1999 must be a great year to be alive if you are a criminal! Nobody takes responsibility for his or her own actions anymore. Someone commits a heinous crime, and anything but the criminal gets blamed. It was a harsh childhood, abusive parents, violent movies and video games, the availability of guns and bomb making materials, the Internet, pornography, peer pressure, etc.
In my mind, if you commit a crime, then you are a criminal. I am the only one that makes the decisions I make in life. Others may influence my decisions, but ultimately, I am the one that makes that final choice. No matter how hard and pathetic you think your life is, or how badly society treats you, or what you watch on TV, or what you can buy from the store or read on the Internet, you made the decision to break the law-nobody made the decision for you. Oliver Stone didn’t tell you to watch Natural Born Killers and then go mimic the crimes. The NRA did not make you illegally purchase guns. The Internet did not force you to download recipes for bombs.
The massacre at Columbine High School was a tragedy. Instead of looking at these kids that committed the crime and putting blame where it belongs, everyone was more than willing to point a quick finger of blame so they could feel better somehow. Unfortunately, some have used this tragedy as nothing more than an event to be exploited for their own political gains. People that are afraid of the Internet were quick to point out that Nazi and hate propaganda and bomb-making recipes are easily accessed on the Internet, and that "alternative" ideas seem to flourish on the Internet. Immediately everyone wants to censor the hell out of the Internet and keep their kids away from it. They fail to mention the business and education values of the Internet, and dwell on the negative. Antigun people quickly "forget" about the 60+ bombs that were found and focused merely on the fact that firearms were used by these psychos. They immediately want more gun laws and bans (but fail to mention that dozens of existing gun laws were broken by these boys as it is, and that the laws now being proposed in the aftermath would not have prevented this sort of thing). Others quickly point out that these kids played violent arcade games and watched violent movies–ban these things as well. People that don’t like or understand new music blame Marilyn Manson and other alternative and/or metal bands.
Am I the only one that is saying, "These kids were psychos that should have been stopped before it got this far?" These kids already had criminal records. They wore Nazi paraphernalia to school, they threatened other kids. They had Web pages detailing their bombs and various hate messages. They managed to amass bomb-making materials right in their homes. They got older friends to buy guns for them, et cetera. Did nobody notice this? Where were the parents when these kids were building BOMBS right in the garage?
Am I the only one saying, "I use the Internet. I watch violent movies. I play video games. I’ve listened to heavy metal music. I have been ridiculed by classmates, but I’ve never even thought about killing anybody!" I have seen Natural Born Killers. I have played Doom. I’ve listened to black metal. I own several swords used in martial arts practice. I use the Internet everyday. As far as the finger-pointing crowd goes, I must seem like the most dangerous person in America. And yet I haven’t committed a school massacre. I have never wanted to, nor will I ever. And yet all these things are somehow to blame for these kids going nuts and attacking their fellow classmates at school. Can we stop the finger-pointing for just a second to realize these two kids, and these two kids alone (unless it is proven there were other conspirators involved), made the decision to go into that school and set off bombs and shoot at minorities and jocks?
I take full responsibility for my actions, and I naïvely expect others to do the same. Maybe I should just point fingers and blame others for bad stuff that happens to me. Sorry, but I take too much pride in working for what I want out of life instead of sitting back and blaming others for what I don’t have. And in the same respect, if I screw up, I admit that I screwed up. Nobody’s fault but my own. And if I ever commit some crime and get caught, blame ME instead of the economy, the gun laws, the drug laws, the media, the weather, or any other stupid thing that is on the "cool list of things to blame today."