Littleton Is Ripe For Another Columbine
Since I have known Coffee House Writers’ resident Columbine Expert, Keely Messino, we have had many conversations about Columbine. During which I have applied my natural talent as a profiler like what is portrayed in the CBS Show “Criminal Minds”. And from those conversations and my own deductions, it is not a pretty picture.
Now, as most people know, Littleton is a suburb of Denver and is similar to many small towns in America. Before Columbine happened, the school culture there was like gang culture. Everyone had their own group or gang, and everyone was part of one and only one. Groups routinely put each other down and bullied others in different groups. At the bottom of the social hierarchy was what was known as “The Trench Coat Mafia“. They were a bunch of outsiders that hung out together and happened to wear trench coats, which Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold were associated with for the simple fact that they wore dusters.
The school culture was a catalyst for Columbine happening since it gave fuel to the fire for Eric Harris, who I am not sure whether he was a sociopath or a psychopath. But it is clear he was definitely, in my opinion, the dominant of the two shooters at Columbine. Dylan Klebold, on the other hand, was the submissive of the two seeing a connection, but wanting to die at the same time, though not wanting to die alone. It seems like Eric used that connection, on top of gaining his confidence, to find out that Dylan wanted to die before bringing him into what he was planning.
You have to understand with a dominant and submissive partnership like this one, the dominant is manipulating the submissive to accomplish what they want. The submissive feeds off the attention they are getting as promises are being made to them. With Eric, he was getting a partner in the school shooting and keeping Dylan happy and in line. He was being his best friend and promising they would die together.
Evidence supports this with Eric doing most of the killing, while Dylan shot mostly inanimate objects and wounded people most of the time when he did shoot them. Dylan also leaked the plans when they were stored online to someone possibly trying to stop it.
In the aftermath of Columbine, The Trench Coat Mafia was banned, but no other measures were taken to change the culture in the school that had been the catalyst for the shooting. And it remains that way today. With a school culture like this, all it will take is another pair like Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold for another Columbine to happen. Bullying is what threw gasoline on this fire and set it off like a powder keg, in a more inclusive and less isolating environment. Eric and Dylan would have stood out as needing help.
From what I can see, Littleton is a ticking time bomb waiting for another Columbine to happen. That doesn’t mean it can’t be diffused. If efforts to change the school culture are undertaken to start as soon as possible, or even beginning next year, disaster can be averted in the future. But Littleton has to decide what it wants to be known for. Does it want to be known as the first city of two major school shootings, or the city where school shootings started as well as ended with school reforms to prevent shootings? The decision is still Littleton’s to make at this point though for how much longer remains to be seen. And, the clock is ticking.
*Tips his hat and walks out the door hearing the clock ticking*.