Friday, April 20, 2007
Today is the anniversary of the infamous Columbine shooting (April 20, 1999). And somehow the massive tragedy of that first major school shooting, that should have been a catalyst for repentance in our nation (or at the very least an eye-opening litmus test), has instead become the horrifying reality of today. Murder has become the new “rock and roll” of our generation. In our parents’ day, students rebelled “against the system” by chewing gum in class, talking out of turn, and not saying “yes sir” and “yes ma’am.” I’m only 25, but I remember a day when the worst cases of rebellion consisted of rock and roll, substance abuse at under-age parties, and a little bit of sex on the side. As horrible as that is, I don’t know that before 1999 “mass murder” was in the catalogue of options for the average high school student. Today, I dare say it’s becoming the norm.
Case in point: I turned on the news this morning and four of the major headlines were about other school shooting threats that the “VT Massacre” have inspired this week. And it’s my understanding that this guy behind the VT shooting (I’ve purposely decided not to remember his name, for a reason I’ll explain in a minute) had some sick admiration for the two students behind the Columbine tragedy (again, choosing to forget names). Let me rephrase that: the troubled, outcast students who went on a rampage of violence 8 years ago today are not only remembered by our youth, they’re admired as a sort of celebrity? And now in the space of five days, at least four more school shooting attempts have been made in the likeness and admiration of the VT massacre. It is overwhelmingly troubling to me, the rate of decline in our nation’s moral compass.
But the thing that angers me the most is not the confused, underdeveloped teenagers who somehow think it’s as “cool as rock and roll” to shoot their classmates and teachers; the thing that angers me the most is that the OVER-developed (that is, calloused and unaffected) adults in charge of our media decided that it was appropriate for people young and old, near and far, across the country and around the world, to see and hear this sick and deranged kid’s confession on the evening news, in full color. And now the images of an angry young man holding a gun to his head are forever burned into MY mind- and I wasn’t even looking for it. Imagine what responsibility we've placed on the troubled young people of America who now have to unpack that broadcast of the killer’s confession! We blame hollywood for fictional movies and then make a real-life killer into a celebrity by giving him a platform for his cause.
Today’s students are growing up with “mass murder” in their catalogue of options simply because of the horrifying acts themselves. But then the adults who should know better are feeding them verbatim- facial expressions and all- the reason and inspiration behind it all.
God, help our restless nation to find its rest in You.