The Virginia Tech Massacre Explained
on 4/16/2007 (2)
This editorial, describing the causes that led to the terrible Columbine High School massacre, also applies to the recent horrific incident at Virginia Tech as well. Our thoughts and prayers to the victims and their families.
How, or more importantly why, did the Columbine Massacre occur, and why do copy cat events continue to plague schools 8 years after the original terrible event?
|First Harris and Klebold, and now Cho. An acute malestrom of murderous self-despair. |
To understand, one must merely look deep within.
The story of Columbine is one of emerging adolescence and the frightening trials and changes in ones physiology and biochemistry that accompany it. As one progresses out of childhood, about 13 or 14, nature seizes the body to prepare it to become an autonomous, sexually active, territorial adult. Both boys and girls go through this period, of course, but in most cases the dysphoria experienced as a result is far more pronounced, and hence dangerous, in boys than in girls. This is merely nature programming the male of the species to be sexually competitive and socially dominant.
As one discovers their sexuality, masturbation, in conjunction with preferred fantasies, can be a harsh, all pre-occupying obsession as the magical, Pollyanna world view of childhood is churned under by an upheaval of fantastic emotional dimensions and abrupt physical changes.
Such obsessions can produce tremendous guilt in both sexes. As one experiences sexual self-gratification, and sexual interest in their projected fantasy of choice, a titanic struggle emerges between what is perceived to be morally right, and sensually evil. Such conflicts are not always easily reconciled in many individuals. The normal progression is to seek out social interaction, and find a suitable mate to reconcile fantasy with reality, as most of us successfully do. Some, in the case of Klebold and Harris, apparently could not.
Another key aspect of adolescent emergence is social clumsiness associated with physical changes in the body itself. Boys become especially unwieldly and lanky, grow facial and body hair, girls develop wide hips and breasts, and both sexes experience mood swings as growth hormones begin their natural chrysalis like metamorphosis to ready one to become a sexually active, self sufficient, territorial adult. These are the greater part of the Columbine Massacre.
The other part is trying to fit in socially, in concurrence with all of these wild changes in ones physiology and moods. Not an easy task, indeed. If any given boy or girl does not fit in with what is considered 'mainstream', a dangerous sense of social detachment and dissonance may result, as evidenced by the emergence of 'counter culture' teen groups, such as the Trench Coat Mafia, of which Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris were both associated with.
'Popular' groups, such as athletics, or 'jocks', are often in fierce, vitriolic conflict with these fringe groups, who they see as outsiders of the desirable, perceived norm. Fringe teen groups tend to self perpetuate, and are always a permanent fixture on any campus, simply because some children do not share the same set of desires, values or ability to cope with common teen stresses as others do. Klebold and Harris are far from alone in this respect. On any given day on any given school year in any given school across the world, these self-disassociated individuals exist, and will continue to do so indef
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