“We all know that Columbine continues to draw individuals from world wide,” McDonald, the manager director of Jefferson County Division of College Security, mentioned on Wednesday.
“We’re not a spot to return go to should you’re not a scholar. If you do not have enterprise there. We’re not a vacationer attraction and we’re not a spot so that you can come and achieve inspiration.”
He has good cause to concern that message. Practically 20 years after the mass capturing at Columbine, a whole subculture of on-line followers, generally referred to as “Columbiners,” stays infatuated with the killing and the teenage shooters.
They romanticize and idealize the killers, Dylan Klebold, 17, and Eric Harris, 18, on web sites like Tumblr, the place they publish memes, movies or fan artwork of the shooters. Different occasions they write love poetry, fan fiction, or Photoshop pictures of the killers surrounded by hearts.
“There’s a curiosity trade round them amongst very loopy individuals,” CNN analyst Juliette Kayyem mentioned. “These individuals have been displaying as much as Columbine during the last 4, 5, six months, and simply to finish this, that is precisely what you heard the varsity official say, this isn’t over.”
This weird subculture was significantly related on Wednesday after the FBI mentioned a highschool scholar who was “infatuated” with the Columbine capturing traveled from Florida to Colorado and made credible threats.
The threats pressured the closure of colleges in 19 districts in Colorado on Wednesday because the FBI looked for the suspect. The girl, 18-year-old Sol Pais, was discovered lifeless on Wednesday afternoon from an obvious self-inflicted gunshot wound, authorities mentioned.
Authorities mentioned she purchased a pump-action shotgun upon arriving in Colorado, and described her as carrying a black T-shirt, camouflage pants and black boots.
That is the identical weapon and an analogous outfit utilized by the Columbine shooters in 1999.
The mythology of Columbine
Ralph Larkin, the creator of the 2007 e-book “Comprehending Columbine,” mentioned most of those Columbiners are younger teenage women who romanticize and deify the shooters, partly as a result of they relate to the shooters.
“I believe that the Columbiners usually see themselves as outcasts,” he added.
Dave Cullen, who wrote a e-book in regards to the Columbine capturing, equally mentioned these followers empathized or associated to the mythology of the shooters as outcasts.
“They match the mildew of the imaginary (shooters) that the world believes,” he mentioned. “That is why they’re figuring out with them, and with the entire mythology of (the shooters) being these children who stood up for the little man and to bullies all over the place. (They’re) heroes of the loner outcast sort.”
Certainly, this neighborhood can’t simply be dismissed as just a few nameless trolls.
“Followers might seem to determine and even empathize with (the shooters) as social outcasts, or maybe they’re extra drawn to the lure of the forbidden of becoming a member of such a provocative fandom,” wrote the creator, Andrew Ryan Rico. “Or, and that is particularly related contemplating the ubiquity and accessibility of expertise, they could simply be doing it for the eye.”
“Not all violence is motivated by racial or ethnic hatred, however the glorification of mass murders like Columbine, Sandy Hook, and Parkland may encourage copycat violence,” the web site mentioned.
“With that in thoughts, we’re revising the Neighborhood Pointers on violent content material by including new language to particularly ban the glorification of violent acts or the perpetrators of these acts.”
Historical past of copycats
Being obsessive about Columbine doesn’t, by itself, make somebody in danger to commit violence. Nonetheless, numerous mass shooters previously twenty years have been impressed by or regarded as much as the Columbine shooters.
A girl who befriended Lanza on-line mentioned he was “singularly centered and obsessive about mass murders and spree killings” and regarded upon college shooters “with respect and understanding,” in response to closely redacted FBI paperwork.
Police believed that he had studied the capturing and was making an attempt to imitate it.
“Aguilar’s weapon, apparel, backpack containing explosives and technique of suicide had been all much like these used within the Columbine incident,” mentioned a Howard County police assertion on the time.