Today marks the ten-year anniversary of the infamous Columbine High School Massacre and I still get chills up my spine reflecting upon what happened that day. I was a freshman in high school at time and I recall vividly all of the various reactions to this event. Looking back on it now with hindsight, the responses to this and other massacres were based on hysteria rather than rational policy-making. Every time something like this happens, the panic lasts for days, weeks, months, and even years in some cases. The residual panic takes on the form of great moralistic crusades to rid the world of whatever material evils allegedly contributed to these tragic events.
Case in point, after Columbine there were changes to our school codes to supposedly help prevent another massacre: trenchcoats were banned, “Goth” culture was stamped out, student speech was put under greater scrutiny, and a host of other ridiculous measures were put into place to effect a sort of conformity among the students. The new policies were practically Orwellian in their scope. As if this wasn’t bad enough, “violent video games” became yet another target and there were even Congressional hearings to determine how to regulate the video game industry. Oh, and we can’t forget the loud cries for even more gun control legislation. It was a statist’s dream come true.
Of course none of these policies actually worked to prevent more massacres. They were just silly efforts to make the general public think that the “planners” were actually doing something. In point of fact, public officials didn’t have a clue then and still don’t have a clue now regarding why these massacres happen. They have a completely warped view of human nature, not realizing that human beings exist in a state of total depravity such that it spills over into horrific events like this. The two murderers who carried out the Columbine massacre didn’t do it because of video games, lax gun laws, or “Goth” culture. They committed this crime because their hearts were hardened toward evil, something the state cannot possibly bind.