April 20, 2009

More on Columbine

Today is the ten year anniversary of the Columbine tragedy. Since many of my readers were on vacation last week I thought that I'd follow up on that post with another.

As I said in my initial post I have always been bothered by the attempt to explain the actions of the perpetrators of this atrocity as somehow having been tied into bullying.

It is understandable that in the face of tragedy people try to understand why things happen. But I cannot accept an explanation that absolves these two monsters of responsibility for their actions.

More importantly if you read some of the stories that have come out about that day you will see that Klebold and Harris were not the victims of bullying. Still, even if they had been there is no excuse for their actions. The majority of the world does not resort to violence in the face of mistreatment.

"(CNN) -- What do you remember about April 20, 1999?

If you recall that two unpopular teenage boys from the Trench Coat Mafia sought revenge against the jocks by shooting up Columbine High School, you're wrong.


But you're not alone.

Ten years after the massacre in Littleton, Colorado, there's still a collective memory of two Goth-obsessed loners, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, who went on a shooting rampage and killed 12 of their classmates and a teacher, injured 23 others and then turned their guns on themselves.

Journalist and author Dave Cullen was one of the first to take on what he calls the myths of Columbine. He kept at it for a decade, challenging what the media and law enforcement officials reported.

"Kids had never been attacked in this kind of way until Columbine," he recently told CNN. "I just had to find out what happened to those kids."

Cullen's book,"Columbine," was released this month -- just in time for today's 10th anniversary of the shooting at the Colorado high school. While tackling popular misconceptions, Cullen also gives a riveting account of what happened that day and how the survivors view the event that marked their lives forever.

Cullen concluded that the killers weren't part of the Trench Coat Mafia, that they weren't bullied by other students and that they didn't target popular jocks, African-Americans or any other group. A school shooting wasn't their initial intent, he said. They wanted to bomb their school in an attack they hoped would make them more infamous than Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh."

If you think about it, that last sentence makes it all the more frightening.

2 comments:

Brian said...

Hi Jack, this is Brian again.

I've read many books and sources and watched one or two documentaries over the years on the whole thing and I too can't find or accept any proper
explanation for what happened that day 10years ago.

To blame it on bullying is like to blame it on song lyrics or content in video games. Although alot of people blame their actions on video games, music, bullying or social cliques, I believe you've got to want to do it in the first place.

In "The Rebel", Camus describes suicide as the greatest act of rejection of society, the ultimate act of rebellion. My belief is that it happened simply because Harris and Klebold wanted to become famous for playing god, and doing something "god-like" and simply taking their own lifes just wasn't good enough.

Just a thought.

Take care,

Brian

Jack said...

Hi Brian,

I tend to agree with you. When you look at their actions you have to believe that they really wanted to do this. You don't go to such lengths otherwise.