We could discuss other aspects about Columbine. Why boys were able to obtain such powerful weapons so easily. Why Eric Harris’s mental condition wasn’t diagnosed and treated properly. Why boys who had been in so much trouble with the law before had been treated so leniently (psychopaths like Harris can turn on the the charm when it suits them). I highly recommend Dave Cullen’s book, Columbine. He explores these issues and many others. This week, however, I’ve been sticking to the theme of the myths of Columbine and today I’d like to veer off into a discussion of another psychopath: Hitler.
Adolf Hitler was born 113 years ago today. (A few days ago I saw a cartoon on a right-wing Facebook page that showed a guy praying to God, asking Him why the Divine hadn’t sent anyone to cure cancer. God replied: “I did, but you aborted him.” My reaction to that sort of propaganda is: Okay, but don’t we wish someone had aborted Hitler? Maybe in some cases, even from a right-wing perspective, abotion isn’t such a bad thing.) One of the first false rumors to emerge from Columbine was that Harris and Klebold were neo-Nazis who had chosen April 20 because of that connection. Harris had written about Hitler in some of his early journals so people made that assumption. The truth, however, is that the boys never explained why their original choice was April 19, but they discussed “topping Timothy McVeigh,” the Oklahoma City bomber, which had occurred April 19, 1995. When the date rolled around, Harris decided he wanted more ammo so he decided to wait one more day. No explanation. April 20 – Hitler’s birthday – was just a bizarre coincidence.