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Mass Media
Part I: The Problem.
In the aftermath of the Columbine school shootings, parents were eager to find someone or something to take the blame for the tragedy. We as Americans are a culture that has to be able to control the outcome of our everyday lives. When something happens that catches us off guard, we get frightened and jump to conclusions. With no closure in sight from the columbine shootings, parents across the country wanted answers. Instead of evaluating their own parenting, people began to say that video games, movie and television were the problem. The idea was that by eliminating the violence on TV and that will stop kids from being violent. The news media, fearing for its ratings took this idea and ran with it doing in depth stories and all types of special reports.
The goal of this newsletter is not to place blame on anyone, but to bring to the realization that the only way to help our youth is to not blame outside factors for behavior but approach the problem directly, in the home, face to face with the child.
Columbine: The tragedy
On a sunny spring day in April 1999, a suburban high school in Jefferson County, Colorado, found itself under attack by two of its own. In less than fifteen minutes of the first-lunch period on that Tuesday, two student gunmen killed 13 and wounded 21 before they turned the guns on themselves in the most devastating school shooting in U.S. history. Columbine High School is one of three in the unincorporated southeast portion of Jefferson County. The county itself lies on the west side of the Denver metropolitan area and is the most populated county in the state. The large unincorporated region along the county’s southern plains and foothills has a population of nearly 100,000 residents – 1,945 of who attended Columbine High School.
The two student gunmen were Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. Their plans for attacking the school, recovered by investigators after the tragedy had taken place, evolved over one year’s time. In those plans, Klebold and Harris outlined a mission to kill as many students and faculty as possible. They would set off destructive bombs inside the school and then shoot any survivors trying to run out. Bombs inside their cars would explode later, killing law enforcement, fire or medical personnel responding to the scene. There are indications that their initial plan was for the Columbine High School attack to occur on Monday, April 19. While there was no specific reference made in their writings to this date being an important anniversary, it must be noted that April 19, 1999 was the fourth anniversary of the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and the sixth anniversary of the Branch Davidian standoff in Waco, Texas.