How would you define The Columbine Massacre, for someone who is not familiarized with the topic? Greetings!
Hah, girl, I actually hadn’t forgotten you’d asked me this a while back. ;) I’ve been planning a blogpost around the causes and definition of Columbine since we talked about it — work just got in my way a lot. *laughs* So, here’s my preliminary (and relatively short?) answer before the long-ass post..
The Columbine Massacre occurred on 4/20/99 and essentially became one of the iconic events of that decade, upending an entire generation and turning into a key defining moment that changed the way we perceive this world. It was committed by two mentally unstable boys standing on the cusp of adulthood, only a short while before their own graduation, and although it was originally meant to be a bombing they ended up shooting and killing thirteen other people before finally committing suicide. The supposed causes for the massacre have since been cited throughout the media, turning pop culture into an easy scapegoat and often bypassing the root causes that the boys themselves would have cited for their actions.
There is a mass of unreleased evidence that could potentially help determine the exact roots of the problem, but authorities have been known to cite a fear of copycat killers as a rebuttal for its release. The response of authorities to the event itself, as well as to prior dealings they had with the two boys responsible, angered a lot of people through the level of obfuscation and incompetence with which these authorities presented themselves after the fact. The Columbine Massacre is largely unique in the way in which it is handled nowadays, being named in pop culture quite frequently but yet also being referred to in news items about other massacres, and is something quite a lot of its (amateur) researchers refer to as ‘haunting’.
The definition for it is complex, with multiple causes and events prior to the massacre feeding off of each other until the levee finally broke, and yet infinitely simple: the Columbine Massacre is the result of a ‘perfect storm’ meeting, clashing, and leaving the world in the wake of its rubble.
panorama of Columbine High School
# it's so fucking huge though # I'm used to itty bitty schools not factories
Hello :3 Once you get this you must share 5 random facts about yourself. Then pass it on to your ten favorite followers.
Thank you very much! ;)
1. The only other crime case that continues to interest me is the JFK assassination, which I think is mostly due to there being so many conspiracy theories about it. I love my tinfoil hat moments.
2. I’m Aquarian, but have a lot of earth-based signs in my chart so I always tend to come across as more stable and grounded than I actually am. *laughs*
3. I currently work for my government (mostly local stuff for the town I live in, with some huge national legislations worming their way into our law-executing phases) in a mail/archiving position, but have actually studied child development with a strong focus on mental illness and problems surrounding gifted children.
4. Nothing gets on my nerves more than ignorance and an unwillingness to change.
5. I, being the utterly insecure fool I sometimes am, often worry that my English isn’t quite up to par to be running a blog in the language. So far, I’ve always been reassured I’m doing fine — but, yeap, I catch my own tiny mistakes sometimes and wince. =P The life of a perfectionist..
# a rare personal post again # soon they won't be rare anymore # submission
In 1999 Stephen King gave a keynote in Vermont, discussing school shootings.
The Bogeyboys by Stephen King
When I speak in public, a thing I do as rarely as possible, I usually don’t speak from a prepared text and I hardly ever try to say anything serious; to misquote Mark Twain, I…
I hate to break this, but Eric and Dylan don't love you guys back. It's a fantasy, something you all have created in your minds to feel as important to them as they are to you, and a crutch. The interest/connection may stay, but this infatuation with them would most likely die down to at least a realistic level if you all would get out of the house, get other hobbies, meet people-form actual real-life relationships. They're 2 dead kids with mental health problems, for fuck's sake. I pity you all
*throws pity-party for all the Columbiners with lots of vodka and music* Don’t mind us, we’re enjoying ourselves just fine. ;)
Seriously, though, all jokes aside.. I hate to break this to you, but you really came to the wrong blog. I have been very vocal in my defense of the community in the past and will continue to be so right this second. This community does not need your goddamn pity. This community doesn’t own anybody any explanations as to why the interest/connection is there. This community is too diverse for you to make such snapshot judgments about what we’re all like, what we feel toward the boys, and what we do in our time away from here.
