I think that everyone will or already has spoken about the tragedy in Littleton, Colorado in the 3rd week of April 1999. The massacre in a school will take a long time to fade from our hearts and minds.
For me, it has extra sadness. We had such a tragic incident here in Montreal a decade ago (has it already been that long?). That history could repeat has me crying.
University of Montreal. The Polytechnique. Mark Lepine. These are names forever burned into the minds and hearts of everyone who lives in our city. A lunatic came into the Polytechnique building and slew at least a dozen innocent women before taking his own life.
One of my acquaintances, Eric, lost his fiancée on that black day. When I met him, he seemed to be OK... but others in the group told me how crazed with grief he'd been for a long time. Albeit indirectly, I have an idea what the families who suffered losses in Littleton are going through.
Many are now trying to find something - ANYTHING - to blame for the young men who did this to make the choice to do so. They blame television programs, or music, or guns... I won't get mixed in with the ongoing debates about guns, but I have learned from history that finding a cause will be almost pointless; disturbed people will find inspiration in anything because they're deranged. It could be a Backstreet Boys song that set them off. Is it the song's fault? No.
The notorious Son of Sam claimed that a dog spoke to him, telling him to kill. Does this mean that dogs are the cause? No.
All that matters right now is that a tragic event has repeated. Work on healing. The causes will wait.
Update: On April 29th, a kid in Alberta, Canada, tried to start a killing spree, copying the blue trenchcoat of the Trenchcoat Mafia. He was stopped, but not before killing one student and leaving another one in critical condition. *sigh*
©1999 by Jeff Boman
Last updated April 30, 1999