Back in ’99 Columbine was exciting. It was new, terrifying, cutting edge. Klebold and Harris, senior students of the school, planned the event meticulously; they rigged the building and carpark with improvised explosive devices to maximise the drama, ignited propane drums to distract the emergency services, and took their time neutralising their targets with an impressive assortment of automatic and semi-automatic weapons. Now it has all become a little stale. So much so in fact that even President Obama has complained that it has become “routine.” Perhaps the whole concept of school massacres in the Wild West, as a niche art form, has become too derivative, or maybe it’s the case that it has simply been repeated ad nauseam and that we, the viewing audience, need something more – something spectacular. News of yet another shooting on a college campus in Umpqua, Oregon, just leaves us unsatisfied and ready to turn the television over to something more interesting. It may seem strange to look upon these horrors through the lens of madness or entertainment, but really this is all we are left with when we are not allowed to see the madness of a society that constitutionally enshrines insanity and sets the conditions in which only the inevitable can happen.
From 1776 until today, a period of two-hundred and thirty-nine years, the United States of America has enjoyed a mere twenty-one years of peace. This America, established in armed struggle and expanded by systematic genocide, has grown to be the most aggressive and arguably the most dangerous country in the history of the world. The United States that we know and fear made an idol of the gun in a state saturated with dubious ideals of selfishness, racial, and national superiority, and it has become what it has become. School children and college students, innocent black teenagers and homeless people gunned down in broad daylight – as frightful and disturbing as those images are – is not an anomaly. It is the logical end of a frustrated fetish for violence. Generations of young American women and men have been nourished by the poison by terror, indoctrinated to fight and kill, and glory in the freedom of the bullet – and all by their own fathers. All of this is the madness of the maddest for the simple reason that to America this is all the fault of the madness it refuses to treat with therapy and pills, and not that of the brainwashed fool with a gun who wants his thrills.