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The Columbine Connection
And a love affair with violence

Part one: Video Games and Murderers

This touches on a past editorial (v155, December 2005, called “video games, violence, porn & death”) I did about the changes in video games over the years (back in the day I played Ms. Pac Man, or maybe Tetris), where I brought up a story that someone (who really liked playing Grand Theft Auto) actually mimicked one of the scenes in the video game and killed police officers in the station after he was previously ticketed and brought in to the station. I mentioned that there were pornographic scenes that were hidden from the public, but all over the Internet were the pass codes to get to those scenes.
And this is a video game that teens play.
But anyway, I only mention this because I read in the Naples Daily News today an AP article titled “Gunman said in blog said he liked playing game about Columbine shootings.” Granted, this goth guy in Montreal was a loner who wore dark clothes (describes a lot of my friends I remember from my youth, but none of my friends killed people), but this Kimveer Gill, in his blogs, even mentioned that he wanted to do this, just like when Klebold and Harris when they killed 13 people at the Columbine massacre.
Gill, who loved guns (yeah, you can check out his profile on the site vampirefreaks.com), played the game “Super Columbine Massacre,” yes, there’s actually an Internet game modeled after the 1999 Colorado high school shooting. He said that the game “Postal 2” was “too childish,” and decided to go to Dawson College (yes, a school, like Columbine), where he killed one person and injured 18 others.
Now, I’ve talked about the insanity in these games to begin with, and yes, I’ve mentioned that a lot of people play games like “Grand Theft Auto” that aren’t murderers. And yes, the freedom of people to be able to create games like this (even games as tasteless and tacky as the Internet game “Super Columbine Massacre”) should be preserved. But it’s just sad that someone out there thinks that games like “Super Columbine Massacre” are good for people, and it’s a shame that some — albeit very few — people may want to play out these games, because real life means that little to them.

Part two: Emulating Murderous Heroes

I thought my writing my little piece about someone loving a Columbine Internet video game would be enough for this, but in less than a week after I read about that Canada shooting did I see this AP article, where teens were suspected in a school shooting plot, in part because they were obsessed with the 1999 mass killing at Columbine.
This story can from our own country, actually, in Green Bay Wisconsin, where two 17 year olds (Cornell and Sturtz were these kid’s last names) were stopped after a concerned student actually went to an associate principal of Green Bay West High School, to talk about these two boys. When police checked, Cornell and Sturtz had 20 “crudely made” homemade bombs, as well as 9 rifles and shotguns, a handgun, knives and ammunition. They even had camouflage clothes, gas masks and two-way radios — and mannequin heads that had been previously used for target practice. The reports said Sturtz was “obsessed with pain and death,” and he just lost an Internet relationship with a girl. Police captain Lisa Sturr said, “Sturtz was very upset about this and became extremely enraged and (recently) talked of soon attacking the school like Columbine.”
Well, a good thing this was stopped in advance, but one thing about this AP article I thought was funny is that they gave a lot of detail about the anger and rage of Sturtz, but this is what they said about Cornell: “Cornell has been described as being depressed over the last couple of years and hating school, according to Sterr.” Now, I remember my high school days, and I was pretty damn depressed to have to deal with my parents, and yes, pretty much every child hates school, so I wondered if this Cornell guy was something more like Sturtz’ lackey who would follow blindly, but I don’t know. Then by the last sentence of this AP article by Robert Imire, they reported that another 17 year-old student, Felicia LaPere “said Sturts had a darker side and was into goth culture.” I only bring this up, because not only was Mr. Gill in Montreal was described as “goth” (wow, there really must be a connection with being “goth” and being a killer, then), and because my husband, when looking at what music I listened to in high school and hoe I always wanted to wear black (my mom, bless her heart, wouldn’t let me, so I brought black clothes in my backpack and changed once I got to school) said that for all intents and purposes, even though we didn’t have the name “goth” to cling to, I was in part a goth kid.
It’s funny, how people can make assumptions that “goth” kids are more inclined to be murderers. Good thing my parents made me afraid to be able to do anything on my own, or I might have become a murderer myself. But I suppose it’s the same way more ignorant Americans will hate all people who look middle-eastern, because of the radical Muslim terrorists who attacked the World Trade Center buildings. I actually have a friend who converted so he could be a Muslim, and he is the most caring, nonviolent friend I have.
So much for stereotypes.

So Hell, I’m the boss lady and this is my editorial, so I’m supposed to have a neat wrap-up ending opinion about all of this now. This originally started off as a commentary about video games and American Culture, but it morphed into a love affair with Columbine. Well, I can tell you first off that you shouldn’t make assumptions that “goth” kids are planning to kill anyone (just like how all Muslims aren’t terrorists, silly). And, according to that first editorial about a Canada shooting, you can’t assume that a video game is what drives people to kill. Evidence of that can be found in the second part of this editorial, some people just have sick ideas all on their own, without the help of a video game egging them on. And maybe yeah, maybe these video games do egg on the one who are already so violently inclined, but keel in mind that there are a lot more people who play these albeit sick games who don’t kill people. So maybe is people have a problem with these games (by trying to blame them for the behaviors of murderers who have played them), should look at ways to change the attitude of people who find games like this valuable in the first place.




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Chicago poet Janet Kuypers
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