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 Reasons why Columbine is the most famous shooting

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Marco1211



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PostSubject: Reasons why Columbine is the most famous shooting   Thu Nov 28, 2013 11:28 am

Thought this'd be a cool thread to list reasons as to why Columbine is still the most iconic U.S school shooting. I'll start with a few off the top of my head:

1-There were two shooters.
2-They planned for over a year.
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PostSubject: Re: Reasons why Columbine is the most famous shooting   Thu Nov 28, 2013 11:49 am

3- it happened two weeks before their graduation.
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PostSubject: Re: Reasons why Columbine is the most famous shooting   Thu Nov 28, 2013 12:48 pm

4. They look so normal

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PostSubject: Re: Reasons why Columbine is the most famous shooting   Thu Nov 28, 2013 1:04 pm

5. They wrote journals of which they were aware would be viewed/interpreted post mortem.
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PostSubject: Re: Reasons why Columbine is the most famous shooting   Thu Nov 28, 2013 1:12 pm

They were unfortunately the perfect toxic cocktail of the homicidal and the suicidal.
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PostSubject: Re: Reasons why Columbine is the most famous shooting   Thu Nov 28, 2013 1:36 pm

6. The Basement Tapes not being publicly released, adds an enigma to the event.
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PostSubject: Re: Reasons why Columbine is the most famous shooting   Thu Nov 28, 2013 1:55 pm

@areyoulistening wrote:
4. They look so normal
I don't think, that that is unusual for school shooters.
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PostSubject: Re: Reasons why Columbine is the most famous shooting   Thu Nov 28, 2013 3:17 pm

7. It was the first 'big one' to occur in recent history. There'd been minor ones before, but never quite on this scale.

8. Columbine affected the emergency protocol response for law enforcement massively. The research done on the case fueled a new strategy plan that's in effect when a shooting happens nowadays. (There's quite a bit of FBI documentation on this and related things here that may be of interest to you.)

9. It was designed to be a bombing.
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PostSubject: Re: Reasons why Columbine is the most famous shooting   Thu Nov 28, 2013 4:22 pm

Hale-Bopp wrote:
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
4. They look so normal
I don't think, that that is unusual for school shooters.
No, but at the time it took place it was. That's what gravitated people towards it in the beginning. Since then people have looked into them because of copycats or various other things but you can't tell me that they don't look normal? It was the first thing that caught my attention.

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JDM87



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PostSubject: Re: Reasons why Columbine is the most famous shooting   Thu Nov 28, 2013 4:23 pm

10. It has inspired many other shooters, and subsequently is seen as the most salient shooting to supersede (in numbers of fatalities, for instance) for aspiring shooters. Think of Seung-Hui Cho, Pekka-Eric Auvinen and Kimveer Gill.
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PostSubject: Re: Reasons why Columbine is the most famous shooting   Thu Nov 28, 2013 4:47 pm

@areyoulistening wrote:
Hale-Bopp wrote:
@areyoulistening wrote:
4. They look so normal
I don't think, that that is unusual for school shooters.
No, but at the time it took place it was. That's what gravitated people towards it in the beginning. Since then people have looked into them because of copycats or various other things but you can't tell me that they don't look normal? It was the first thing that caught my attention.
Sure they look normal, but Kip Kinkel, Mitchel Johnson, Andrew Golden, Barry Loukaitis etc. also looked normal. So I don't think is is unusual for school shooters, even at this time.
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PostSubject: Re: Reasons why Columbine is the most famous shooting   Thu Nov 28, 2013 9:59 pm

11. The left behind a lot of home videos, some mimicking exactly what they planned to do on April 20th.

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mrc123



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PostSubject: Re: Reasons why Columbine is the most famous shooting   Fri Nov 29, 2013 12:19 am

Yes! The videos let us feel like we knew them, thus pulling us into their world.
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JDM87



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PostSubject: Re: Reasons why Columbine is the most famous shooting   Fri Nov 29, 2013 4:28 am

12. It was committed by two white teenagers. If it was two black teenagers, I truly doubt it would receive the coverage it did.
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PostSubject: Re: Reasons why Columbine is the most famous shooting   Fri Nov 29, 2013 7:16 am

13. America lost its innocence.
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PostSubject: Re: Reasons why Columbine is the most famous shooting   Fri Nov 29, 2013 8:28 am

14- There was the whole Trench Coat Mafia scare and mystique the media built up. Young people got fascinated by and scared of trench coaters and it even became forbidden to wear one in many schools.

