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10/16/2002 Entry: "My Private Columbine"

I went to see Michael Moore's new film Bowling For Columbine this weekend and I have to agree with the reviews I've been hearing, it's the best thing he's ever done.

I'm not going to spoil it for you. You know it's about Columbine, you know it's about guns, you know it's about the good 'ol USA. There's much more there though, and when you go to the theater you will see. The media, Bush, and Charlton Heston all get shown in a really nice light. Needless to say I walked out of there with a big fat smile.

After seeing it a friend reminded me of a column written by infamous love advice columnist Dan Savage called FEAR THE GEEK: Littleton's Silver Lining that was published right after "it happened." I thought this was an amazing article. I wrote something similar on whatever stupid website I was writing for at that point, and got a lot of shit for it. I won't link that, because Dan says what I wanted to much better. Guess that's why he gets paid. If you haven't read the column, you really should go read it right now. He talks about how insane it was that people were shocked about this, because honestly, it was only a matter of time.

Even more amazing is a reply written by a former Columbine High School student. I'd never seen this until another friend sent it my way recently. I'll let you read that for yourself, but if you want to download a copy this should help.

"Finally, an article addresses what is really going on here ("Fear the
Geek: Littleton's Silver Lining"). I actually used to live in Littleton,
and went to Columbine High School. I totally agree with this story. When I
went there, I was having the same exact problems and no one cared at all.
One day I was walking outside during lunch when some jocks decided it was
my turn to be beaten. One of the started hitting me to impress his
friends... I hit him once in the face and ended up on the ground. One
teacher was right there and did nothing to stop it. I was sent to the
proncipal's office and told that I should try to 'fit in' with the rest of
the students and not wear black clothes. All I can tell you is that on days
like that (and there were many), I could have shot them all. I ended up
leaving the school, and driving to the next town every day to attend an
alternative high school. I learned more there in the first week than I did
in the three years I went to Columbine. When I talk with friends who went
there, not even one person was surprised this could happen. We were just
surprised it didn't happen sooner."

-Jason DeTrempe

I read that and all I cound think was "right on." People talking about schools being a safe haven for kids are smoking crack. Where the hell did they go to school? Little House On The Prarie High? I could go on for hours about the crap I put up with in school, or worse the crap I saw other people have to put up with. I got suspended my freshman year for bringing a gun to school. Luckily for me that was YEARS before anyone got the balls to smoke some other kid, otherwise I would still be in jail. Even I had no plans for it. It was a broken bb gun for crying out loud, but only I knew that, and I was sure that if some nameless people (who are probably still in Bradenton dreaming about their HS football glory days) thought I might snap and do something really stupid, they would just leave me alone. The point is, the kids who have the cool clothes, drive the nice cars, don't have zits, get laid, are the kids the schools smile on. The kids who don't, don't. The whole system is designed to make kids fall in line, and it has no mercy on those who don't. These kids, who take guns to school and shoot other people, hell kids who shoot other people even outside of school are sick. They are totally out of their heads, but having been though the public (and private for that matter) school system, I know how they got that way. There come a point when a lot of kids have to make a decision to rise above the steaming pile of shit they are stuck in and show everyone else up by actually doing something with their lives, or giving in to the hate and doing something like this. If people realized how many kids made that decision on a daily basis, and congradulated the kids who made the right choice, we'd be in a hell of a lot better situation. Me, I'm surprised this dosen't happen more oftin.

Replies: 1 Comment

Yes lets divert the blame to those two fucking moron's peers. Ever occur to you that maybe some people just need a good kick in the ass to begin with? Those two students would have done it regardless of how they were treated, they said so themselves. In their writings that were found the two directly, flat-out stated that they were born to do it and would have carried it out no matter what intervention would have been tried, it was their destiny. Possibly the fact that they were already screwed up in the head and acted like morons in school resulted in their 'taunting'. This wasn't spur of the moment pissed off because they were abused in school. They had been planning this for years and years, not just in high school. It's always easy to blame others when people can deal with the fact that they worthless beings.

Posted by Dave @ 11/14/2002 04:53 PM PST

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