresses with metal detection units at every entrance? Ban all guns? Suspect and mistrust of any child with the courage not to conform? We must not give in to ineffectual and disastrous knee-jerk reactions. We must take a deep breath and utter a heartfelt prayer for wisdom.
One thing is clear, we must never accept such acts of evil as merely an unfortunate and unavoidable fate in this society. We may never be able to eradicate evil but we must never tolerate its hideous presence. We can't save every lost child, but we can certainly try to save our own. We must listen to our children. We must respect our children. We must discipline our children. We must love our children. We must love our children...
© 1999 Robert Paul Reyes
My Turn By Robert Paul Reyes: My Newspaper Column
My Version Of The Truth: My Personal Homepage
Latino Links: My Favorite Latino Links
My Anti-War Essays: My Anti-War Essays That I Have Written For The Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Saturn Of Oakland California: Some Info About Saturn Of Oakland California