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Reader: Columbine tragedy still resonates because being an American teen sucks

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Carpenter.
When sharing our recent post about Natalie Carpenter, a Connecticut teen jailed for making threats against schools apparently inspired by the Columbine tragedy, we asked why so many remain obsessed with the shooting nearly fifteen years after it happened. Readers responded with plenty of passionate theories, including this one.

Mario Cianca Betancourt writes:

To be a teenager sucks. In this country, teens can't drink, can't go to most venues, are kicked out from places. Are treated like stupid kids. Unfortunately, lots of kids feel the same desperation, loneliness and anger of Columbine's. Instead of pointing fingers at these kids, we should ask, "What's society doing wrong? What are parents doing wrong?"

Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.

For more memorable takes, visit our Comment of the Day archive.

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18 comments
Matt Quast
Matt Quast

This is what happens when parents try to be their kids best friend and put 'em in sports leagues that don't keep scores and medicate them for any little thing that seems wrong with their personality. This generation of kids are so soft.

David Alley
David Alley

Fortunately not all of America's youth believes this way. The "collectivist" reflexively turns to social constructs as remedy. The points raised may have some validity and still be off by a large measure. Life isn't so simple as to think it's merely "this or that". From where I stand it's "this" but where someone else sits it's "that". From what I glean, the writer has on "burnt sienna" glasses that need to taken off. The world isn't scorched if you choose to see clearly.

LeAnn Nuss Lovato
LeAnn Nuss Lovato

Whaaa fuckin' whaaa. Every teenager I've ever known (including me and my friends when we were teens,) think they have it sooooo rough. No one understands, society's against us, blah, blah blah. It's nothing new.

Joey Buhrer
Joey Buhrer

I think that being a teen will always suck, but not for the reasons this reader says. I think it has more to do with a lot of intense brain and hormone development happening during a time when you want to assert your individuality and autonomy but are largely restricted from doing so (and rightly so).

Kay Dirling
Kay Dirling

Well, see, you ARE a kid, so you are treated like one...

chewyfrankfurter
chewyfrankfurter

Getting kicked out of venues?  Not being able to drink?  Treated like kids?  Yeah...try being a teenager in N. Korea or Syria.  That would give you a real idea of how much tougher things could actually be.  Come to think of it, I'm sure the teens in Kiev/Kabul/Baghdad/Mogadishu etc. would be more than happy if these were the biggest problems they were facing in their daily lives.  Why worry about bullying and shootings at school when the school itself is a smoldering crater and stepping out onto the street could result in being hit by an artillery/chemical weapon shell (Damascus) or you and your family "disappear" one day because of supposed political dissidence (Pyongyang).  Yes, we face a lot of problems in this country and it's not perfect by any stretch of the imagination (which is why more US teens should be better challenged into learning about our country's political system and getting involved in fixing things instead of offering empty complaints).  Sooner or later, if they aren't careful and learn from what is happening to other parts of the globe, they will come to see these events happening...not in some far off country halfway around the world, but in their very own hometowns. 

Candie Bernard
Candie Bernard

You have the ability to decide what your future will be. Make the decision that you won't allow your past to dictate what happens tomorrow. You have free will so you have the ability to make that happen.

Evelyn Maria
Evelyn Maria

Young people need more challenge to keep them out of trouble. Their lives are far to easier now. I think they have it far better than any past generation but are too lazy to take advantage

Sean Milano
Sean Milano

It still resonates because the media has turned the killers into icons. Teens worship and imitate icons. Then they turn into "millenials" and finally, full grown douchebags!

Ben Lucero
Ben Lucero

Sometimes i wish i could be a teen again with parents that was more stick, mine let me do what ever. Not very happy with my future

Bree Davis
Bree Davis

The sense of entitlement from these generations makes me sick.

Andy Guzman
Andy Guzman

I wished i had it as rough as these TEENS do today! Just saying. Quit crying.

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