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PostSubject: Re: Reasons why Columbine is the most famous shooting   Fri Nov 29, 2013 8:33 am

15- After the shooting, E&D were practically the faces that would come up when people thought of bullying. When someone mentions bullying, people think of the two boys building pipe bombs in their garage and planning revenge against the jocks that tormented them. People find it chilling because, as Brooks said before, they see parallels of E&D in their schools.
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PostSubject: Re: Reasons why Columbine is the most famous shooting   Fri Nov 29, 2013 11:54 am

16) It was a bombing and a shooting combined.
17) CCTV captures E/D in the cafeteria during the massacre.
18) There was a shootout between E/D and LE.
19) E/D killed with sadistic pleasure. 
20) Hundreds of witnesses survived to tell the world about the horrific events.
21) A huge amount of evidence regarding the planning was discovered in the homes of E/D.
22) Live news media captured the events ( as they were happening ) and flashed it around the world.
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PostSubject: Re: Reasons why Columbine is the most famous shooting   Fri Nov 29, 2013 6:36 pm

23) It's a revenge story.
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PostSubject: Re: Reasons why Columbine is the most famous shooting   Sat Nov 30, 2013 9:03 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
12. It was committed by two white teenagers. If it was two black teenagers, I truly doubt it would receive the coverage it did.
I agree with this and I have often wondered myself, if Dylan and Eric weren't white, would it have been such a big story?

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PostSubject: Re: Reasons why Columbine is the most famous shooting   Sat Nov 30, 2013 9:04 pm

gustopoet wrote:
23) It's a revenge story.
I think a lot of school shootings are revenge stories. Quite a few of them happened because of bullying and the shooters wanting revenge for being bullied.

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PostSubject: Re: Reasons why Columbine is the most famous shooting   Sat Nov 30, 2013 10:01 pm

One of the big reasons that it is infamous in my opinion is that they killed themselves. I know that other school shooters have done this as well, but as far as I know, before Columbine, it didn't seem like shooters killed themselves very often afterwards. It seems like the Columbine shooting started the trend of killing oneself after the act. Killing themselves both added to the infamy of them and the event as well as left a lot of questions unanswered that continue to perplex and fascinate people even today. If they hadn't killed themselves, I don't think this would be the case.
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PostSubject: Re: Reasons why Columbine is the most famous shooting   Mon Aug 17, 2015 7:03 pm

I'm a bit late to jump on this thread ... but reasons why I believe the shooting is so famous:

1. White, upperclass teens. From a materialistic point of view, they had pretty easy lives. Most people judge the quality of a life on (at least partly) materialistic values, ergo find it hard to see why NBK happened.
2. No stand out mental illness/problems. For example, Adam Lanza and Seung Hui Cho were obviously both mentally ill (Lanza was likely a schizophrenic or at least something more than just autistic) and are not nearly as famous or researched. Building on the point of finding it hard to see why NBK happened.
3. They both killed themselves. As they didn't stick around to answer questions, the hunt began to find answers and motives. To this day the hunt continues (although in reality we have a pretty solid idea of why they did it).
4. The vast amount of information and evidence available. The amount of things to research is, obviously, a lot larger. It is easier to piece together the puzzle, so more interesting.
5. First of its kind. Once again using Lanza and Cho as examples, they both followed Columbine. Columbine was the first (and arguably) only of its kind, shocking the nation.
6. Two shooters. The interest is as much in the relationship between E&D as in the events of the shooting themselves.

I can think of more reasons why it is so famous, but I think I will stick to the main points before I start waffling.

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PostSubject: Re: Reasons why Columbine is the most famous shooting   Mon Aug 17, 2015 9:18 pm

Another thing is that is that NBK happened at a time when things in the U.S. seemed to be going well. Economic growth was roaring. We weren't at war*. There weren't any towering national crises that kept us all up at night. That's not to say that everyone everywhere was doing wonderfully, but overall America was in a lot better shape than it is now.

(*Yes, we were bombing the Serbs over Kosovo, but not one American died. The heartaches were all on the other side.)

In the Clinton years, we had our ups and downs, but for the most part things were going well enough that we didn't need to freak out about anything big. Lots of folks were hunkered down, digging for nuggets of wealth in piles of bullshit, shoveling as much money into their pockets as they could.

(Everyone talks about the '80s greed, but the '90s greed was even worse.)

So the media focused on the little things - things that, at other times, would have been crowded off the front page by more-important news.

I mean, look at O.J. Simpson.

From June 1994 through October 1995, you could not watch a TV newscast or read a newspaper or magazine without hearing about Simpson. There were folks who wouldn't leave the house, who wouldn't even leave the sofa in front of the TV, so engrossed were they in the minutia of his endless trial.

His civil trial in late '96 and early '97 was a big deal, as well.

Why should anyone have cared? He was famous, yeah, but it was so overdone.

And then the biggest story in 1998 was that Clinton got blowjobs from Monica Lewinsky, then said under oath that he didn't have sex with her. (To him, blowjobs didn't count as sex.) He was impeached for "lying" about it. This dragged on for more than a year - the scandal broke the week before the van break-in in January 1998, but Clinton was not acquitted until mid-February 1999.

The mindset of someone hearing about 4/20 in 1999 was not the same as the mindset of someone hearing about 12/14 in 2012, or even 4/16 in 2007.

Virginia Tech was a lot worse than Columbine, but by 2007 we were shell-shocked by 9/11, Katrina, and a war in Iraq that had become the next Vietnam. Also by that time, the subprime bubble was beginning to burst. The shit was about to hit the fan.