I run a research blog concerning Columbine that is completely focused on Eric and Dylan, yes. You know what I don’t do? Run a fucking fanpage for two dead mass murderers. If you really think that I give a shit about whether or not they’d love me, if you really think that I’m somehow infatuated with these two, if you really think that they are my crutch that helps me get through life.. then, by the gods, you really haven’t been paying attention to my blog at all. I work fulltime (Monday through Friday) in service to my government and my community. I meet a lot of people at my job and outside of it every single day. I have a lot of other stuff I like to do in my spare time. This blog is a sideblog to my personal blog — it is something I enjoy spending time on because I like to challenge my mind and because I really want to devote some of my future work to preventing events like Columbine. I am not an anomaly within this community. Many other people here study and/or work, many of them have varying hobbies that take them away from the subject at hand here, many have very significant relationships in their lives, and many have proven time and time again that they are more real and honest about this case than others will ever be. I am not deserving of your judgment. These people, this community, is not deserving of it.
Also, don’t you even dare broach the subject of Columbine and the boys in the capacity of crutches and important stabilising factors in one’s life with me. Seriously, don’t. If you don’t like me now, oh boy, you’re really gonna hate me when I’m through with you on that particular subject. There are people within the community who find a lot of safety, solace, and understanding of themselves and others through this subject. If the boys are the crutch they need to make it through the day right now, guess what I’ll say? GOOD FOR THEM. Better this crutch than another shooting. Better this crutch than suicide. Better this crutch than depression and other mental illnesses consuming them. Better this crutch than them losing ground in their home life and professional (school/work) life. Better this one crutch that helps them deal with judgmental little shits like yourself in a non-violent way than the alternative.
# I'm so fucking done with everybody always going after the 'fangirls' # I'm so beyond frustrated with people's inability to see beyond their own limited capacities # you're just setting yourself up for failure if you argue this with me # Anonymous
Everything we know about shooters indicates that no one thing causes them to “snap”, that they plan for months if not years ahead. Talking about shooters/releasing info doesn’t make people homicidal and decide to destroy their lives and others. My 2¢
I definitely agree that the release of information and the subsequent discussions about it does not make people homicidal. =) Their planning is meticulous, their reasonings often personal, and their responsibility for the (planned) massacres all their own. Not one thing causes them to snap, and they don’t just wake up one morning with the intent to kill. The decision to destroy one’s own life takes forever. The decision to take others with you takes longer or shorter, depending on where you’re at in your mindframe and morality. It’s not done on a whim — to directly cite the basement tapes or other evidence as the main cause for a massacre would be laughable.
However, it is also a known fact that many of the shooters we know of researched other shootings similar to theirs whilst in their planning stages. I think that they stumble upon Columbine in particular as “the one to outdo”, simply because it’s one of the few ‘big ones’ where information has knowingly been withheld from the public with the reasoning that these two kids could inspire other kids. To a potential shooter, this does read as “they are so scared of these two dead kids” and lends the impression that their revolution is worth following. Eric and Dylan did not only do the exact thing these potential shooters want to do, but their materials from the time before NBK have all been heavily redacted and even unreleased. It lends to them a heroic status that’s virtually without parallel.
Releasing the basement tapes would be a coin-toss in the air: heads for more copycats citing them as direct influences and utilising the how-to of the basement tapes even further, tails for potential shooters turning away from these two awkward kids without the direct copycat urge following in their wake. I don’t think authorities are willing to take the risk of it turning to heads, so they keep us in the impasse of this situation of delayed/no release instead. The release of the tapes would worsen this current instability we suffer, in my opinion, especially because authorities are still refusing to recognise the factors leading up to a school shooting and are refusing to alter education/mental healthcare/etc to form a bigger safety net for those students who are at risk. Authorities are currently not equipped to deal with the possible and probable fall-out the basement tapes can bring to the table. Unless and until society reconsiders its current course of action concerning our children and teenagers, their release is an endeavour I cannot fully support. (However much I, myself, would love to see the tapes and have argued in their favour very frequently in the past.)
Unpopular opinion time?
I do not believe that we will get access to the basement tapes at this point in time, if ever, and I believe that our actions concerning the tapes may contribute to their lockdown rather than their release.
I say this even though I feel that the tapes are very instrumental in understanding the ‘why’ of Columbine, or at the very least in understanding the dynamic between Eric and Dylan. I can argue quite strongly that their lack of presence in the evidence is not helpful when it comes to the work people do to help prevent these massacres from happening. I think that there is a very strong merit in their existence, and I still hope that we will one day be in a position where we can finally sit down and learn from them as we never can from their transcripts alone. I believe that authorities should return to these tapes and look at them in a way that helps prevent school violence rather than add to the problem.
