Saturday, October 13, 2007

Responsibility Needed For
Disturbed Teen With Guns

Guns and teenagers seem to be a hot topic this week. On Wednesday, 14-year-old Asa Coon shot two teachers and two fellow students at Cleveland’s SuccessTech Academy before turning his gun on himself.

On Wednesday evening, police in Pennsylvania arrested a 14-year-old boy who had a 9 mm assault rifle, as well as a .22-caliber handgun, and a .22-caliber rifle, and some loving assortments of home-made hand grenades and swords.

Apparently, the home-schooled student was planning a Columbine-style attack on his former school, Plymouth Whitemarsh High School, in Plymouth Meeting, Pa., where it was alleged he was bullied for being fat.

And the Pennsylvania boy’s mother, Michele Cossey, bought him the guns, which no ammunition was found. She has been charged with six counts of buying the firearms for her son. Police found diaries the boy made of detailed violent acts, explosive black powder for the hand grenades and materials about Nazi Germany. Police have charged the boy with solicitation to commit terror and other offenses.

So, does this mean that the combination of teenagers and guns are bad? Not necessarily. The Cossey Boy isn’t exactly Johnny Chest Champion. He has huge issues, especially when he is filling diaries with deadly acts and reading bed time stories by Adolph Hitler.

On top of that he made three working hand grenades and he was making more. What type of arts and crafts projects was this home-schooled kid into? The Cossey Boy didn’t need another firearm; he needed to get some professional help!

Now, believe it or not there are many responsible teenagers who either own or use guns with the supervision and careful instructions of responsible parents and other adults. Mrs. Cossey and her son certainly don’t fit into that category.

Should all teenagers have guns? No, they shouldn’t. Then again, some of them shouldn’t even be allowed to drive, but many still get behind the wheel and cause horrific accidents. The Cossey Boy is a good example of why some teenagers shouldn’t have any type of weapon, firearm or otherwise. But there is enough blame to go around.

Both Mr. and Mrs. Cossey had to be aware on some level what their son was doing in his bedroom, if police were able to find Nazi reading material, drugs and bomb-making instructions. Once they realized their son had issues, it was time to take away the guns, swords and other goodies.

However, we can be thankful that responsible 14-year-old Lewis Bennett, who was being recruited to join the Cossey Boy’s "Human Target Club," went to his father and both of them went to the police.

It’s high time that many parents need to take a more active hand in raising their children. Now most parents aren’t like the Cosseys, thankfully. That being said, if you notice that your child’s attitude has changed or grades are taking a nosedive, then it’s time to step in.

If you don’t know how to go about it, contact your child’s school counselor and he or she should have brochures that will point you to the right direction. Or you can go to, a Web site that provides excellent information on how to speak with your kids about sex, drugs and violence.

No one said raising children would be easy. If someone told you it would be, smack that person in the mouth. But taking the time and patience to let your child know that you care, even if they are not that receptive of it, can make all the difference in the world. Maybe the Cosseys should have thought of that before buying their disturbed teenager another gun.