Just recently, after losing 105,000 dollars on the stock market, a daytrader murdered his wife, two children and nine stockbrokers. After the Columbine massacre at Littleton Colorado, I expected the media to jump on what music he liked, how he dressed and who his friends were. None of that was done.
I see two reasons for this. The first is that teenagers are a lot easier (and more profitable) to stereotype. The second is that they don't want to question the lifestyle of a daytrader (daytrading meaning he invested in stocks and traded them for profit as his job).
First of all, 83% of murdered children, half of murdered teenagers and 85% of murdered adults are killed by adults over the age of 20 (Dept. of Justice Report, 8/13/93). Yet "teen violence" and "kids killing kids" is what the media screams is the problem, not adult violence. In fact, prison studies by Minnesota State Prison and the Massachusetts Treatment Center for Sexually Dangerous Persons show that between 60% to 90% of all inmates were abused as children. An L.A. Times survey showed that one-fifth of all Americans were sexually abused as children. The "teen violence" problem is more of a myth than fact. While the crime rate among teens has risen in the last ten years, so has the crime rate among adults. These two rates were actually declining but rose when the media began its "war on drugs" (but not F.B.I. thugs), "welfare mothers" and its "kids killing kids" propaganda campaigns.
I think that the media's focus on Eric Harris' and Dylan Kleibold's music, video game habits and manners of dress were both unwarranted and misleading. Instead of focusing on real issues like restructuring family life and reorganizing priorities (like putting families before jobs, instead of vice-versa) the media focused on Marilyn Manson, KMFDM, Doom and Quake. I think the media avoided these issues because they are something that as a capitalist society we do not want to discuss (as if the media were fair and open in its discussions). Families are dissected into work units; seniors go to the pasture (no longer profitable employees), parents go to work, and children go to school. Family members are alienated from one another. Each age group within the family talks with peers and friends rather than family members. Parents and children are separated by "the age gap" which is another stereotype perpetuated by the media. Everyone has friends their own age, but talking to your parents or parents talking to their kids should not be a chore and it should not be like talking down to or talking up to someone. It should be more or less equal, because a domineering parent will probably end up having a "rebellious" teen.
Daytrading is a profession taken up by many white "well to do" middle class types, and that is why it is not questioned. Losing 105,000 dollars on the market is probably just a tiny example of the stresses that daytrading requires. The media did not pick up what kind of music or what kind of clothes the daytrader wore because he represented a mainstream profession and lifestyle. Teens (and especially teens who dare to be different) are scapegoats and branded as "troubled" or "dangerous" just because they wear a trenchcoat (I could've sworn stockbrokers wear trenchcoats too) or play Doom (as if adults don't) or listen to shitty wannabe goth pop crap (M. Manson).
Another interesting media double standard is that I hear absolutely no one proposing metal detectors or other civil rights violating measures being introduced into daytrading firms or stock brokerages. Where are the arguments of "we need our stockbrokers to be safe"? If I am scanned and searched for the crimes of another, shouldn't the same standard be extended to other workplaces?
Obviously, this guy and the Trenchcoat Mafia were both assholes with guns, but the environments in which these assholes lived and worked should be thoroughly examined. Hopefully I have at least scratched the surface of these issues.