Ten years certainly go by in a hurry...Today marks the tenth anniversary....of the Columbine tragedy:Columbine Questions We Still Don’t Ponder
By David SirotaAs Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold’s posthumous infamy turns 10 on April 20, I wish I were surprised that Columbine-like shootings are still happening, or even that our national discussion about violence hasn’t yet matured past gun control and video games.
I wish I were surprised, but sadly, I’d be surprised if it were any different because we still refuse to ask the most uncomfortable questions.
Columbine was the “Pulp Fiction” of violence: not the first of its genre, but the model to which all contemporaries are compared. And lately, Columbine derivatives have been coming at a faster clip.
After each tragedy, it’s the same thing. Liberals want us to wonder why gun laws let anyone access deadly weapons. Conservatives insist we question why video games supposedly turn down-to-earth kids into murderers.
These queries satiate two desires. In a country that ascribes hubristic “exceptionalism” to itself and berates self-analysis as “hating America,” we seek absolution via scapegoat, and so we upbraid bogeymen like firearms and Xboxes. Similarly, in a democracy increasingly conducting its politics through red-blue filters and 140-character Twitter updates, we crave Occam’s razors—and none are sharper than oversimplified arguments about gun control and video games.
But what about the questions and answers that aren’t so simple?
For example, isn’t violence a predictable byproduct of our economy? When torture victims are waterboarded, they freak out. When a winner-take-all economy tortures society, should we be shocked that a few lunatics go over the edge?