School Shootings: Who is to Blame?

The recent tragic school shootings in Littleton, Colorado have raised the inevitable question "Who is to blame?"  The following is a list of possible possible influencing factors in the school shootings at Columbine High in Littleton, Colorado and other related school shootings such as Jonesboro and Paducah:
  1. Family - Should the parents have known what their children were doing in their own homes?
  2. Guns - Has the NRA gun lobby prevented legislation that would prevent shootings?
  3. Internet - The students gained information about how to build deadly pipe bombs and propane bombs from web sites on the internet.
  4. Video Games - Children spend hundreds of hours on 'Murder Simulators', desensitizing them to real violence.
  5. Television - Is the exposure that students who commit these crimes encouraging others to do the same?
  6. Movies - Scenes from "The Basketball Diaries" starring Leonardo DeCaprio shows a student entering a classroom and killing students and the teacher.  "Natural Born Killers" sparked at least 100 copycat killings.
  7. The Students themselves- Are the students who planned and executed the plan ultimately to blame?
  8. Security - Would heightened security in schools help to solve the problem?
  9. Tolerance - Is the answer for our society to be more tolerant of each other?
  10. Music - The two students in the Littleton incident listened to Marilyn Manson, is this partially to blame?


NBC coverage indicates the parents could be to blame, as well as the girl who purchased the guns (MSNBC)

How can Parents monitor their children's Internet Use? (CBS)


Gun Control Legislation Roadblocks(Dateline NBC Broadcast 2/26/99)

The Internet

Dateline Broadcast - The Internet gave students the information they needed to build bombs.

Video Games

Sixty Minutes broadcast - Ex Marine claims video games are murder simulators

Game Companies Sued for Violence by Marc Saltzman (Gamecenter)

Industry Defends Violent Games (Ottawa Citizen)

Computer game industry defends violent games by Robert Lemos (ZDNET)

Mourn now, save politics for later by Steven Kent (MSNBC)

Gamecenter Commentary: Are Games to Blame? by Jason Ocampo (Gamecenter)


"Natural Born Killers" blamed for related violence (Media Awareness)


Is violence in television, and more specifically, television coverage of the shootings and the exposure that is gained from these shootings to blame?

The Students

Video Games Blamed for Murder: Students the Real Cause (Happy Puppy)


Shootings similar to the one in Littleton has all happened in rural or sub-urban schools, but not urban schools.  Potentially increased security to match that of urban schools might be an answer?


If the studetns in Littleton, including the killers, all had a more tolerant outlook, would they still have committed this crime?


Could violent music have influenced these teenagers?

Voice your opinion: Others have already been discussing this, on the Gamecenter Message Board.  If you have something to contribute, go there and tell them what you think!

Page Created 4/26/99 by Tony Betrus Last Updated 4/26/99.