The Columbine Mas­sacre

In 1999, Eric Har­ris and Dy­lan Kle­bold killed 13, wounded 24, then killed them­selves

Real Crime - - Charles Williams -

When it oc­curred, the Columbine Mas­sacre was not just the dead­li­est school shoot­ing in his­tory at the time ( the body count was sur­passed in 2007, when 32 peo­ple were mur­dered at Vir­ginia Tech). Ac­cord­ing to Dan Cullen, who wrote a book about the case, it was also “a means… to ter­ror­ize the en­tire na­tion by at­tack­ing a sym­bol of Amer­i­can life”.

The atroc­ity gave rise to a moral panic about goth cul­ture, ni­hilis­tic mu­sic, vi­o­lent video games and school bul­ly­ing. Fur­ther­more, it in­duced im­por­tant de­bates about the role the me­dia plays in the de­pic­tion of vi­o­lent crime, and drove changes to po­lice pro­to­cols, school safety and dis­ci­pline poli­cies, and gun laws.

Dev­as­tat­ingly, Columbine also ap­pears to have pro­vided a tem­plate through which trou­bled teenagers can voice their ha­tred and de­spair: a 2014 in­ves­ti­ga­tion by ABC News found that Columbine has served as in­spi­ra­tion for at least 50 sub­se­quent school shoot­ings or plots – and there have been many more cases since that study was con­cluded.

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