It's 12 years later. What have we learned?
On April 20th, 1999 twelve students and a teacher were killed in the Columbine shootings. The teenage gunmen were Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold.
Both committed suicide after the shootings.
Staff and Students Evacuating the Building
Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold Walking Through the School During Their Shooting Spree - Captured From School Surveillance Tapes.
Some may argue that books, articles and even this blog post is offering too much attention to the killers. I can understand this side of the argument but I think there is more involved here than morbid curiosity. I think many of us want to understand the psychology behind the events. I think we all want to understand cause and effect. 12 years later, with all that we have learned, we are still scratching our heads and asking ourselves, "Why?"
Eric Harris didn't envision the Columbine events as merely a shooting. He and Klebold had planned a bombing, and his goal was to top the Oklahoma City bombing. The bombs he and Klebold had wired did not set off. If they had Harris would have met his goal.
Here's a snippet of Eric Harris' writing. The below is not from his journals.
It would be great if god removed all vaccines and warning l ables from everything in the world and let natural selectio take its course. All the fat ugly retarded crippled dumbass stupid fuckheads in the world would die, and oh fucking well if a few of the good guys die too. Maybe then the human race can actually be proud of itself. Would war II is the last time I bet America was proud of itself.
They both had nicknames for each other. Dylan was "Vodka" or "V". Eric was "Reb". Often in their writings they would write "NBK" which stood for Natural Born Killers. They felt that they were the real natural born killers.
They both drew a lot of pictures of people dying, weapons, and their own made up symbols.
Klebold's journal entries have a consistent theme of anger and hate towards kids that treat him so terribly. At a certain point he is convinced that he is in love with a girl who he doesn't really know. He even writes her a letter (that I don't think she received) about how he loves her and she shouldn't feel sad about what he and Eric Harris were going to do. I highly doubt he was really in love but it was apparent how much he ached for her.
*editors note: for some reason blogspot is highlighting the above words in white and I can't get rid of it*
Cover of Dylan Klebold's Journal
Here are some separate excerpts from Klebold's journal.
Existence? What a strange word. He, set out by determination and curiosity, knows no existence, knows nothing relevant to himself. The petty desinations of others and everything on this world, in this world, he knows the answers too. Yet, they have no purpose to him. He seeks knowledge of the unthinkable, of the indefinable, of the unkown. He explores the everything...using his mind, the most powerful tool known to him.
Oooh God, I want to die soo bad. Such a sad, desolate, lonely, unsalvageble I feel I am. Not fair, NOT FAIR!! I want happiness! I never got it! Let's sum up my life. The most miserable existence in the history of time.
Its interesting, when I'm in my human form, knowing I'm going to die. Everything has a touch of triviality to it. Like how none of this calculus shit matters. The way it shouldn't. The truth. In 26.4 hours I'll be dead & in happiness. The little zombie human dags will know their errors, & be forever suffering and mournful. HAHAHA. Of course I will miss things. Not really.
Harris' logic seemed very scewed. For instance, in his journal he states that his is angry that he was not able to successfully rob a person's possessions for their car. Harris was caught and he said that if we truly live in a free country then he should be able to rob someone who is stupid enough to leave their stuff in their car in plain sight. He said it was a matter of natural selection.
In other parts of his journal he writes about how he believes that black men and women are different and they should "go back to Africa". He goes on to say that gay individuals should die. He includes lesbians even though they are "hot to watch."
The boys contradict themselves all over the place. They express the opinion that all people must die and that the planet should go back to the animals but then they say they want a few people to live. Then they say the only ones who survive have survived by luck. They say that the world is so messed up and that is why all should die, but then they talk about how they are so hurt by what their peers have done to them.
I think these boys were incredibly depressed and it caused them to become very philosophical. It seems like they were trying to figure out so much about the world but what was really tearing them apart is that they didn't have the lives that they wanted. They didn't have other friends, they didn't have girlfriends.
From Eric Harris' Journal
Here are some separate excerpts from Harris' journal...
If you recall your history, the Nazi's came up with a 'final solution' to the Jewish problem...kill them all. Well in case you haven't figured it out yet, I say, 'KILL MANKIND.' No one should survive. We all live in lies. People are always saying they want to live in a perfect society, well Utopia doesn't exist. It is human to have flaws. You know what Fuck It. Why should I have to explain myself to you survivors when half of this shit I say you shitheads won't understand and if you and if you can then woopie fucking do.
Someone's bound to say 'what were they thinking?' When we go NBK (natural born killers) or when we're planning it so this is what I'm thinking. I have a goal to destroy as much as possible so I must not be side tracked by my feelings of sympathy, mercy or any of that, so I will force myself to believe that everyone is just another monster from Doom, like FH or FS or demons, so it's either me or them. I have to turn off my feelings. Keep this in mind, I want to burn the world, I want to kill everyone except about good people, who I will name later, so if you are reading this you are lucky you escaped my rampage because I wanted to kill you. It will be really tricky getting all of our supplies explosives, weaponry, armour and the hiding it all and then actually planting it all so we go killing them and their just like wilks from the Alien books. I ain't going without a fight.
