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Who Is Responsible For The Columbine Killings?

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Cause Ð'- Effect

Even since the shooting at Columbine High School caught the attention of America and all the world on April 20, 1999, high school shootings and other forms of violence at schools has been plaguing America during the last ten years. It is also found that most of the violence that occurs in high schools is caused by young men. Students aren't feeling safe at school anymore and parents are enraged that students could bring the weapons to school in the first place. Many people have brought their own opinions into play about why violence in schools occurs. Such causes range from violence in the media, being treated poorly by peers and administrators in school, all the way to poor parental decisions. Although these are only a few of the possible causes for violence in schools, they are defiantly the most prevalent reasons.

Violence in the media has long been a possible cause for people to commit violent acts. Everyone has seen a violent television show, watched a violent movie or listened to music depicting graphic violence. These forms of media are available to people of all ages across the United States. A major cause of high school violence may be discovered here. Columbine high school shooters Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris were avid listeners to violent music such as Slipknot and KMFDM. Both groups feature very dark and twisted lyrics, which the shooters listened too without a doubt. Are the lyrics in the music to blame for the violent behavior of two of the group's listeners? Another possible source of the hatred that some shooters have may lie in the television shows they watched. Violent television shows are everywhere today; many primetime or late night shows carrying "Parental Discretion Is Advised" disclaimers. In all honesty the disclaimers shown there are more likely to draw younger viewers in to watch the show, rather than keeping them away. "I don't know if it made me want to watch it more, it's just like, I don't know it's kinda like an advertisement for some cool shit [especially swearing and guns]" Bradley University Freshman Jim Hering said. It seems to be very clear that younger Americans are going to want to watch such shows, regardless of the warnings that the television station puts on before a particular show. Exposing young Americans to such violent shows as "NYPD Blue" graphically show shootings, harsh beatings etc on a regular basis. Exposing people to such things can do nothing but desensitize them to real live violence. The third media medium that has come under heavy fire lately is the video game industry. Nothing could instill a sense of violence into the mind of a person more strongly than actually controlling the person carrying the gun, and consciously shooting another player, just for fun. The Columbine shooters both enjoyed playing a game called Quake 2, an extremely violent (at the time) game released by a software company called id software. The game puts you in control of 8 weapons, from pistols and rocket launchers, to models of the shotguns the two shooters used in their terrible crime. One thing that troubles many Americans is how graphic these so called "First Person Shooters" have gotten since the Columbine days. Now, players are armed with far more realistic weapons, and are able to choose where their shots will land on the body of an enemy. In the Quake days, all shots looked the same when they hit an enemy, a body shot. Now, with games such as Counter-Strike and Soldier of Fortune you can actually tell a difference in the amount of damage that a person takes based on where you shoot them. In the later game, each and every shot that hits your enemy has it's on entry, and exit wounds. Each time you slash the enemy with your knife, a slash appears on the enemy's body wherever you hit them. In today's age of violence among teenagers, is it really appropriate to have software designers such as id continue to make such violent games? Obviously seeing and hearing violence every day, it may be a fair assumption to make that the media's exposure of such violent acts may have caused Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris to commit their heinous crime on April 20, 1999.

A second possible cause for students to come to school with firearms could be poor treatment by others at school. This doesn't mean exclusively by other students, but by administrators and teachers as well. In the case of the Columbine and Thurston and high school shootings,



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