Long Ni Ko
CJ 102 – G2 (Criminology) on Tuesday
Professor Elizabeth Bartels, Ph. D.
May 1st, 2012
Criminology Term Paper
The Tragedy at Columbine High School
Ever since the school shooting that happened at Columbine High School on April 20, 1999, it has caught the attention of many Americans from all over the United States. High school shootings and other kinds of school violence have been plaguing America for a very long time now. School violence is defined as any violence act that happens inside a school. Many teachers and students have become victims due to the serious issue of school shootings in the United States. Schools used to be the safest places for students because they were being monitored each and every second by the school staffs, teachers, and security guards. However, schools are no longer safe because of the enormous increase of students possessing knives, guns and other deadly weapons at will each year. Parents are very concerned about their children’s safety because their sons and daughters will possibly be the next victims of school violence if something is not done about the issue soon.
The Columbine High School massacre was one of the nation's most deadly school shootings that ever occurred in Littleton, Colorado on April 20, 1999. Dylan Klebold (seventeen years-old) and Eric Harris (eighteen years-old) have killed twelve students and a teacher and injured twenty-three others before committing suicides in the library. The two teenagers’ parents, peers, and teachers were not even aware of their horrifying school shooting plans. Eric had kept a website filled with the lists of whom and what he despised. Dylan had once handed in an English assignment where he described the gory killings of his fellow classmates and other students at the school. The shooting could have been prevented but nobody had taken these warning signs seriously. Their main targets were jocks (athletes), minorities, Christians, and believers of God because they had once bullied, teased, spread rumors, and physically abused the boys at school every day. Therefore, the constant bullying had impacted the boys to hate the entire world and vow to take revenge soon. The first possible conclusion could be that they wanted to get revenge on the kids who made fun of them. Another possible conclusion for the shooting occurrence was when Eric Harris said the chilling words of “I want to leave a huge lasting impression on the world.” It had also made them hate anyone who was racist, intersexual, religious, disabled, or just plain stupid.
There were actually a lot of criminological theories that could have applied to the case of the Columbine shooting. However, the two main criminological theories that would be the best explanations for the serious crime were Edwin Sutherland’s Differential Association Theory and Cesare Lombroso’s Trait Theory. Sutherland (1947) explained that the general essence of Differential Association Theory of criminology is when crime is a...