In 2012, we were still crawling out of that hole.
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PostSubject: Re: Reasons why Columbine is the most famous shooting   Sun Sep 06, 2015 9:15 am

1.Better Preparation compare to other school shootings even terrorists(Pistols,Rifles,pipe bombs,propane bombs.)
2.Bullying.Not many school shootings involve Bullying
3.High Intelligence or smart.Not many 17 years old teens can make bombs and knowing how to hide from police or parents.
4.Combine the points above,they reassemble Jokers from Batman.Intelligence,Preparation.
5.Legacy.In Virginia Tech Shooting,Cho only left a video to explain things.But in Columbine,they left Journals,Video(Basement Tapes,Hitman for Hire).And making people have more attention on them.The shootings afterwards,the shooters were used the example of Columbine.
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PostSubject: Re: Reasons why Columbine is the most famous shooting   Sun Sep 06, 2015 11:01 am

As the Zero Hour documentary mentions, the two of them were bonded by a shared rage. It sets it apart from other shootings. Also, if you look into the likes of the Cho and Lanza stories , they were both generally seen as mentally ill individuals. Eric and Dylan seemed like normal teenagers to most people. Sure, they were both on medication, but they both had part-time jobs, both had driving licenses, both did well at school. They blended in perfectly.
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PostSubject: Re: Reasons why Columbine is the most famous shooting   Mon Sep 07, 2015 11:57 pm

Eric and Dylan are so much more interesting and likable (almost like fictional) characters than all these other shooters, who are usually just lone one dimensional idiots who are trying to get the same fame. The fact that there is two of them and that they are two very different people, the fact that there is just so much information out about these guys, we even know what they ate for breakfast or who was at their fourth birthday party, none of these other spree killers have this much unnecessary tidbits released about them.

Also the whole 90's feel around the whole thing makes it much more interesting than nowadays, where one person is shot and a billion cell phones are on, summoning the swat there in seconds, as well as all the 90's culture elements surrounding it all makes it much more interesting than modern shooting. The mystery and the fact that all the motives they displayed, wouldn't add up to something so destructive. The fact that it was a bombing and not just walk into the school with a gun for fun (which 99% of people seem to think it was).

The fact that Eric and Dylan are dead and not in custody, if they had been arrested, they would have all their mysteries squeezed out of them like a sponge, the fact they are not here leaves it open to endless possibilities to be discussed.

I actually can't stand any of the other school shootings, i'm interested in Charles Whitman, the Texas university sniper, but that was a whole different world back then and it doesn't follow the same formula as a 'school shooting' and the other one is Virginia Tech, because it's a perfect storm situation again where many many many people failed to see Seung's downward spiral and the fact it was in 2007 that you'd think they would have learnt from their mistakes, and the the amount of people he was able to kill and get access to guns and go through with this all was unbelievable.
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PostSubject: Re: Reasons why Columbine is the most famous shooting   Mon Sep 14, 2015 10:01 am

Lot of good arguments were mentioned. I think I want to stress the following:

1. Media misrepresenting it as goths, Manson, outcasts etc. This struck a cord with the very real alienation and presecution some actual goths, manson-fans etc felt.
Obviously this also brought the actual M.Manson and KMFDM to comment, which in turn spiraled into more media attention right down to "Bowling for Columbine" and other nonsense.

2. White, middle class kids from good homes living in what was considered a nice hood. People couldn't brush it away as "dixie white trash hicks in the sticks" anymore (Paducah).

3. Obviously was not a random brust of violence, long planning was made

4. Videogame scare.

5. Violence in hollywood scare.

6. Two shooters and neither was "crazy" (obviously delusional, autistic, hallucinations etc). People were not able to brush this one off as an obvious "nutcase" (Kinkel and other delusional lone shooters).

7. "I Believe in God hence I was killed to be a martyr" and other stories.

8. Last and probably least important is that the case was interesting for researchers.



Frankly, I think once the "attention avalanche" started nobody coudl stop it and you had E&D on the TIME cover and "Bowling for columbine" and "Elephant" etc. Then actual followers and killings inspired by CHS.

But its important to note that what set off the initial avalanche was mostly hogwash, hearsay and nonsense - Goths, Manson, videogames, Jack Thompson, TCM as a nationwide conspiracy and whatnot

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PostSubject: Re: Reasons why Columbine is the most famous shooting   Tue Sep 22, 2015 10:11 pm

Two reasons they distinguished themselves from earlier killings-
1. Before Columbine, even the deadliest high school shootings only 5 dead or less. Not counting the shooters themselves, 13 where killed at Columbine.
2. They left so much documentation-journals, videos, etc., that allowed Eric and Dylan to analyzed on a far deeper level than any other shooters prior to Columbine.

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Marco1211



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PostSubject: Re: Reasons why Columbine is the most famous shooting   Fri Sep 25, 2015 12:24 am

After looking back, here's my official list of reasons:

1. Two shooters instead of one and the intrigue in that entire relationship.

2. The preparation that was taken in this shooting and it wasn't something thought of last minute, very chilling.

3. As mentioned, the amount of information about Eric and Dylan online is mindblowing and makes you almost feel like you actually knew them. You have home videos, journals, recordings, insane amount of documents, etc.
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