The Columbine Killers
The St or y
The Columbine High School massacre occurred on April the 20th, 1999, at
Columbine High School in Columbine, Colorado in the United States. Two
students, Eric Harris (1981-1999) and Dylan Klebold (1981-1999) killed 12
students and a teacher, injured 24 others, before committing suicide. It is the
fourth-deadliest school massacre in American history, after the 1927 Bath
School disaster, 2007 Virginia Tech carnage and the 1966 University of
Texas mass murder, and the deadliest for an American high school.
The bloodbath provoked extensive debate regarding gun control laws, the
availability of firearms in the United States, and gun violence involving teenagers. Much discussion
also focused on the nature of high school cliques, subcultures and bullying, as well as the role of
violent movies and video games in American society.
The Wo rl dvi ew
Eric Harris was a mate riali st. He believed that ‘only nature exists’. This view is sometimes referred
to as ‘sc ie ntism ’.
He wrote the following in one of his notebooks:
“just because your mommy and
daddy tell you blood and violence is
bad, you think it’s a f—g law of
nature? wrong, only science and math
are true, everything else, and I mean
every f—g thing else is man made.”
The belief that only the natural sciences hook onto reality is a popular belief among some western
people. If only ‘nature’ exists then the only things we can believe in are those things that can be
measured by scientific equipment. This leads to the conclusion that moral statements such as
‘murder is wrong’ are man made and empty of any genuine cognitive content. This view is also
referred to as l ogic al p ositi vi sm .
S ub versi ve Q ue stio ns The Bib le
1) Where exactly did Eric and Dylan go The Bible is often viewed as an intolerant
wrong in their thinking and living? book which strongly disapproves of murder.
In Exodus chapter 20 verse 13 we are
2) Were the Columbine killers mad or confronted with a commandment that
‘rational’ given their distinctive beliefs? seems to condemn murder. Is this
commandment intolerant? Where else in
3) Were Eric and Dylan responsible for biblical teaching do you find a rejection of
their crimes? murder?