Columbine, Who Is To Blame?


     As we now look back on the bloodbath which occurred at the Columbine High School here in Littleton, Colorado, April 20, 1999, we ask the question: who is to blame? We ask this question not just to assign fault, but in an effort to arrive at answers and seek to prevent future tragedies of this type and magnitude.

     Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, the shooters, are to blame. When I saw these young men a few months ago, it was very evident they had made a deliberate choice as to values and lifestyle. Rebellion and hatred seemed to exude from them as they (along with about six other apparent Trench Coat Mafia members) defiantly strutted down the corridors of the local mall. Both these young men were obviously of accountable age (spiritually speaking). Ezekiel addressed individual accountability when he penned: "The soul that sinneth, it shall die…" (Ezek. 18: 20). As I viewed the fifteen memorial crosses (Eric and Dylan included) and sensed the emotions of the hundreds of people also viewing the crosses, I had a rush of mixed emotions. On one hand, I thought it was good that the shooters had been included in the memorial – no bitterness (of course, the father of one of the victims recently removed the crosses for Harris and Klebold, two hours after I left the scene). However, these young men committed mass murder!

     The parents are to blame, according to many. Parents have a serious charge to "bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord" (Eph. 6: 4). The scriptures teach, "the rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame" (Prov. 29: 15). While the Harris family and the Klebolds do not live far from me, I do not know them. I do know, contrary to the beliefs of many, it is possible to correctly bring up a child, set a good example, and the child still go astray (Ezek. 18: 3-13). However, it is hard to imagine these parents not being more aware of all the attendant signs and loud statements being made by Eric and Dylan. Future information, though, may reveal more parental involvment than is now perceived.

     Society is to blame. There is no doubt that society has contributed to the eleven school shootings which have occurred during the past couple of years. The calling of evil good and good evil is now beginning to really produce fruit, especially in our impressionable young people. Society fuels Hollywood, and the movie industry bolsters society!

     Little regard for human life and violent video games. Any half-alert person is aware of the increasing disregard for the sanctity of human life. In many instances, you see more concern for the protection of animals than for human life. Thirty-nine million abortions and light sentencing for murder are indicative of the lessening regard for human life. There is also no doubt that the violent video games which many of our young people regularly play have the potential to adversely influence. One of Eric’s favorite games is used by the military to teach killing, I understand. The games desensitized and build killing skills. Over and over multiplied thousands of young people daily play these games – aiming, shooting, and watching their victims die! Our thought and mental occupations determine what we are and how we live (Prov. 4: 23). Of course, all these young people do not act out their fantasies. However, when all the components converge, mass, horrible murder is the result.

     The public schools are to blame. Many schools have lost (relinquished) their authority and control. The last three times I was in public schools, it was evident by the open behavior of many of the students that these schools had no control and structure. I, in one way, feel sorry for many of the teachers and the administrators. They sight the family as being responsible for the problems. Nonetheless, humanism, organic evolution, and the new morals concept (no morals) which are often high up on the list of teaching priorities in too many schools, certainly contributes to what we are now clearly witnessing in America.

     The police and the law enforcement. More information is now (5/5/99) becoming public as to the "lack of focus and follow-up" in the case of Harris and Klebold, going back to April of 1998. The Police admit failures, but sight the breakdown of the family, lack of funding, and increased civil infractions as the reasons for their failures.

     Concerned reader, as you have probably already concluded blame can be directed in a number of areas – beginning with Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. The question is, what are we going to learn from this and other tragedies? I predict if major changes are not made, there will be more school shootings, escalating in magnitude and the degree of the violence. Simplistic answers such as more gun control and bullet deflective clothing are not the answers. We must restore family values, biblical morality, and common decency or we are heading for self-destruction! (On a bright note, please read an article written by an eighteen year old whose thinking is clear and decisive – click here).