Term Paper: There Are Lessons to Be Learned From Littleton

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¶ … Lessons from Littleton

There are No Lessons to be Learned From Littleton"

The title of Gary Kleck's essay, "There Are No Lessons to Be Learned From Littleton," is at first glance a cynical way to begin an essay. How could there not be lessons learned from a tragic, bloody event in which 13 innocent people, 12 high school students and a favorite teacher, were slaughtered and another 31 others injured? Is Kleck saying that after the shock of the event wore off, and the media packed up and left the Columbine High School site in Littleton, Colorado, nobody paid any attention to the calamity that had occurred?

Further reading of Kleck's essay shows that is not what he was saying at all. And he is not cynical although he is skeptical; he is skeptical of the long list of explanations that various media members, political leaders, ordinary citizens, activists for gun safety, and others, came up with right after the bloody event. He is also skeptical, with good reason, of the many and varied solutions - some so far out in left field they are absurd - that have been proposed in order to avoid another incident of carnage and slaughter in a facility where learning, knowledge, and problem solving are supposed to help young people become adults.

He is not surprised that so many different and unworkable suggestions have been offered because the slaughter at Columbine High School caught everyone off guard. Life isn't supposed to happen that way in America. Teachers are supposed to teach children, not become shooting victims. Students are there to learn and gain confidence in their futures, not be shot down like enemies in a war.

And how is a parent supposed to handle being told that his child was killed in the cafeteria at the local high school? Something is terribly wrong with this picture, and Kleck is obviously trying to put the unfortunate event into some kind of perspective. His essay is interesting and thought provoking, although he himself seems unsure as to what the answers may be.

Kleck lists 32 problems and issues that were raised following the disaster, including obvious things like: the easy access to guns and assault weapons; "lax regulation of gun shows"; violent movies, video games and television. He also lists things that are at best a stretch, like: Marilyn Manson's music, Satanism, "Goth" culture among youth, the infrequency of "locker searches" and the lack of metal detectors in high schools (albeit, many large inner city high schools have used metal detectors for years).

The author says, "many of the solutions are plausible, and some are even accurate." (for this paper's purpose, Kleck hits the nail on the head when he states that "...uninvolved Baby Boomer parents" who don't adequately supervise their children have to be considered at least part of the problem. It baffles the mind to think of the parents of the two killers being so far removed from the activities of their teenage boys - unaware of their activities - that they didn't know lethal bombs were being built with shattered glass in their garage while they were entertaining guests upstairs.)

Meanwhile, Kleck points out that notwithstanding the flood of television coverage of the Columbine killings, the homicide rate has dropped recently, juvenile violence is in decline, the incidence of mass murder "has been declining for decades" and even school violence had declined dramatically at the time he wrote his essay. In other words, television puts these heinous crimes in the spotlight and people are given the false impression that the world is turning into a huge bloodbath.

One can't help but wonder what Kleck is saying in 2007 following the brutal slaughter of those thirty-some students at Virginia Tech in April. In this essay, Kleck writes that, "...Schools continue to be the safe havens that they were traditionally perceived to be... [and] the violence that does occur in schools is mostly unarmed fighting (including a good deal of bullying), while gun violence, even among adolescents, is almost entirely confined to places other than schools."

Kleck goes on to discuss gun laws that apply in Colorado, point out that two of the three "long guns" used in the mass killing were purchased by an 18-year-old girlfriend of one of the killers; his point is, gun regulation was entirely irrelevant in the context of the slaughter,… [END OF PREVIEW]

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There Are Lessons to Be Learned From Littleton.  (2007, June 7).  Retrieved November 13, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/lessons-learned-littleton/6731806

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"There Are Lessons to Be Learned From Littleton."  7 June 2007.  Web.  13 November 2019. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/lessons-learned-littleton/6731806>.

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"There Are Lessons to Be Learned From Littleton."  Essaytown.com.  June 7, 2007.  Accessed November 13, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/lessons-learned-littleton/6731806.