In the original narrative about the Columbine massacre, an entire school of students were blamed for the actions of two of their peers–blah blah blah, these two men were badly bullied, and that’s why they blew up your friends–and, instead of any measures which would’ve even addressed the false bullying narrative, districts began pouring money into hiring school resource officers, leading to the disproportionate arrest and early criminalization of Black and brown children.
Again: this doesn’t even do anything to address the purported motive of the cowardly shooters.
Cue pissbaby Brian Warner, the new king of evil, pissing and moaning to Michael Moore that these were misunderstood martyrs. Cue also the total myth that the gunmen shot a student for saying that she believed in God, a false story that was co-opted by the religious right. An entire generation of bullied children, myself included, were sold the idea that the ultimate revenge against those who had wronged you was possible.
The reality was that the horrible men responsible for the Columbine massacre were not bullied or even misunderstood. They were just angry, hateful people who wanted to enact revenge against everyone who didn’t worship them without prompt. This is evidenced in their diaries, which I will not link here because these cowards do not deserve promotion, but which were recently summarized by the podcast RedHanded. Their victims weren’t popular bullies; one was a disabled student who literally did not know how to hide from his assailants. Even if they had been bullied personally by each of their victims, nothing could excuse what they did that day, as was seemingly the media’s goal in perpetuating the false bullying narrative.
How many more Americans have to die at the hands of angry, violent men, before we stop trying to blame the people they kill for instigating them?
Columbine could’ve been the catalyst to improved mental health resources for our children, common sense laws on firearm ownership, and a nationwide conversation on toxic masculinity. Instead, we have had thousands of mass shootings since then, usually perpetrated by the very same types of men responsible for Columbine, each one fodder for the NRA to continue funneling money into our politicians and preventing them from doing anything to stop these events.
As we enter a new school year, there have already been over 400 incidents which qualify as mass shootings in 2021, and over 12,000 gun fatalities. I suppose the NRA, and everyone opposed to common sense gun legislation, can happily regard these casualties of violence as martyrs for their cause–just as angry, hateful, entitled men continue to regard perpetrators of mass shootings as martyrs for theirs.