Opinion The Tattoo

Consumed with hate, shooters needed help

From Columbine shooter Eric Harris' diary. (Released by the Jefferson County Sheriff's Dept.)

BRISTOL, Connecticut, U.S.A. — Hate is defined as a four-letter word meaning severe dislike for someone or something, but last Tuesday two students of Columbine High in Littleton, Colo. took the word hate too far.

They ended the lives of 15 people and forever changed the lives of all their classmates.

We all know students like Eric Harris and Dylan Klebod, the outcasts of our groups, the brunt of our jokes and the object of our disapproving glances. They were the guys that the popular would never be seen with.

Maybe it was those reasons that Harris and Klebod formed the “Trench Coat Mafia.” Perhaps it was their way of belonging to something — of coming together in their joint hatred of jocks, Jews, blacks and Hispanics.

Obviously this group allowed their hatred to grow so strong that they took it upon themselves to make the people that had caused them pain and whom they found inferior pay an ultimate price.

These two men needed help.

There were warning signs that there could have been a problem.

Fights were threatened between the “Trench Coat Mafia” and various other cliques in Columbine High before Tuesday, but nobody thought to look deeper. No one thought the antics of these young men would go any farther, and no one, especially the students of Columbine High, ever fathomed the possibility of being held hostage, begging for their lives and having their friends shot dead.

On Monday the students of Littleton were worried about things like grades and proms, but one day after the shootings, they were simply trying to put the pieces of their lives back in some kind of order, trying to understand why someone would do this.

Unfortunately there are no answers to their questions, and all that is left are the ruins of a school that will never forget.

Jessica Norton is a Reporter for Youth Journalism International.

See this entire issue of The Tattoo:

Kids who kill: school massacre raises fears (Chantelle Garzone, Amanda Lehmert, Collin Seguin, Jessica Majerus and Laura Lindstrom)

Lots of questions, no answers (Chantelle Garzone)
Slaying hits home (Natalie Minor)
You can see the whole published page here.