I have been thinking about writing something on the Columbine tragedy. For an issue as
sensitive as this I did not want to just throw up some half-thought out opinion the next day.
I don't feel the need to mention the horror of this tragedy, which has been discussed and
analyzed and explored ad infinitum. Instead I want to take the point of view of the
I can understand the mind of the outcast. I am a nerd, a geek who likes to keep
to himself and play video games in the dark. I was not picked on in high school, but when
I was in grade school I was mistreated by other boys, and I remember every incident still.
My parents were, and are, wonderful parents who did the best they could. My Mom didn't work
till I was in junior high, and Nick in grade school. The most violent video game we had when
I was young was Contra, a 16 color Nintendo game. I don't think that game could have inspired
Marilyn Manson to murder Howard Stern. I remember later when I was high school age we would
rent some rather gory and violent movies like Robocop, and Waxworks. I was disgusted and
appalled and freaked out at the time. These days I am mildly appalled at similarly
violent movies. Yes, I have been devoted to violent video games like Doom and Quake. No, I do
not denounce them as responsible for this. They are games.
I can understand why these boys thought violence was cool. Has anyone seen Face/Off?
That was a cool movie. Shooting people looks like it would be a very stylish thing to do. Not
innocent people, of course, just the bad guys. I have never seen Pulp Fiction, or the
Replacement Killers, but from what I know of these movies, shooting people would
seem to be cool. But this is not reality. You and I live in reality. In reality, people
kill, people die, others suffer, people go to prison. There are consequences. Everyone watches
it on the news for a month or more, depending on the severity.
I have been angry at my peers. I have experienced hatred towards others. Why haven't I
killed anyone? Because weapons were hard to obtain? If I desired to, I could use anything as
a weapon. Because I wasn't exposed to violence since birth? I'm sure that kind of exposure
would have darkened my perception of the world, but I doubt I would have massacred any school.
Because there was no internet? Again, if I desired to, I could find devastating ways to kill
others without the aid of the internet.
I don't kill people because I don't want to. It is wrong. I learned the difference from right
and wrong from my parents. If I want to be happy with myself, and I want others to be happy with
me, I choose the right way. If I disregard this happiness for a few seconds or minutes of
superficial pleasure, I choose the wrong. Sometimes the wrong does not affect any but myself.
And besides that, I like to be happy with myself. I doubt these boys were very happy with
I don't kill people because I like people. People, for the most part, are fun to be around.
When they aren't fun to be around, I expect that to change soon. I wait and wait. Though it
has never happened, if they continued to be miserable to be around, I would leave. I would not
kill them. I value the lives of others. There is a legal, controlled way to kill people
who would otherwise make my life inconvenient. I think this has added a lot to the devaluation
of human life.
I am glad I don't kill people.