The bad news is, the Columbine massacre has influenced an entire generation of disturbed young men to do the unthinkable, and putting that genie back in the bottle is going to be incredibly difficult (even if our idiot news media were inclined to put it back in the bottle).
The good news? There really isn’t any just yet.
At the risk of oversimplifying a complex argument, essentially he argues that each mass shooting lowers the threshold for the next. He argues, we are in the midst of a slow-motion “riot” of mass shootings, with the Columbine shooting in many ways the key triggering event.
It’s a riot in the same sense that a mob turns into a riot: like a snowball rolling down a hill, each participant’s joining in lowers the inhibitions for each subsequent potential rioter. In this case, the riot doesn’t take place on the street, but rather via social and, of course, dead-tree media.
French quotes Malcolm Gladwell, who wrote about the subject three years ago:
“In the day of Eric Harris, we could try to console ourselves with the thought that there was nothing we could do, that no law or intervention or restrictions on guns could make a difference in the face of someone so evil. But the riot has now engulfed the boys who were once content to play with chemistry sets in the basement. The problem is not that there is an endless supply of deeply disturbed young men who are willing to contemplate horrific acts. It’s worse. It’s that young men no longer need to be deeply disturbed to contemplate horrific acts.”
— Malcolm Gladwell
Our society – including our media’s very freedom of speech – seems built to keep making the problem worse, by amplifying the activity of each new wave of “rioters”, even as it gives spree killers in general (not just school shooters) what they really want; immortality.