Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Scary article about Columbine

Scary article about Columbine


from Slate - The Depressive and the Psychopath



At last we know why the Columbine killers did it.


The author says. But it is the conclusion that is chilling,

Their view of Harris is more reassuring, in a certain way. Harris was not a wayward boy who could have been rescued. Harris, they believe, was irretrievable. He was a brilliant killer without a conscience, searching for the most diabolical scheme imaginable. If he had lived to adulthood and developed his murderous skills for many more years, there is no telling what he could have done. His death at Columbine may have stopped him from doing something even worse.



I do not know if I can go along with such a conclusion. It smacks of too much too faith into providence, of desperately searching for justification for something that cannot be justified, explained, or truly comprehended. The concluding phrase is typical, "... there is no telling what he could have done. His death at Columbine may have stopped him from doing something even worse." Is not that something that is true for *everyone* ? There is certainly no telling what might happen to me, to Dave Cullen (the author), or Dr. Robert Hare (psychologist). Any untimely passing can be thought of as having stopped the person from "doing something worse" or "doing something better." The choice of adjectives is controlled largely (purely?) by the speaker's relationship with the deceased.

I imagine there are quite a few more pathological liers and genuine psychopaths in the world than just Harris. The question the article does not get to adressing is whether there indeed was something in his world, his environment that turned him from a liar into a murderer. And that is precisely the question other people try to answer when they talk of the "Trenchcoat mafia" and bullies.

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