***WARNING: Violence Trigger***
Back in 1993, I was a 7th grader sitting first period Orchestra class when a teacher came in and told everyone to leave.
I was the last student out the door, and I overheard the orchestra teacher ask the other teacher what was going on.
“There’s a kid with a gun shooting people.”
I ran out of the dark building into the blinding sunlight, searching for my friends.
The rumors were running far and fast. Twelve people were dead, the principal was dead, my English teacher had dodged a bullet, then tackled the kid and taken the gun away from him.
Turns out the last bit was true.
Final casualty count: 2 wounded students, both survived. The student with the gun was arrested and disappeared into the Youth Authority, I can’t even remember his name any more.
Events like the Columbine shooting hit me pretty hard. For obvious reasons. I also know how much the media and the rumor mill can spin something out of control.
According to a new report, everything you have heard about the Columbine shooting was wrong.
It’s a portrait of Harris and Klebold as a sort of In Cold Blood criminal duo — a deeply disturbed, suicidal pair who over more than a year psyched each other up for an Oklahoma City-style terrorist bombing, an apolitical, over-the-top revenge fantasy against years of snubs, slights and cruelties, real and imagined.
Along the way, they saved money from after-school jobs, took Advanced Placement classes, assembled a small arsenal and fooled everyone — friends, parents, teachers, psychologists, cops and judges.
“These are not ordinary kids who were bullied into retaliation,” psychologist Peter Langman writes in his new book, Why Kids Kill: Inside the Minds of School Shooters. “These are not ordinary kids who played too many video games. These are not ordinary kids who just wanted to be famous. These are simply not ordinary kids. These are kids with serious psychological problems.”