Mass Hysteria

Article on Shootings:

     Columbine will always be remembered as one of the worst incidents in American history, other than possibly electing George W. Bush to president, but joking aside, what is it about this particular event that has the insane completely enthralled?

     Surely, for anyone with a clear enough recollection of the 90’s, you would remember that Columbine wasn’t the first, yet we’re still feeling the impact of its “Legacy” today. In terms of catastrophe, it isn’t the biggest. In fact, the only data surrounding it suggest it was only the biggest school shooting. Aurora, Colorado had a bigger impact and yet the rise of shootings in theaters hasn’t taken hold with the disenfranchised youth.

     The problem isn’t one of making them famous, as the article suggest, but rather about making them infamous. Fame is gained through positivity and infamy is gained from notoriety. The real underlying problem isn’t that the youth are aspiring to be the young Columbine killers, but rather outdo them. I personally seem to think that if these kids’ desires is to outdo the “worst school shooting in history” then they might bother to actually learn a thing or two about incident in question. Instead, they don a trench coat, read and listen to the same music or books in a vain attempt to invoke the young boys who walked into their school and shot it up, one April morning in 1999.

     Article after article suggest that the biggest problem is scapegoating. In fact, all the articles do is attempt to explain away why these “Kids” are doing such horrible thing. Where can the adults find blame? After all, we yearn for explanations when things are out of our control. The youth also scapegoat their potential deeds on the shooters of Columbine as they have been scapegoated by their “peers.”

     It’s a never ending cycle of blame this, that or the other thing. What I refer to as the “O’Reilly Fallacy.” In other words, you cannot know, therefore, you know. We see it all the time in the media. Bill O’Reilly for whom I named the fallacy after (Original name of the fallacy is argumentum ad ignorantiam) and the Aliens guy.

     All the speculation as to what the root cause is, adds up only to borderline conspiracy theory, crackpot explanations and pseudo-scientific linking of the irrelevant. You can understand why these kids commit heinous crimes, though. It isn’t the music, books or movies. I’ve seen everything these kids have, read the same books and listened to the music. At twenty-eight years old, pretty sure I’m doing just fine and haven’t the faintest desire to kill anyone. Although, I will say, Justin Bebier makes me want to blow my own brains out, but that’s a different story for another time.

     The root of the explanation lies in the end of the article, which is that schools do not do enough to prevent bullying. Loss of funding, blaming the victim, lawsuits, shootings and the dreaded no-tolerance policy. If anything some of these kids went through happened at a business, the individual in question would probably had been fired. Not so in schools. It’s a buildup of tension until the eventual eruption. In fact, you can view the following in order to better understand what happens to these kids as they attempt to navigate the nightmare that is the American school system.

     It’s the domestic violence cycle. Tension, explosion, honeymoon phase. When we can understand such, under a different model, then why do we still lay blame on stupid things?


     Bullying IS a form of domestic violence, one that impacts a child for long after they have left the “relationship.” You know how to prevent one, but not the other? Start by isolating the problem, end the victim blaming that runs rampart in schools and punish the perpetrators so that they remember that verbal abuse is still abuse.

     Find the kids who need guidance and an escape away from the abuse that they receive and things will be different. You might not be able to prevent them all, but you will impede future problems.

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