Murder of Kayla Rolland

We begin with hearing 911 calls reporting that the six-year-old little girl had been shot at the Theo J. Buell Elementary School in Flint, Michigan, on February 29, 2000. We see Moore talking to the principal. He refers to the six-year-old boy killer as one who “had found a gun at his uncle’s house because his mother was being evicted.” Moore tugs at the heart stings as much as he can. In solemn, hushed tones, as a piano plays softly in the background, Moore says: “No one knew why the little boy wanted to shoot the little girl.”

But, of course, Moore is, again, lying. There is someone who knows why this murder happened. And that someone is Moore. {Insert dramatic sting here} – He tells us that the six-year old murderer’s Mom, to get food stamps and health care for her kids, “was forced to work as part of the state of Michigan’s welfare-to-work program,” a program he refers to “as tossing poor people off of welfare.”

Moore tells us that the boy’s Mom worked at Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Grill and blames the welfare-to-work program (Dick Clarks fault) for the shooting — So in Moore’s view — it’s not true that ‘no one knew why the little boy wanted to shoot the little girl’ — we just saw him blame capitalism for it! It’s Dick Clarks fault! All ridiculous of course – but a good example of how Moore argues 2 sides of an issue to make separate points.

Commenting on the murder of Kayla Rolland in a Salon.com article, titled “Is There Anything Left To Say,” Daryl Lindsey gets it right. He observes:

It isn’t about guns, it’s about neglect. The recent wave of horrific youth violence has nothing to do with gun-control laws or mandatory safety locks. It’s about the way we raise our children. [The murderer of Kayla Rolland] was living in a crack house with his uncle after being abandoned by his mother and father (who had been sent to jail). Not a terribly surprising place to find a gun — but where were the parents, the caring family or the concerned neighbors?

Moore both agrees and disagrees with this premise as I’ll get to later. Moore argues that Kayla’s shooter killed her because his mom had to work for a paycheck instead of getting free money from the government. Had the boy’s mother not been shipped to a “welfare to work” program, she might at least have had some time to spend with her son. -Not a far fetched idea. However, when one knows all the facts about the Kayla Rolland murder — not shown in BFC — it seems that there are better places to start seeking blame than a welfare-to-work program and Dick Clark. For example, Time reports (1) that the six-year-old murderer of Kayla lived in a “crack house” where, obviously, he had easy access to the .32 semiautomatic gun he took to school and shot Kayla.

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