Once I finally start my killing, keep in mind, there are probably about 100 people max in the school alone who I don't want to die, the rest, must fucking die! If I didn't like you or if you pissed me off and lived through my attacks consider yourself lucky god damn NIGGER. Pity that a lot of the dead will be a waste in someways, like dead hot chickens who were still bitches, they could have been good ducks. Oh well too fucking bad. Life isn't fair...not by a a fucking long shot. When I'm at the wheel too God I want to torch and level everything in this whole fucking area but bombs of that size are hard to make and plush I would need a fucking really loaded 1-10 to get very store on wadsworth and all the buildings downtown. Heh, imagine that ya fuckers, picture half of Denver on fire just from me and Vodka. Napalm on sides of skyscrapers and car garages blowing up from exploded gas tanks....oh man that would be beautiful - 10/23/98.
HATE! I am full of hate and I love it. I HATE PEOPLE and they better fucking fear me if they know what's good for em. Hate and I guess I want others to know it, yes I'm racised and I don't mind. Niggs and spicks bring it on to themselves, and another thing I am very racist towards white trass poss like (blacked out by FBI) and (blacked out) they deserve the hatred otherwise I probably wouldn't hate them and it's a tragedy the human nature of people will lead to their downfall, peoples human nature will get them killed. Whether by me or Vodka, it's happened before and not just in school like those pussy dambasses over in Minnesora who squeezed through history it's our fucting nature. I know how people are and why I can't stand it. I love the nazis too...by the way. I fucking can't get enough of the swastika, the SS and the iron cross. Hitler and his head boys fucked up a few times and it caused them the war but I love their beliefs and who they were, what they did, and what they wanted. I know that form of gove couldn't have lasted long once the human equation was brought in but damnit it sure looked good. Every form of gov leads to downfalls, everything will always fuck up or yeah something. It's all doomed god damnit. This is beginning to make me get in a corner. I'm showing too much of myself, my views and thoughts to people might start to wonder, smart ones will get nosey and something might happen to fuck me over, I might need to put on one helluva mask here to fool you all some more. Fuck fuck fuck. It'll be very fucking hard to hold out until April. If people would g ive me more compliments all of this might still be avoidable..but probably not. Whatever I do people make fun of me and sometimes directly to my face. I'll get revenge soon enough. Fuckers shouldn't have ripped on me so much huh! HA! There again it's human nature to do what you did...so I guess I am also attacking the human race. I can't take it. It's not right...true..correct..perfect. I fucking hate the human existance. Nazism would be fucking great if it weren't for individualism and our natural instinct to ask questions. You know what maybe I just need to get laid. Maybe that'll just chagne some shit around. That's another thing, I am a fucking dog. I love fantasies of just taking someone and fucking them up hard and strong. Someone like (blacked out) were I just pick her up and taker her to my room, tear off her shirt and pants and just eat her out and fuck her hard. I love flesh...(something in German). I want to grab a few different girls in my gym class, take them into a room, pull their pants off and fuck them hard. I love flesh. The smooth legs, the large breasts, the innocent flawless body, the eyes, the hair, jet black, blond, brown, ahhi just want to fuck."
Months have passed. It's the first friday night in the final month. Much shit has happened. Vodka has a Tec 9, we test fired all of our babies, we ha ve 6 time clocks ready, 39 crickets, 24 pipe bombs and the napalm is under construction. Right now I'm trying to get fucked and trying to finish of theses time bombs. NBK came quick why the fuck can't I get any? I mean, I'm nice and considerate and all that shit but nooo. I think I try too hard. But I kinda need to be considering NBK is closing in. The amount of dramatic irony and foreshadowing is fucking amazing. Everything I see and hear is incorporate into NBK some how. Either bombs. clocks, guns napalm, killing people, any and everything finds soem tie to it. Feels liek a goddamn movie sometimes. I wanna try to put some mines and grip bombls around this town too maybe. Get a few extra flags on the scoreboard. I hate you people for elaving me out of so many fun things. And no don't fuckign say "well that's your fault" because it isn't you people had my phone#, and I asked all and all, but no. No no no dont let the weird lokong Eric KID coming along, ooh fucking noo. 4/3/99
(Eric's Last Entry)
To learn more about the victims go to the memoriam page from acolumbinesite.com. The information available has been obtained from the Columbine Report and news.
A memorial was created for the victims of the Columbine events.
The Memorial became open to the public on September 21st, 2007
The memorial sits along the south edge of Clement park in Colorado, several hundred yards west of the school. It's not actually/technically located in Littleton where Columbine High School is located.
I'd lastly like to point out that Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold were also among those killed on 4/2o/1999. The boys took their own lives after they killed the others and that also seems to be quite mystifying and quite tragic. The boys were excited to kill as evidence by this entry from Klebold's journal.
Walk in, set bombs at 11:09, for 11:17
Drive to Clemete Park. Gear up.
Get back by 11:15
Park cars. set car bombs for 11:18
get out, go to outside hill, wait.
When first bombs go off, attack.
They were excited to proceed with murder yet they knew they were going to off themselves in the end.
No one condones what the boys did but I think if it is possible we must muster up some empathy for them. Why? Well, isn't it obvious that they were in pain? Anyone who wants to kill is not well. Anyone who is not well needs help. Anyone who needs help needs compassion.
To author Dave Cullen's bio click here.
Resources from Dave Cullen's site
Teen Suicide Hotline: 1-800-SUICIDE
Depression Hotline: 630-482-9696
Suicide prevention programs: 630-482-9696
Prevention of Depression in At-Risk Adolescents: Landmark study in JAMA, 2009
For gay kids: