BC researchers say school shooters were paranoid not bullied

What mass murderers have in common:

Inside the mind of a mass killer: Intense paranoia drives killers not a detached sense of reality, study finds:

Former reader of this site Kimveer Gill

Former reader of this site Kimveer Gill

A group of researchers from the University of British Columbia lead by psychologist Donald Dutton recently published a study that said some of North America’s most infamous school shooters committed their crimes out of paranoia and not any actual slight or mistreatment.

The team looked at the writings of killers Eric Harris, Cho Seung Hui, Kimveer Gill and Anders Breivik. We’re going to leave Breivik alone because he was not a school shooter, the study itself looked at these four as mass killers but I’m only interested in the first three.

Here’s some of what Dr. Dutton had to say…

“They become and remain fixated and obsessed with rejection by what they see as an elite in-group, whom they see as having unfairly achieved success,” Dutton and his colleagues write in a compelling paper just published in the journal Aggression and Violent Behavior. “Instead of transcending the rejection, they formulate plans to annihilate the transgressors, which they justify as vengeance for the transgressions made against them.”

Now let’s see what the cowards in question had to say…

From Gill…

If people were making your life a living hell, wouldn’t you be hurt emotionally? How come no one ever talks about those mother fucking jocks and preps whose fault it is. Oh no. Heaven forbid. We can’t possibly say that. Why does society applaud jocks? I do not understand. They are the worst kind of people on earth. And the preps are no better. They think they’re better than others, but they’re not.

Gill was 25 at the time of the Dawson College shooting and he was still talking about high school stuff. Gill was nothing more than a Harris-worshiper, or as I call them mutants. Friends that grew up with Gill say that due to his size he was not bullied. Gill is nothing more than a copycat.

From Cho…

Your Mercedes wasn’t enough? Your golden necklaces weren’t enough? Your trust fund wasn’t enough? Your vodka and cognac weren’t enough? All your debaucheries weren’t enough?

Cho’s problem wasn’t with jocks but people who he considered ‘rich’. Cho must have been born without a sense of reference because he was going to an expensive university in Virginia Tech, owned an Apple computer, and had enough money to buy at least two new handguns. That’s not exactly poor. Also, Cho mentioned Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold in his video manifesto as being ‘martyrs’. Just another copycat like Gill.

Now let’s go to Coward Prime, Eric Harris…

Everyone is making fun of me because of how I look, how fucking weak I am, and shit, well I will get you all back, ultimate fucking revenge here. You people could have shown more respect, treated me better, asked for more knowledge or guidance more, treated me more like a senior, and maybe I wouldn’t have been so ready to tear your fucking heads off. … Same thing with all those rich snotty toadies at my school. Fuckers think they are higher than me and everyone else with all their $ just because they were born into it?

See, he hated jocks and rich kids. Again back in 1999 not everyone had a computer and they were pretty expensive. His cohort Klebold drove a BMW and they both lived in the suburbs. Their families weren’t exactly hurting financially.

Oh, but I hear the wailing and gnashing of teeth already. “Trench, Harris even says that he was made fun of, isn’t that bullying?” To put it bluntly, no. First off if I was just made fun of at school that would be considered a good day. Secondly, since Harris is a paranoid psychopath anything that is said to him he could consider being made fun of. Lastly, please allow me to expound on a theory that I put out there a few years ago.

Here’s what I think set Harris off. Harris wanted to be with the in crowd so much that it hurt. When he approached someone from the so-called in crowd he was either rejected outright or he perceived that he was being slighted by them. I think that one incident like this is what set Harris off. The fact that he was already engaging in anti-social criminal behavior probably didn’t help.

I also think that Cho and Gill probably had some type of similar situation that was a flash point for them as well which made them easily identify with Harris hence the copycats. None of them were bullied.

Dr. Dutton says as much…

Overall, this analysis suggests many of the media’s cliches regarding mass killers appear to be wrong. They were bullied? “This group greatly exaggerates the negativity of their treatment, as reported by third-party school peers,” the researchers note, adding that their writings contain few references to specific experiences of being a bullying victim.

Yet with all the evidence against them and other school shooters being bullied lesser minds will still contend that is the real reason behind school shootings rather than paranoid jealousy of megalomaniacs.

Elad Nehorai: Another Columbine mythbuster

Eric Harris, Adam Lanza and Evil:

myth

Elad Nehorai is a blogger and writer who wrote a series of posts comparing Sandy Hook to Columbine. One of his points of contentions I respectfully disagree with is that the parents should not be held responsible for the massacres. In his opinion this makes the school shooters out to be victims. In my opinion the parents should be held partially responsible for these tragedies as they could have easily prevented them but the one thing we do agree upon is that school shooters, especially Adam Lanza and Eric Harris, are never victims.

I urge you to read both of his posts, the first one is linked in the article I linked to. I can’t do his work any justice being the hack that I am but please allow me to leave you with some of his words about Eric Harris and the persistent myth that he and Dylan Klebold were bullied….

Eric and Dylan weren’t outcasts, and they were hardly ever bullied. In fact, if anything, Eric was a bully himself. They weren’t goth, they weren’t gay and they weren’t outcasts.

Eric Harris was never quietly suffering. In fact, from a young age, Eric was exhibiting signs of being a born killer.

In fact, one of the most pervasive myths about Columbine was that it was a school shooting. It wasn’t. It was a failed bombing. Eric and Dylan had planted bombs throughout the school. There plan was to massacre as many of the students and faculty as possible, with no specific group in mind.

In other words, there were no targets.

Eric’s dream wasn’t to kill jocks or anyone else. His goal in life was to make as many people suffer as possible, as painfully as possible.

Yet still people cling on this myth like it was the last life-preserver on The Titanic, like it was the only thing giving them purpose. Let it go. Not only is it not true but the more you hang on to your high school hate the more you let the bullies win. It’s time to grow up now.

11 years on the myth still lives

This is a blog post from some Staten Island newspaper that is supposed to tackle the issue of bullying. That’s all well and good but when you’re blog post starts out with a false premise I find it hard to take the rest of the article seriously.

In today’s society that old rhetoric no longer holds weight as so many of these kids, especially those on the receiving end of a bully’s threats, taunts and physical abuse, have taken their own lives or lashed out at their bully with fatal consequences (case in point the Columbine massacre).

Emphasis mine.

I thought we were done with this by now. It’s been 11 years since Columbine and there has not been one shred of evidence to my liking that show’s that the cowardly scumbags Harris and Klebold were bullied at Columbine. However there is mounds of evidence that shows that they were bullies themselves.

They were not the outcasts that they were so often portrayed to be. They had friends and in Harris’ case he could have even been considered popular.

What really kills me is that this non-fact of them being bullied is still being flippantly used like it is fact. I wonder of the author of the article even bothered to research that little fact. Somehow I doubt it.

Columbine had nothing to do with bullying and had everything to do with two psychopathic losers who wanted to make a name for themselves as being mass murderers. By claiming they were bullied you do a disservice to true victims of bullying.

I’ve been slacking in this front the past few years because I thought the issue was dead. I guessed wrong and will have to keep up my vigilance on this.

The Last Columbine Mystery

The Daily Beast

Another post by Dave Cullen. This time on a meeting between the parents of Eric Harris and one of his victims, Daniel Mauser.

Very interesting read however it does not change my opinion that the Harrises bear a major responsibility for what happened.

Alvaro Castillo thread 8/18/09

Accused shooter’s journal: ‘Planning your suicide is so fun':

Some more testimony about Castillo wanting to go gay for his dead cowardly hero Eric Harris…

“(He wrote), ‘ Eric is just so good-looking. I can’t believe he couldn’t get a date for the prom. If I was a girl, I would have gone to the prom with him. Does that sound gay, straight or bi?'” Wolf said, citing Castillo’s journal entry.