The current copycat argument authorities offer as a reason for their withholding can be rebutted, sure, and I could potentially argue with JeffCo about it until I’m blue in the face. (They can be grateful that I am nowhere near Colorado, as I probably would’ve sat in their offices by now requesting somebody to convince me that their release is in fact detrimental to society.) But, their copycat argument is not entirely untrue either. Various shooters have cited the boys as ‘inspirations’, and various wannabe-copycats like the recently arrested John LaDue have been quoted as saying something along the lines of that the boys were their ‘idols’. Now, one could certainly argue that the addition of the basement tapes to the pile of released evidence would not be massively impactful on the amount of shootings we’ve seen since Columbine. I could even argue that their release would perhaps help the boys topple from their near-mythic pedestal and humanise them to a degree where potential shooters would no longer see them as inspirations or idols. But there is also a danger in that their release may indeed inspire more shootings — and I think we’ve all had quite enough of those.
The petitions regarding the release of the tapes only serve one purpose: letting authorities know that we still want/need them. Making them even more aware not only of the heavy research many of us have committed to, but also of an entire community whose perceptions of the boys can be terrifying and easily misunderstood to an ‘outsider’. They worry that Eric and Dylan are seen as human beings worth all the outpour of love and affection that is seemingly present in this community. There is a concern that the release of the basement tapes will only create a bigger dichotomy between the horror of their actions and the warmth the community carries toward them. (Understandably so, as quite a few of the scenes in the tapes read as endearing/touching/interesting even within the limited information of the transcripts.) I believe it would be far better to work with what we have right now, with little mention of the tapes, and see if we can somehow grow beyond the role and concern that authorities have currently assigned us.
Like or reblog this if it's okay for me to come into your ask box and ask you any of these questions! (I want to get to know my fellow Columbine Research enthusiasts :P)
Do you like Eric or Dylan more?
Who is your favorite/least favorite victim?
What is your favorite Eric quote?
What is your favorite Dylan quote?
What do you think about Brooks Brown?
What is your favorite Columbine related:
Just a note to say you're absolutely beautiful.
Aww, man, that’s so lovely to hear! Thank you. =D Here, please accept the cute kitty snuggles as gratitude:
# I'm kinda flail-y because everyone's being so nice # these are the anon messages I like hahaha # Anonymous
oh what I would give to read more philosophical opinions of eric
# just putting it out there for you and others who missed these first time 'round
ONCE YOU GET THIS YOU HAVE TO SAY FIVE NICE THINGS ABOUT YOURSELF PUBLICLY AND THEN SEND TO YOUR TEN FAVORITE FOLLOWERS ❤️
Thank you very much, sweetie! ❤️ (I have no idea who I’m gonna send this to yet, as I love all of the people who chose to follow me.. but I’ll figure it out, I think. =D)
1. I never know when I’m being hilarious until somebody starts laughing or comments about it. I’m completely oblivious to being funny, which I’ve been told is endearing. XD
2. I’m usually calm (it takes a lot to rile me up) and I notice that this sense of inner peace gives other people the space to calm down too, which is awesome.
3. No matter how much I procrastinate, I always land on my feet and get stuff done in time. It’s a gift I’m grateful for — the ability to trust that everything that should work out will always work out.
4. I think I have a really good sense of personal style, lol, although I’m sure that anyone who’s seen me in my Star Wars shirt and leggings is gonna disagree vehemently. ;)
5. I think I have a nice smile. ^^
After the bombs didn't detonate, why do you think they just decided to go in themselves instead of leaving it for another day?
I think there was a slight hope in both that the detonation would happen after all, which is probably why you see them try and give the bombs a poke in the surveillance vid we have. Getting the bombs into the commons was easy, but getting them back out would be risky as hell. They had a diversion bomb that did go off already, which was where some of the authorities were when the calls from Columbine came flooding in. They had bombs in their cars that they may have believed to still be active. The boys were geared up and armed to the teeth by the time the bombs in the commons should’ve detonated. They had woken up that morning with every intent of kill and be killed/kill and commit suicide.
