Columbine Report Released.
May 17, 2001 3:20 PM   Subscribe

Columbine Report Released. Cops get most of the tongue lashing...
posted by owillis (8 comments total)
I just spent almost two hours reading (mostly) the timeline of the fateful day of the murders. I don't think I have ever read anything as chilling as the reports- yet, the scary part was how it impacted me despite the mundane fashion that it was reported in.

I can only hope that a killing spree of this caliber does not ever occur again but with the rise of cliques and social groups, I fear for students in high school.
posted by msposner at 3:30 PM on May 17, 2001

I think cliques and social groups have been around since the beginning of time. "That Mog - He wearing leopard skin from last summer. He loser."

What hasn't been around is parents letting their kids run their own lives without consequence.
posted by owillis at 4:06 PM on May 17, 2001

I think that telling the police officers that they "waited too long" before entering the building is ridiculous! The first officer on scene exchanged gunfire with Harris twice within the first four minutes he was on scene. Within the next minute a bomb blast in the cafeteria "flexed the windows" and showed a visible fireball. Initial reports as to the number of gunmen ranged from one to six, descriptions and locations were just as varied. The police managed to cover all exits and evacuate over 2000 individuals from the area while also controlling traffic, media and onlookers. All the while, gunfire sounded and bombs exploded within the building and their location(s) could not be determined.

This ALL took place within 46 minutes! Now, after 3 years of debate somebody wants to say that the police screwed up? Must be nice to sit on your ass in an air conditioned room and spend all the time you want debating what SHOULD have been done in a near combat situation...
posted by RevGreg at 4:25 PM on May 17, 2001

What hasn't been around is parents letting their kids run their own lives without consequence.

We don't need such an abstract explanation. There are other things that haven't been around before, and some of them are a lot more directly connected to things like mass murder.

1) social maturity delayed until years after physical maturity, creating a permanent outside-class of strong & smart semi-adults not yet integrated into society
2) immature humans kept in thousands-strong herds, far too big to maintain a coherent society, but unable (due to youth & the fact that adults won't let them) to construct government and thus manage the stresses that come with groups of such large size
3) deadly weapons as cheap commodity items
4) society with enough surplus wealth that kids can afford weapons

As long as those ingredients exist, events like the Columbine murders will keep happening.

posted by Mars Saxman at 6:08 PM on May 17, 2001

Mars, I don't think I've heard it put so clearly. People think that sheltering their kids even more will solve this problem. They're doing more harm than good.
posted by jpoulos at 9:21 PM on May 17, 2001

I think "the boomers" deserve a lot of the blame for Columbine, Littleton, etc. They seem to have responded to the overly oppresive attitude of their parents' generation by swinging the pendulum way to far in the other direction.

When moderation between letting your kids live their lives and being an omnipresent parental force is probably the most productive way to parent, they allowed their children to run wild.

Kids do things without any fear of consequence from their parents or their friend's parents. Misbehavior comes without repercussion until they begin to believe they can do no wrong. Their parents just plug 'em full of drugs, or it's something someone's done to them - not ever anything they've done. They're blameless.

Combine this attitude with easy access to guns, stir = school shooter.

I wonder how the gen-xers will react now that they're becoming parents? Will they be even more lax than their parents? Or will they look at what the results of their parents' world is and snap back in the other direction (possibly overreacting and being as harsh as their grandparents).
posted by owillis at 10:52 PM on May 17, 2001

Told you so. Nobody ever listens to me. This report is not going to answer anything. If anything it's a waste of time and manpower. Blaming the police is as foolish as blaming video games. The only real blame goes to the two kids who killed themselves after killing so many others. Death was too good for them. They deserved worse for what they did and this is why so many cannot let this go. Klebold and Harris selfishly took the lives of others, and then selfishly robbed from so many the vengeance they would thirst for due to this outrage. And y'know what? I bet that was their intent the entire time. They wanted to be remembered. We're giving them more attention than they deserve, trying to figure out who else to blame, when the blame died with them.

The timeline indicates all the deaths were caused within the first fifteen minutes of the shooting spree. Only if the police had been IN the building at the time would they have been able to respond sooner. The damage had already been done. Things happen. We can't always explain it. We can't prevent it. We can't always even prepare for it - how can one try to prepare for the unknown? Sometimes it's just never gonna be enough. There were warning signs. The two buttheads that did this had been thinking it through for a long time and they warned others. Threatened them. But without 20/20 hindsight, at the time their threats would have sounded like juvenile pranks and hate-filled bile discharging: a bluff. They were doing so in ways that some would misunderstand as a "phase" or a sick twisted sense of humor. If the police put handcuffs on every individual who at one time or another said off the cuff in anger "I hate you I'm gonna kill you I wish you were dead" or words to that effect, I bet over half of you reading these words would be in the slammer. And I'd be right there alongside you.

The problem isn't any one factor. We can't blame the police any more than we can blame the parents. As Hillary Clinton was often fond of saying, it takes a village to raise a child, and let's face it, there ain't no such thing as a "village" in urban America anymore. I have friends via the Internet who I know better than people living on my own street. I don't even know most of my neighbors on a first name basis, and whose fault is that? Mine. I choose not to get to know them. This is the epidemic. Though the world's getting smaller, a lot of us are pulling farther and farther away from one another. Maybe that's what we need to change, but we don't need a 200 page report from the government to tell us that. We need to start telling each other.
posted by ZachsMind at 11:32 PM on May 17, 2001

The police shouldn't get tongue lashings for how they handled it. In fact, some of these guys deserve freakin' medals!
posted by ZachsMind at 12:58 AM on May 18, 2001

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