Now I don’t care if someone is gay, straight or whatever but this goes to show how deep his mutancy was that he was sexually attracted to a mass murderer. As a matter of fact I just invented a new word for people like Castillo. He’s a mutantsexual.

***

I’ll update this tread throughout the day if more information becomes available.

Columbine and computer addiction Part II

I’ve posted about Dr. Jerald Block before. He’s a psychiatrist from the Oregon Health & Science University who theorizes that the cowardly scumbags Harris and Klebold went on their rampage because they were both denied access to their computers in the days prior to their attack. While I don’t agree 100% with Dr. Block’s theory I do think that is does have a lot of merit and may have been the breaking point.

However I’m not here to talk about Dr. Block’s work. I’m here to talk about what in my opinion is lazy journalism.

In this article from UPI they editorialize while paraphrasing Dr. Block…

Prior to the shootings, both teens spent a significant amount of time playing first-person-shooter computer games. Block suggests that these virtual worlds became essential for the teens and that Harris and Klebold may have been unable to distinguish the boundaries between their virtual lives and their real lives — in effect mixing the two.

That seems to imply that Dr. Block thinks that games like Doom were the main cause behind Columbine.

However in this article by WebMD, who Dr. Block actually spoke to, he says no such thing.

Before the attack, shooters Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold spent “more and more time with their computers, to the point that they may have been unable to distinguish the boundaries between their virtual lives and their real lives,” says Oregon Health & Science University psychiatrist Jerald Block, MD.

“Then, as they got into trouble with school authorities, limits were put on their use of the computer. This made them react with homicidal rage and suicidal depression,” he tells WebMD.

Does that sound like Dr. Block is blaming video games? Not to me. Personally it doesn’t even sound like he’s blaming computers or the internet.

He is basically giving a warning to parents to not let their kids immerse themselves wholly into any of these things. Yet the UPI article never mentions that at all.

There’s nothing wrong with editorializing, that’s what I’m doing right now. Editorializing in what’s supposed to be an informative article is just bad journalism.

Did computer addiction cause Columbine?

Study links computer denial to Columbine:

This is one of the more sensible explanations for Columbine I’ve heard in a long time.

Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold went on a killing rage at Columbine High School in 1999 because they were abruptly denied access to their computers, an Oregon psychiatrist says in a published study.

The two young men relied on the virtual world of computer games to express their rage and to spend time, and cutting them off in 1998 sent them into crisis, said Jerald Block, a researcher and psychiatrist in Portland.

“Very soon thereafter – a couple of days – they started to plan the actual attack,” Block said.

Block published his research in the current issue of the American Journal of Forensic Psychiatry, a peer- reviewed journal.

The paper is likely to generate debate, said Cheryl Olson, co-director of the Center for Mental Health and Media at the Massachusetts General Hospital.

Block sifted through thousands of pages of documents released by Columbine investigators and said he believes both Harris’ and Klebold’s parents banned them from their computers after the two were caught breaking into an electrician’s van in 1998.

Harris and Klebold had each previously been temporarily kept off computers at school or at home, and after each incident, Block said, the boys’ writings or behavior became more violent.

Block said he worries about people immersing themselves so deeply and also about cutting them off cold-turkey.

“How do you pull them out, without triggering homicidal or suicidal behavior?” he asked.

Personally I don’t think that was the only reason but it very may well have been a major one. However those two cowardly scumbags were so selfish and spoiled that Dr. Block may be on to something.

Beware of anti-bullying laws

VIEWPOINT ~~ Beware of anti-bullying laws:

This is a great editorial on why anti-bullying laws are ineffective. Here’s my favorite part of the article.

Government regulation of offensive speech opens the door to any complaint of being offended, by anyone, for any reason. The Columbine killers have often been described as victims yet they themselves routinely rejected and harassed all classmates who did not share their antisocial beliefs and behavior. Then they ironically protested of being bullied when their offensive behavior did not endear them to their peers. Had speech laws been in effect at Columbine, students like Klebold and Harris would have made numerous frivolous bullying complaints just to punish everyone they didn’t like.

