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Old 04-09-2013, 10:17 AM
 
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Despite massacres at Virginia Tech, Newtown, and Utoya that were far deadlier, none of them have even come close to attaining the legendary icon status that Columbine has, or so it seems. When you hear about copycat crimes, they are never described as "Virginia Tech-style" or "Newtown-style" or "Norway-style" or even "Charles Whitman-style" plots, they are always "Columbine-style". It's far from the worst mass shooting in history now, it was never even the deadliest school shooting like people said it was (before VT and Newtown that record went to the UT sniper attacks), but it's still viewed as the Alpha and Omega of gun massacres. By contrast, after it was dwarfed by 9/11, Oklahoma City seemed to fade in the memories of Americans and lost its icon status as the nation's most infamous terrorist attack. My theory is that at least part of this is due to the fact that "Columbine" is a catchy-sounding and easy name to remember, and it slides off the tongue alot easier than some of the other incidents' names.

In 10 years, will "Newtown" have replaced "Columbine" as American shorthand for mass murder (unless, God forbid, something worse happens)? Which of these massacres will be the one most remembered in the history books?
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Old 04-10-2013, 12:58 AM
 
Location: New Jersey
297 posts, read 442,745 times
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I don't think Newtown will replace Columbine. Columbine has had almost 15 years of iconic status. It's been the pivotal mass murder for so long that I think it would be very difficult for another shooting to replace it at the top of the pedestal. I can see Newtown being on the second level with Virginia Tech; always will be a household name, but slightly below Columbine. On the other hand, I think Aurora is going to fade as the years go by, and end up like the San Ysidro McDonald's Massacre or the Luby's Massacre. It is disturbing to see how many mass shootings in the past 30 years have more or less been forgotten.

I think it's possible that Newtown could become more-or-less equally iconic with Columbine. Think about true crime. Is there really a case that stands above every other crime that has ever happened? I don't think so, but there are plenty that could be considered as iconic/notorious as you could possibly get. So while I think Newtown will remain on that second level with Virginia Tech, I think it's possible it could join Columbine on the first level, but I don't think it will ever knock Columbine off.

Hopefully, this post doesn't sound tacky to be talking about these massacres like this. I do find it fascinating how the media reports on crime, and which cases end up being iconic and which ones, despite receiving national coverage, at one time fade away.

Last edited by traveler92; 04-10-2013 at 01:08 AM..
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Old 04-10-2013, 01:07 AM
 
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Waco is still the biggest mass murder in modern times.
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Old 04-11-2013, 11:29 PM
 
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Columbine intersected with the cultural imagination in a way that made it more notorious. There was a whole media kerfuffle over whether or not "music" was behind the massacre (Marilyn Manson and KMFDM seemed to be particular targets), there was the trenchcoat imagery which coincided with the release of the first Matrix film, there were rumors about "bullying" or a a hatred of "jocks" (none of which turned out to be correct), there was the story of the badly botched police response, the attempted propane gas bombs the two shooters had strewn around, and various first-person stories of survival. And the killers themselves were relatively mediagenic young men.

Compare that to something like the Red Lake school massacre in Minnesota, which left nine dead along with the shooter, but since it happened on an Indian reservation in 2005, it was overshadowed by the Iraq war. And the obese, odd-looking perpetrator simply didn't provide the media with a very compelling "character." That's why the Aurora shooting will probably retain a bigger spot in the cultural imagination over time than something like the Binghampton shooting from 2009, even though the Binghampton massacre was deadlier. James Holmes is a much odder, much more photogenic character than Jiverly Wong.

There's also an effect where numerous incidents within the same "category" tend to first raise the profile of each incident, then dramatically reduce them as the number of incidents accumulate within the category. For example, the first few big terrorist bombings of the Iraq war in 2003 got a lot of international media attention, but by 2007, the media barely noticed even when a series of bombs killed 150+ people. It was simply "overplayed."

Think of workplace shootings - how many people even remember last year's workplace massacre in Minneapolis, in which six people died? And that was only six months ago.

Quote:
Waco is still the biggest mass murder in modern times.
Even if we classify the Waco deaths as murders, the list for the US would go like this:

1. September 11, 2001 attacks - 2,977 victims
2. October 31, 1999 EgyptAir Flight 990 intentional crash (south of Nantucket Island, Massachusetts) - 216 victims
3. April 19, 1995 Oklahoma City bombing - 168 victims
4. December 31, 1986 Dupont Plaza Hotel (San Juan, Puerto Rico) fire - 97 victims
5. March 25, 1990 Happy Land Social Club (Bronx) fire - 87 victims
6. February - April 1993 Branch Davidian compound siege - 86 killed on both sides
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Old 04-13-2013, 08:09 AM
 
Location: Southeast, where else?
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Left out Jonestown. That "Komaniac" killed in excess of 900 followers including a senator and coined the phrase, "don't drink the kool-aid". At a global level, I'm sure there have been Incidents much larger than columbine. But, if you are searching for the winner of the "inhumanity awards" ceremony in the US, I'd say that Newtown, while it may not win, certainly beats the crap out of what takes second?

Much like the movies, it isn't always the sentimental pieces like Titanic" that win nor the sheer body count but rather, who the victims are? The reason I think this one eclipses the columbine shoot out is that THESE children were even younger. Columbine probably had a victim or two that was a hated cheerleader or athlete or some othe routinely despised stereotype in the mix. Newtown had a bevy of very, very young folks that everyone loved. How couldn't you? But, columbine was branded and even got that fat puck Michael Moore to make a movie about it including the Littleton native who created South Park....nice touch.

