Monday, April 20, 2009


Debunking the myths of Columbine, 10 years later
(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.

Wow. Simply wow. I would never have put money on seeing this in print.

The myth that the Columbine killers were these two poor, put-upon souls, driven to murder by the constant bullying they received at the hands of the beautiful people was a particularly infuriating one. It's made even worse when you think about how many loners, victims, or outcasts were viewed as potential mass killers because of this media-generated and perpetuated myth.

Facts are stubborn things.

I won't use their names, as many of these spree killers live (die, actually) for the attention they receive. They both had severe psychological issues, one on medication and the other in therapy - in fact, both would have been ineligible to own the firearms that were illegally purchased for them - and the one that was illegally sold to them.

That's another thing you don't hear in the media. Of the four weapons used in the Columbine shootings, there were three longarms and one pistol. The three longarms were purchased at a gun show, as the media is very quick to point out. However, they could just as easily have been purchased at any gun store in the nation - the woman who purchased the firearms had a clean criminal record. She could have purchased those longarms anywhere.

What she couldn't do is hand them to the Columbine killers. They were both underage, and one was on medication for depression. The handgun was purchased illegally from the son of a gun-control advocate. The woman who purchased the three longarms was not punished. Let that sink in for a moment - she committed multiple Federal felonies, yet was not punished.

And yet they stood over the bodies of the dead and screamed for more gun control.

Anyways, it's nice to see the myth get debunked, even at this late hour. It's long beyond time for the "poor picked-on child who snapped" meme to be put to rest. Perhaps we can look at some of the factors that might have made a difference - like parental involvement. Rather than just handing your kid anything they want - like a BMW for their first car - take an active role in their lives. You might notice something - like sawn-off shotgun barrels in their bedrooms or the bomb-making materials in the garage.

That is all.


Bill said...

More to the point I think Jay, is that if you are paying the slightest attention at all, you just might notice that your son is a freaking sociopath and get him help, long, long before any such thing could occur.

None of this comes out of the blue. the one who seems to have been the ringleader was a completely broken human being. the other, not much better off.

The Klebolds are STILL saying: "This could have happened to anyone." -BULLSHIT.

Old NFO said...

BIll beat me to it... And yes, the truth is finally coming out, not that the MSM will cover it.

jimbob86 said...

I know if MY kid spent an entire Saturday building something in the garage, I'd know about it..... It'd prolly be a 4-H project, and I'd be making sure she/he/they didn't cut their fingers off.... I'm the only one authorized to get hurt in my garage.... Jac has nailed my finger to only one 4-H project (IIRC).... so far.....

Weer'd Beard said...

Still shows what's wrong with society that Robyn Anderson, who BOUGHT the guns and gave them to the shooters was never charged.

Stephen Smith said...

As a licensed gun owner, member of the military, and resident of Massachusetts, I concur with your comments. What I find interesting in your post is the common theme on the media. Certainly I agree that more gun control will not prevent these terrible incidents from happening. Also, I agree with you regarding the absence of responsible parenting. I think another factor that contributes immeasurably is the media’s role in super inflating tragedies. Every teenager / child around the country watches these horrible acts splashed across the television set, and then the “story” hashed, re-hashed, and dragged out for days, possibly weeks, before some other bloodier crime catches the eye of the media. In this way, the media contributes to “copy cat” crimes because somewhere out there in our country is another troubled soul who understands notoriety is the reward offered by the media for commission of audacious crimes such as school shootings.
I do not in any way suggest this is the sole cause. Obviously, mental imbalance of some sort is the root cause of criminal acts like school massacres. Sane people, whether they are teenagers, or not, do not just wake up one morning and decide to shoot people. Are there any studies on the effects of the media influencing the increase in school shootings? Is it feasible to think mentally ill children who do not live in the nurturing environment of a loving home, and receive no emotional support from their parents, and who witness the incessant, disgusting, misleading media coverage of every one of these school crimes, might seek to grab the headlines for themselves? The media will cover your crime as the lead news story every day until something bloodier happens.
I realize there is a fine line here. We the people have a right to news. What I find appalling is the length, breadth, detail, and bias in “news” delivery. The military frequently encounters media difficulties as well. Oftentimes the media portrays the military in a negative light, emphasizing what went wrong, and reporting daily body counts. How often do we hear the success stories from Iraq? When was the last time a story aired showing soldiers helping Iraqi school children or providing medical care where none is available? During my last tour in Iraq I frequently visited a clinic which was set up on our base to provide medical care for the local Iraqis. It is amazing to see firsthand the health issues for which these people had no treatment and the willingness and genuine compassion displayed every day by soldiers providing care. Additionally, many soldiers would bring to the clinic large quantities of necessities such as diapers, children’s clothing, and over the counter medicines sent to them from home for that purpose.
In closing, I maintain that the toxic media exacerbates events more often than it helps.