Something which annoys me in the debate over reasons behind school shootings is the argument that video games, music and movies are to blame. Bullshit.
Take me for an example. I love horror movies and listen to punk, industrial and death rock with lyrics about killing people, zombies, death and other violent things. And I’m interested in school shootings. I watch documentaries about them, I read about them, I watch movies about them.
Hey, I must be a potential killer! But I’m not. Because I’m not a violent person. I don’t even think I have the right to kill a animal to eat it. I admire human rights activists, I look up to Nelson Mandela, I want to do volunteer work. And I listen to KMFDM and own a copy of Texas Chainsaw Massacre. But those things doesn’t make me want go out and kill people. Because I’m just not a violent person. Playing the goriest and most violent video games wouldn’t make me a killer either.
Yes, most of the school shooters listened to angry music and liked violent movies and video games. But that’s because they were violent people to begin with. Of course a violent person choose that kind of entertainment, because they can relate to it, they like it. But those things doesn’t make them violent.
It’s like when I listen to music. Many times I choose to listen to music which I can relate to for the moment. If I’m sad I listen to sad music. The music doesn’t make me sad. I’m sad to begin with and choose music to match that mood. It’s the same with violent people. Of course they’re drawn to violent things, but those things doesn’t make them what they are.
Trying to figure out why school shooters do what they do is hard. Each case is different from the other, each person have different reasons. I’ve read a lot of theories of why the Columbine killers did what they did. One of them is that Eric Harris was in fact a psycopath. Well that makes sense, doesn’t it? He killed people because he was a psycopath and liked hurting others. Of course that’s just a theory but I think it’s a way better theory than blaming Marilyn Manson. Poor Manson. He was blamed for influencing the Columbine killers to do what they did with his music when in fact neither of them listened to or liked his music.
How do you prevent school shootings? Well for a start minimizing the number of weapons circulating. I think a reason to why Sweden haven’t had a school shooting is that it’s very hard to obtain a weapon here. Guns aren’t common at all. In Finland on the other hand you’re allowed to own a weapon at the age of fifteen with parental consent. Kids not old enough to drive or vote gets to own a gun?! Where’s the logic in that! Hey, you’re not old enough to handle a car because it’s dangerous but you’re sure old enough to own a deadly weapon! Now, COME ON?!
Another thing which would help prevent things like this from happening is the police taking treats serious. The guy in Finland who shot up his school this week had been taken in for questioning by the police the day before he went psycho and killed ten people. The police released him and the day after he goes and do that. It’s just like Columbine. The police didn’t follow up a report of Eric Harris violent behaviour and treats. And look what he did.
What more can be done? See the children. Listen to them. Make them feel seen, heard and important. A kid who isn’t depressed don’t kill his classmates and then shoot himself.