I think if given enough time, someone is going to target a senior assisted living facility, a burn ward, or a hospital full of severely handicapped kids to top them all. If you think about the Oklahoma City bombing, that was as close as one could get and it not only killed 168, it wiped out a daycare of about 20 children as well. Kind of like Newtown plus? And noooooooo one talks much about that because it was done with a bomb instead of a gun.

Google it. Where's the outrage? Where's the senators crying out for change? Why isn't Feinstein (who used to be for permits 15 years ago....hypocrite) not screaming at the top of their lungs over that one? Albeit 17 years later......again because that was a bomb.....not a gun...

In the words of Stalin.....kill 20? Now that is a tragedy....kill 168, that's a "statistic".....

See? Being jaded isn't really new after all.....and above all....do it for the children! I guess not the nearly 3,000 wiped out by 2 of Boeings finest.......Ahhhhhhhh the media and politicians....only THEY could get away with convincing us who is really a tragedy and who is a "statistic".

Feel free to remorse...
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Old 04-13-2013, 11:20 AM
 
Location: So Ca
15,793 posts, read 15,037,128 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caleb Longstreet View Post
Columbine probably had a victim or two that was a hated cheerleader or athlete or some othe routinely despised stereotype in the mix.
It didn't. Not one of the 12 teenagers killed by Harris and Klebold was disliked.

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Why isn't Feinstein (who used to be for permits 15 years ago....hypocrite) not screaming at the top of their lungs over that one (Oklahoma City)?
Explain what you mean about Sen Feinstein. She authored the 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban, which expired in 2004. Not clear about what you mean about her being for permits.
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Old 04-13-2013, 11:35 PM
 
Location: Old Mother Idaho
21,506 posts, read 14,403,478 times
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No.
Dead adults are one thing, and dead children are another.

I have known two adults who were murdered and one who is suspected of being murdered but his body was never found. All of those deaths were shocking, but the shock was nowhere as great as hearing of a little kid who was gratuitously murdered, and more easily put into the dust bin of memory. Any parent never forgets the death of someone's child.

How many adults were murdered in mass shootings since Columbine? How many of those killing sprees do you remember? Who do we remember first when we think of the dead who were killed in the Oklahoma City bombing?
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Old 04-15-2013, 11:37 AM
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
56,180 posts, read 54,646,759 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caleb Longstreet View Post
Left out Jonestown. That "Komaniac" killed in excess of 900 followers including a senator and coined the phrase, "don't drink the kool-aid".

<snip>

I wonder how many people, especially younger ones, realize that's where the term came from. And as a side note, it wasn't even Kool-Aid. It was "Flavor-Aid", a less-well-known and cheaper knock off. Just FYI.

On the same wavelength, I bet most kids today don't know how the term "going postal" originated, either. Haven't been any post-office shootings in a couple of decades now.
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Old 04-15-2013, 12:27 PM
 
Location: Southeast, where else?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CA4Now View Post
It didn't. Not one of the 12 teenagers killed by Harris and Klebold was disliked.



Explain what you mean about Sen Feinstein. She authored the 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban, which expired in 2004. Not clear about what you mean about her being for permits.
Do a search, there's one floating of her in her younger days saying roughly, "you better believe I'm going to have mine" or words to that effect on getting her CCW....interesting...not like she is the first to flip on stances, Kerry, and our guy did it/do it all the time.....part of the business I guess.

Glad to hear they were all liked, however, I do hope you see sarcasm and jaded character when its displayed because I was putting it on preeeeteeee heavily.....no matter....compared to the Oklahoma City Bombing, the New Town, Columbine, kid in Kentucky, Kid in Arkansa, Kid in Memphis and a few others sadly, I can no longer remember don't come close COLLECTIVELY to what happened there.

An noooooooo one talks about that in contrast to today. When one guy can rent a truck from Ryder, one-way (bad, bad, pun) or otherwise and "catch up" on the year's firearm stats, I think you might want to pay attention. The point being, NO one is really looking at the mental picture. Just the guns. While certainly an element of it, the bombs have a certain randomness and inescapability that is just terrifying....terrorist? Mission accomplished.

Let's just make sure that isn't forgotten....and if I recall, as many young, very innocent and not even in school yet kids were massacred that day.....and again, no Schumer, Bloomberg, Feinstein, Clinton, ad nauseum have yet to even mention it.....

If you want to stop needless violence, it has to go way beyond the less than 1% making straw purchases (yes, convict and prosecute THEM mercilessly), reducing magazine capacity (forcing reloads that take what, 1.5 seconds or less with a modicum of practice???), arming schools (as if...do we REALLY want to do this???...have you seen most security guards? Who is the danger now???), ban a bunch of weapons when there are 300,000,000 million in circulation...Christ, we are about to give 11,000,000 illegals a pathway to taxes (ahhhh, a silver lining in every cloud) and you think you can so much as make a dent in the weapons volume??? Yeah, give that a try....good luck....

Hope this helps....
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Old 04-15-2013, 12:28 PM
 
Location: Southeast, where else?
3,914 posts, read 4,227,605 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightyqueen801 View Post
I wonder how many people, especially younger ones, realize that's where the term came from. And as a side note, it wasn't even Kool-Aid. It was "Flavor-Aid", a less-well-known and cheaper knock off. Just FYI.

On the same wavelength, I bet most kids today don't know how the term "going postal" originated, either. Haven't been any post-office shootings in a couple of decades now.

I stand corrected....good catch....ironic....savings in killing with flavor-aid....I guess is one is stuck in Guyana, it all looks good.....good thing on the Postal....I completely forgot....how many did that guy kill? Was it 11? 15? 4? I just can't remember....it was BIG news back then....a rounding error today....
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