Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Columbine by Dave Cullen

Image result for Columbine Book

Why am I posting again after four years?  I mean, why not?  It'll just be me, so I guess the "Review Me Twice" is kind of moot.  Mostly it's review me once, but that's ok.  The spirit of more than one review is there.

Dave Cullen gives you insight into a tragedy that really had a huge impact on my generation.  We've grown up with the school shootings, and the violence, and the constant arguements over gun laws.  We were in middle/high school for Columbine, we were in college for Tech, and adults & parents during Sandy Hook.  School shootings have defined our lives in a way that it has for no other generation.

And reading Columbine is tough.  When it happened, it was scary because it could happen to you, at your school.  As an adult, you realize it still could, still does, but this time it's your children at risk.  And it's infuriating.

Cullen also writes a fantastic chapter about media portrayal.  There were a thousand rumors flying around at the time, most of them egged on by news networks.  Some of those rumors still persist today:  The idea that the shooters were bullied, that their video games influenced them, that the parents knew, that the trench coats were chosen for a specific reason.  None of them were true, and yet "getting back at the jocks" would probably be the first answer you got if you asked someone on the street why Eric and Dylan did it.

Honestly, the impact this book had on me makes me write about it here.  It makes you angry because the measures that have been taken to stop it, are not ones that will help.  Kids are put through active shooter drills, schools have installed metal detectors and police have learned better how to move in once shooting starts.  But at no point have guns been restricted or laws enacted to make it harder for the shooting to start.

Cullen is about to release a book on the Parkland, FL shootings, and I think it'll be a really interesting read.  I'm sure there will be a lot of comparisons to Columbine.  Also, he wrote Columbine ten years after it happened, when most if not all information had been put out.  It's only been about a year since Parkland, I'm sure with significantly less info being released.  I wonder if he'll have the same kind of conclusions to draw.