So wouldn’t that be anti-bullying laws being used to bully?

The penultimate insult

Attack plan on school server:

One of the Columbine killers apparently downloaded plans for a spree of violence into a school computer the day before the shootings, possibly a final act of defiance that might have derailed the massacre if someone had checked the files.

At least 18 pages found in Eric Harris’ school computer files are dated April 19, 1999, about 8:30 a.m. Among the clearest indicators of the rampage that he and Dylan Klebold carried out the next day is a sort of crude list that mentions, “prepare explosives” and “shells.” Another sheet carries the notations “cannon fuse” and “napalm tests.” Drawings of battle gear and what appear to be a swastika are on other pages.

“Had myself or anyone in a position of authority seen these, there would have been a definite confrontation, immediately,” Richard Long, former head of technology for Columbine High School, said Friday. “We would have certainly talked to those individuals.”

But such a scenario was unlikely. The school did not routinely check student computer files partly because it would take so long, Long said. Such files were accessed by authorities only in response to suspicious activity.

Long was also familiar with Harris and Klebold. They were his student assistants for their first two and a half years at Columbine before they got busted for hacking into the computer system and stealing locker combinations.

Long saw the two boys change from “bright-eyed” freshmen to teens with darker attitudes. He believes that downloading the material the day before the shootings – if that is indeed what happened – may have been one way of thumbing their noses at authority.

“They carried propane bottles into the school,” he added. “How much more bold can you be?”

The last sign to go unheeded.

Of God and the Psychopath

The Columbine Diaries: Old Wounds … New Passions:

I’m usually not to one to force my religious beliefs on others but I don’t hide the fact that I’m a Christian. And by Christian I mean one who tries to follow in the teachings of Christ and believes that Christ is the son of God. Not, “bibile-beating zealot who thinks you’re going to hell because you don’t believe in the same things I do”. Now having said that let me share this article with you about a youth pastor from Littleton, Colorado…

I was a youth pastor in Littleton with a youth group made up primarily of Columbine students. In fact, for a time the Bernall family attended our church and Cassie attended some of our meetings. I had made an appointment to meet a student on the Columbine campus for lunch on April 20th, but that morning I woke up feeling very sick and decided to stay home. At 11:30 I got a phone call from one of my interns who was sobbing and urging me to turn on the television.

At first the images struck me as a fire at the school, but within seconds the cold hard reality of what was really going on sunk in to my conscious mind.

The unthinkable was happening. If you were old enough to remember that day, you know what I’m talking about. A quiet suburban neighborhood was transformed into a war zone, except instead of soldiers being shot, there were innocent teens going through hell on earth.

Over the next several months I met with each of my students who were there to let them pour out their anger and grief, and somehow try to answer the unanswerable question of why God would allow this to happen.

Now seven years later the old wounds are reopened with the release of over 900 pages of documents from the killers. Inside you’ll find what you probably expected…angst, hate, vitriolic diatribes, and even a glimpse into the thinking patterns of a psychopath and a depressive.

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t excited about the release of these diaries, I don’t enjoy reliving the feelings of that day. Yet as I have processed things the past few days, I was given an insight that hadn’t occurred to me before.

Perhaps sometimes when old wounds are opened, new passion is born. And that is the case with me today. I work with a ministry that is trying to reach every teen in America with the life changing message of the gospel, and we believe with all our hearts that the message of Christ is the answer to violence in the schools.

One of saddest entries in these diaries is from one of the killers who hoped to find peace in the afterlife. The tragedy of that is that the peace he sought was available to him in this life, and perhaps if he would have found it, 15 families would still have their loved ones. Our hope and prayer is that God will take the calamity and heartbreak of Columbine and use it to reach thousands, even millions of anger ridden students who may simply be looking for peace.

Say what you will about religion but maybe if Harris and Klebold had a little more “Thou shalt not kill” in their lives we wouldn’t even be discussing this.