The Giggling Gunmen

Littleton, U.S.A.

A pair of students at a Colorado high school opened fire on their classmates last week, leaving a stunned nation to wonder: why did it happen?

Eswaldo Dos Santos
Age: 38
Resides: Flushing, Queens
Occupation:Chemist

What makes kids snap? Maybe influence from others, like the people in the South, the very conservative. I think somebody manipulated these kids. Someone racist, someone from the South. They were most aggressive against the black kids.

What's different today from when you were in high school? I'm a religious person. That's what is different. They should start some religious courses in high school.

Were you a misfit? Everyone at my high school was different, so I didn't feel left out.


Laura
Age: 53
Resides: Glens Falls, New York
Occupation: Homemaker

What makes kids snap? I'm the mother of three teenage boys and it hit me real hard. I can't comprehend it. And we live in what we think is a safe community, but they probably did too.

What's different today from when you were in high school? There's a lot more exposure to the media-movies, TV programs, videos, computer games, music, it's all so much more violent. I usually never pay too much attention, but one time my son left a CD in the car and I listened to it and it was so violent, especially toward women. I confiscated it.

Were you a misfit? No. I was very isolated. I went to an all-girl Catholic school.


Hannah Riseley-White
Age: 22
Resides: Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Occupation: Student

It could have to do with their family life. It could have to do with their family life.

What's different today from when you were in high school? It's the pressure that's built up now. People at my high school were aggressive, but they didn't take it that far. Now, people are more aware of things: global warming, political strife, racial problems. They're just more disillusioned with everything.

Were you a misfit? Yeah. It's a time of self-definition.


Catherine Lee
Age: 19
Resides: North Bronx
Occupation: Student

What makes kids snap? It's the pressure of friends, media, expectations from family.

What's different today from when you were in high school? I went to a Catholic school. They didn't bring guns. Also, with these other incidents, it's part of that stereotype I have that white people don't care about their kids. They let them do whatever they want, and look what happens.

Were you a misfit? No. I was one of the rare Asians there, but I didn't feel left out.


Rafael Frontany
Age: 27
Resides: Queens Village, Queens
Occupation: Personal trainer

What makes kids snap? Different people make different money. I've been at both ends, and it has a lot to do with the way you perceive things."Why can't I have that?" Especially in high school.

What's different today from when you were in high school? Back then, you fought more than you would shoot. Now they don't want to fight. They would rather stab or shoot you. They think it's cooler.

Were you a misfit? Yeah.


Tobin Wheeler
Age: 40
Resides: Tribeca
Occupation: Writer

What makes kids snap? The inability to articulate their feelings. The level of their feelings got to the buckling point.

What's different today from when you were in high school? There are a whole bunch of trivial things like the ease of getting guns.

Were you a misfit? Everybody feels like a misfit in high school.


Marvetta Greatheart
Age: 51
Resides: North Bronx
Occupation: Secretary

What makes kids snap? First, peer pressure makes kids snap a lot. Tell you the truth, I don't understand what could make kids kill each other. They have something missing.

What's different today from when you were in high school? When I was coming up, there was nothing I could do that wasn't monitored. And I was brought up in the church, so religion had a lot to do with it.

Were you a misfit? Not at all. I was part of the band and cheerleading, involved in many activities. I liked high school very much.

 
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