Murder on Their Minds Essay

The first article I chose was from Newsweek July 17, 2006. The article titled Murder on Their Minds; The Columbine Killers left a troubling trail of clues. This article was written by Susannah Meadows. In this article Meadows talks about the evidence found belonging both to Eric Harris and to Dan Klebold. The article starts out by describing a situation that none of us would ever hope to experience. That of finding a journal that someone we love so much was keeping about killing people.

The journal belonged to Eric Harris who attended Columbine High School and was one of the murderers from that tragic event. The first description she gives of Harris writing in his journal was about all the people he was going to kill and mentions how he had justification, in his mind. He stated, in his journal entry, as quoted by Meadows, “Everyone is always making fun of me because of how I look… well I will get you all back.”  This I feel is very pertinent to the reasons the two kids did the shooting in the first place. The simple fact that they felt unaccepted, maybe even hated, by other individuals and this caused isolation from their peers.

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Meadows continues in her article to talk about how circumstances arose that gave a connection between Harris and Klebold. Klebold also keeping a journal had a different approach to his writing. Where Harris explained his reason for wanting others to die, Klebold seemed to write in a rampage of anger and depression. His writings were about how many people must die and that he felt stuck in humanity. This led to mentions of suicide. The loneliness he felt was turned into anger. There was a point when he did feel optimistic. A girl came into the picture. Love was written in his journal and things seemed like they could have take a turn, but when his best friend left him to hang out with the friend’s new girlfriend, the anger built and Harris came into the picture.

Their initial meeting is not mentioned, but I could only imagine how the process of their plans could have taken. The very fact that they were planning to kill all of these people and then themselves is really unbelievable. The article ends with explaining the situation of their home life and families. Harris’ father was in the process of looking for therapists and unsure how to deal with the situation. Klebold actually mentioned in his journal that he had “a nice family, a good house, food, a couple good friends, and possessions.” The bad side of this was his low self-esteem. He felt like no one accepted him.

I chose this article because I feel that it shows a real relevance to society. So many teenagers are looking for a place to belong. This very tragic event could have been avoided if these two teens, almost adults would have had a place to turn to. The author leads the reader to feel that it was a situation that could have been avoided had the parents only known more about what their children were feeling. The unfortunate thing is that their children kept it all to themselves.

I feel sorry for the situation, because after reading this article I can not think of a simple solution to the problem. Teenagers will like who they want to like, they can not be forced to like someone, especially if the person does not like themselves. I also can not say if the parents are really to blame. It sounds to me like the families lived in nice homes, had nice things, and in Harris’ situation his father was working on getting a therapist. I would have to say that the author was leading the reader in this article because of the data that was given, but I’m still left wondering if there is a solution or not.

The one thing I question is whether there were other kids in the school who felt the same way, but did not do something this drastic. What caused them not to flip out the way these two individuals did. I feel this article portrays a very tragic event and gives a very plausible reason for its occurrence, however I do not see a second side expressed and I would question the motives of the author in that case. I do however see how society reading this could benefit. It should open eyes of parents to pay closer attention to their children and encourage them to give their kids support. Our society is filled with unhappy people. How do you make happiness? Many would like the answer to this question.