3/5 Columbine Reflections (Pages 144–216)
This section really troubled me. It covered a variety of topics: Eric and Dylan’s criminal background, possible motives, journals/websites, and conspiracy theories. Most of it going deep into psychology, scientific explanations for why they had done it. I had several conflicting thoughts while reading. I wanted to sympathize with Dylan and Eric, you know? They were just kids. At the same time, however, they were kids that mercilessly killed several of their peers. One part in particular left me questioning, “Seven days after the massacre, shortly before sunset, a row of fifteen wooden crosses rose up along the crest of Rebel Hill… On thirteen crosses the messages were loving and uncontroversial. The killers’ crosses hosted a bitter debate. ‘HATE BREEDS HATE.’ ‘How can anyone forgive you?’ ‘I forgive you,’ someone responded. Half the messages were conciliatory: ‘Sorry we all failed you.’ ‘No one is to blame.’” I was on both sides of this debate, just like whether or not to pray for the killers’ grieving parents. Even when people bring God into the picture, both sides seem right and both seem wrong. I wonder what Dave Cullen was thinking as he wrote this, seriously. I still can’t pick a side.
As I previously mentioned, I felt that Eric was more of the ringleader between the two. This idea is further proved as I read on to hear about their several “missions” and other criminal excursions. Dylan just seemed lost to me. He believed in God while Eric didn’t. Eric had a much better self image than Dylan, however. It makes me genuinely sad that he was so sad, no one deserves to feel that lonely. Now, I never thought I’d find myself empathizing a murderer, ESPECIALLY one of the Columbine shooters, but I wish he had someone else in his life to guide him in another direction. Eric on the other hand, was a maniac and there are tons of journal entries to prove it. That boy had evil in his heart and honestly I got goose bumps while reading this part, “For the last year of his life, Eric Harris had written down many of his plans in a journal. Fusilier zipped over and read the opening line: ‘I hate the fucking world.’” You and I both know that he did not feel a smidge of sympathy while he shot those kids from his own school. I had never realized how disturbing this book may turn out to be, but it’s getting there. I can’t imagine the amount of hatred inside of him.
The parts about the conspiracy theories made me fairly angry. They seemed insensitive. While there were thousands in mourning for these 13 children that died, people were busy conjuring up new ideas of how things unfolded. It makes me sick to my stomach, just like 9/11 conspiracies. Now, while professionals are trying to figure out what really happened, they’re spending extra time trying to debunk these insane theories made up by selfish individuals. It just doesn’t make sense to me, especially in the event of a national crisis.
After reading that section, I was left feeling fairly similar to SpongeBob.