Failure was not an option. Not now, that they were so close. Not now that they were about to do what they had planned for about a year. They could not compromise. They could not admit defeat — hell, admitting defeat and failure would’ve been suicide at that very second. They needed to believe in their own sense of being godlike. They needed to believe that they were still worth a damn, that not all of their careful planning had been in vain. They did not allow themselves the space to back out again. They had to do something, before they lost their nerve and their composure, and the only thing they had left was to just grab that gun and start firing away. I am of the belief that their lives ended the minute they set foot on school grounds that day. They did not allow themselves the space to look back, because they would only see burned bridges and mediocre lives behind them if they did. All that lay behind was disappointment, and all that was ahead could still be what they had expected it to be. Everything they had was ending, or so it must’ve felt. The goodbyes had been made. The ties to this life had been cut. What else was there?
If they went to another school, possibly with less bullying, do you think they still would have went through with it?
Hard to say. I don’t believe that bullying was the only contributing factor to the massacre, although their environment in general did have a huge impact on the motivations for the act. Taking them out of school and putting them in a school that was roughly in the same district (say, Denver area in general) would not have been enough to eradicate the hatred they had for their environment and for the people they were confronted with throughout the day. I think it would also depend on when you’d take them out of there: ‘98, possibly even ‘97, would’ve been far too late already.
Both boys suffered from severe mental/emotional issues that were directly informed by their environment and by the lack of tools they had to deal with life. The longer they stayed in the same environment with their minds and emotional life in turmoil, the more difficult it would have been for anyone to remove them from that environment and hope for improvement through that action. Just putting them in a different school does not resolve all the issues that led them to the massacre, and there is a chance that they would have actually worsened in a new environment due to the shock it’d bring to their systems. Uprooting Eric was the last thing anyone should’ve done at that unstable point in time, while removing Dylan from a familiar environment and placing him with new people in a new setting could have made him even more prone to self-isolation than he already was. There is a danger in taking them away from Columbine in those years of their lives, even though it would have probably been the more preferable option to staying.
What I will say, however, is this: remove them from each other’s spheres of influence and you may have found the only opening you could possibly have at preventing the massacre. Another school, another environment, none of that would’ve helped in prevention of the massacre as long as the boys remained together. But if they were separated, with no hope of connecting again.. yes. That might have worked. That’s not to say that Dylan would not be in danger of committing suicide and that Eric would not be prone to going off the deep end in some manner, though. The only thing the act of separation would do is this: keep them away from pulling each other off the ledge in a way that would come to affect so many others. We may view that alternate scenario as a small victory, perhaps, in light of the terrible event that actually happened.
Do you know if Eric and/or Dylan ever left the US?
I don’t think they did. There are no accounts of them ever having ventured out of their own country, although I seem to recall Eric expressed interest in a school trip to Germany but didn’t end up going. Both of them did go to other states in the US, though, with Eric even living in several of them before settling down in Colorado, and I suspect that there are quite a few cultural/other differences between the states that may make one feel like they’ve entered a different country! =)
It’s rather a pity that they never saw the world beyond the US. I think that travel would’ve been good for them. I have this great picture in my head of them roadtripping through Europe — ah, such a shame they didn’t allow themselves the chance to do that!
Once you get this you must share 5 random facts about you. Then pass it on to your ten favorite followers ❤
Aww, thank you! ❤ You’re another one of my faves, omg, and now I feel kinda bad for not being able to pick 10 people to send this to. XD
1. I’m currently very into astrology and trying to make sense of my chart but damn all the aspects and squares and everything are getting on my nerves. XD
2. I am a series-junkie and prefer watching a few episodes of one over watching a single movie, although I will also gladly curl up in a chair at the cinema and enjoy a movie’s atmosphere.
3. Rousseau and Kierkegaard are my favourite philosophers.
4. I’m really into ghost stories, hauntings, EVPs, unexplained events, UFO-sightings, the whole big parade of X-Files-ish stuff.. I love reading about them and watching documentaries on those. (I particularly like it when they try to connect historical events to the events witnessed by people today, as I believe that many of these unexplained phenomena have something to do with the energy that was released during a particular event in the past.)
5. Animorphs will always be my favourite book series that was called “for children” because it’s the most fucking harrowing sequence of books I’ve read in my life and the ending kills me dead every single time and if you haven’t read those books you really fucking should. ^^