Food for thought, large bite
Date: April 24, 2004 11:00PM
in Saturday April 24 New York Times, David brooks wrote a piece about the psychology of the Columbine boys turned killers. I thought that this shed a good light on what may be in the minds of others. Some may have similar attitudes but lack the homicidal urges that these two had. Here is an excerpt to consider:
"As we've learned more about Harris and Klebold, most of these misconceptions have been exposed. The killers were not outcasts. They did not focus their fire on jocks or Christians or minorities. They were not really members of a "Trenchcoat Mafia."
This week, in a superb piece in Slate magazine, Dave Cullen reveals the conclusions of the lead F.B.I. investigator, Dwayne Fuselier, as well as of the Michigan State psychiatrist Frank Ochberg and others who studied the Columbine shootings.
Harris and Klebold "laughed at petty school shooters," Cullen reports. They sought murder on a grander scale. They planned first to set off bombs in the school cafeteria to kill perhaps 600. Then they would shoot the survivors as they fled. Then their cars, laden with still more bombs, would explode amid the rescue workers and parents rushing to the school. It all might have come off if they had not miswired the timers on the propane bombs in the cafeteria.
What motivated them? Here, Cullen says, it is necessary to distinguish Klebold from Harris. Klebold was a depressed and troubled kid who could have been saved. Harris was an icy killer. He once thought about hijacking a plane and flying it into Manhattan.
Harris wasn't bullied by jocks. He was disgusted by the inferior breed of humanity he saw around him. He didn't suffer from a lack of self-esteem. He had way too much self-esteem.
It's clear from excerpts of Harris's journals that he saw himself as a sort of Nietzschean Superman — someone so far above the herd of ant-like mortals he does not even have to consider their feelings. He rises above good and evil, above the contemptible slave morality of normal people. He can realize his true, heroic self, and establish his eternal glory, only through some gigantic act of will. "