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Monday, April 20, 2009

On the Tenth Anniversary of a Terrible Event

Ten years ago today Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold walked into their high school and killed 15 people including themselves. They injured another 24. After ten years, many of the myths surrounding Columbine have been dispelled. After the event in which my generation, in effect, lost its innocence, people looked for simplistic, knee-jerk causes. Many people pointed out the fact that Harris and Klebold enjoyed playing 1st-Person shooter video games, listening to heavy metal music, and wearing black. On April 20th, 1999, I also enjoyed all three of those things. To a certain extent, I still do. Knowing that despite having these things in common with the killers, I did not want to kill anyone, and angered by the idiotic things I heard all around me about these interests, I wrote an angry editorial for my high-school paper, riffing on the stupidity of blaming such a horribly complex event on such simplistic near non-factors. Six years later, following the Red Cloud High School masacre, I blogged about school shootings here. I feel like I've matured in my opinions since that blog post, and you probably shouldn't read it simply because it is about ten pages long, but I basically said the same thing: while outside factors may have mattered a miniscule amout, the bottom line was that Harris and Klebold were two extremely disturbed individuals who would have acted out regardless. A year after posting that, I read The Sociopath Next Door, by Martha Stout. After reading that I immediately concluded that Harris had to have been a sociopath, and current retrospective reports seem to conclude the same. Current reports also conclude that Klebold was a Depressive, which I don't really know much of, but intend to read more about to grasp. For some reason I feel like I have to understand this event...it's haunted me and often entered my thoughts in the last ten years...though I think I agree with my own conclusion four years ago: God is in control...and certain things will never be understood while we are on this Earth.

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