Before the Shooting: five portraits: #2. Ryan Turik

#2.  Ryan Turik

Ryan hadn’t slept. He wanted to recheck the weapons, but they were already at school—hidden—waiting.  He had wanted to go in with guns blazing, but Deanna and the others convinced him they would have a bigger body count if they were more intentional.  Body count was important to Ryan.

He’d written notes to his mother, his little sister Laurie, and his Uncle Peter.  They won’t understand.  He’d put the letters in the bottom of his sock drawer where they would be found after it was all over.  He’d also blogged an entry on his computer.  He hoped Laurie would find it before the police and post it.  Maybe it would be reprinted in The Times.

He cleaned his room, his parting gift to his mother.  He’d arranged his books neatly on the shelves next to his bed:  Harlan Ellison’s Love Ain’t Nothing But Sex Misspelled; C. S. Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters; Jose Saramago’s Blindness; Uncle Fester’s Home Workshop Explosives; the Defense Department’s Improvised Munitions Handbook; and The Turner Diaries.  His book collection disturbed his mother.  She was more comfortable with the porn collection hidden under his bed.  “That’s at least normal for a boy your age.”  

Ryan pulled out his scrapbook.  This, too, bothered his mother.  There were the photos with his friends from their paintball competitions.  She didn’t mind those.  But there were also photos from the shooting range with their neighbor, Mr. Story.

Ryan had clippings from Columbine, of course, Sandy Hook, and Virginia Tech, but he’d also done his research.  He had clippings about Robert Steinhaeuser, a nineteen-year-old student in Erfurt, Germany, who’d killed a policewoman, a school secretary, twelve teachers, and two other students using a 9 mm Glock and a 20-gauge shotgun.  And clippings from Santee, California, where fifteen-year-old Charles “Andy” Williams got tired of being bullied and killed two and wounded thirteen others with his father’s .22 caliber Arminus revolver.

Ryan knew about them all:  Jason Hoffman, Seth Trickney, T. J. Solomon, Shawn Cooper, Kip Kinkel, Andrew Jerome Wurst, Andrew Golden (only eleven), Mitch Johnson, Micheal Carneal, Luke Woodham, Evan Ramsey, Jamie Rouse, Toby Sincino, Scott Pennington, Wayne Lo, Eric Houston, David Lawler, and dozen of others.  All brothers in arms against the system. Today he’d join them in the scrapbook.

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