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Columbine massacre

From dKosopedia

The Columbine Massacre was a tragic school shooting on April 20, 1999 at Columbine High School in Columbine, Colorado, a suburb of Denver and Littleton. Two nihilistic teenage students, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, used automatic weapons to kill 12 fellow students and a teacher, and wounding 24 others, before both committed suicide. It is considered to be the deadliest school shooting in the United States to date.

As with other school shootings observers of all ideological persuasions have chosen to condemn those aspects of American society they dislike and neglect the fact that violence is common to human males and especially human adolescent males in all societies. Many conservative American pundits refuse to recognize the role played by the ready availability of firearms in American society played in the tragedy. Their counterparts in Britain or Japan would be unable to commit comparable acts opf violence.

Common Questions

Among the questions commonly asked about the event are:

Social Dynamics

In line with the observations presented in Geoffrey Canada's Fist, Stick, Knife, Gun, it is worth looking at the social dynamics that are set up when children are thrown on their own resources to deal with bullying, gang violence, etc. From published accounts it appears that the two ruthless killers in this case were subjected to some degree of abuse from other students. They appear to have justified their preparations and their eventual actions to themselves as what they needed to do to right a wrong.

One form of reinforcement for, and perhaps the germ of, their violent vendetta seems to have been a on-line Nazism or soem comparable fascist ideology. They had a website that was quickly taken down from its original ISP (but may have been archived elsewhere) that gave some insights into the worldview that apparently guided their actions. Where they came upon these ideas is unclear, and no "evil guru" has emerged in the intervening year to indicate any personal and direct influence on them. They may well have found such ideas in various forms in the mass media and/or on websites.

There have been many policy recommendations made, and sociological questions raised, in considering how we might better avoid recurrences of conflicts of this kind:


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This page was last modified 06:28, 20 August 2006 by Chad Lupkes. Based on work by dKosopedia user(s) Thorvelden, Patrick0Moran and BartFraden. Content is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.

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