An absurd “routine”, as the president Obama defined it, which often reaches us from the United States due to brutal crime news and sparks debate in public opinion. What encourages young people to wield a weapon with which they voluntarily kill their classmates, are disputes, misunderstandings, racial discrimination. Up till now, however, the use of weapons among adolescents in order to establish a “DIY” justice was not among European case studies.
Until now. Because what happened in Ivrea, Italy, moves azimuth of our judgements and forces consciences to interrogate themselves. The story: his best friend is left by her boyfriend, and to repair the offense, he comes to school with a caliber 38. Revenge, rather than defence, is what pushes a teenager to walk into the classroom with a gun. When his classmates see the weapon, they call the police. The intervention of the police was timely. A bravado which led to the arrest of the young man and a complaint for unlawful carrying of firearms. In the teenager’s backpack, the police officers had found also a dozen of bullets and five knives, all of which were sequestered as well. Then it came out that the gun was regularly denounced and belonged (along with the knives) to the young man’s father.
A dramaturgical action which seems to have been inspired by many cinematic scenes: guns and knives to threaten and frighten someone. A “bully” who is growing up, probably without any real intention to hurt, or what is worse, kill anyone. But the boundary between threat and tragedy is more unstable than young people could imagine. And it is clear that continuous use of violence, in games, cinematography and so on, can easily induce young minds to emulate them. With devastating consequences.
His parents, unaware of everything, tell the police that the weapons have always been kept in a safety case, but it seems that their son knew where to find the key. A serious action, which, in the eyes of the law does cannot be considered a teenager’s mistake, but is an actual crime. The Court for Minors in Turin will be in charge of him. Investigations, however, are still in progress.
This time nothing happened, no one was injured. But in 1996 the situation evolved otherwise and some children of a primary school in Great Britain were murdered. Or else, in 2002 in Germany, a nineteen-year old man shot fifteen of his classmates. And let us not forget the attack in Oslo (2011). Despite their emotional impact, America has not managed to change the laws on possession of weapons, while on the Old Continent we still tend to regarded such case as sporadic happenings caused by mentally unstable young people. But underestimating this phenomenon might become an error for which we will have to pay a high price.