Letter in today's Strib:
Don't blame Goths
I've noticed that some of the students who had been interviewed about the shooting at Red Lake High School found it necessary to point out that the shooter was a "Goth" who dressed in all black.
What I wonder is if the shooter had been wearing a letter jacket, would these interviewees have pointed out that he was a "jock"?
The fact that Jeffrey Weise was Gothic has been used in an attempt to explain why he took this action. Living a Gothic lifestyle, or any other kind of lifestyle, doesn't make a student bring guns to school. What makes kids bring guns to school is how they are treated for choosing their so-called "frightening" lifestyle.
Maybe, if these students were not harassed, mistreated and stereotyped, tragic events like the one in Red Lake could be avoided.
Perhaps we should stop thinking about security guards and metal detectors and start thinking about learning a permanent solution: compassion and understanding for others.
Mike R*********, Eden Prairie;
high school student.
Have a seat son, while I tell you about the facts of life.
One of the most important facts of life is a thing called "experience". Y'see, "Jocks" have not been known to slaughter their classmates. On the other hand "Goths" do have some history of this activity (a couple of Goths known as "Kliebald" and "Harris" jump immediately to mind). Experience tells us that one time might be an isolated incident, two times may be a coincidence, but three times is a pattern. I'm fairly sure that we are beyond the third time. After all, nobody was shocked to learn that the 9/11 hijackers were all Middle Eastern men.
Secondly, Gothism (if that's the word) is not a "lifestyle". It's a fashion statement. Judging from other goths I have known, that statement is something along the lines of "pay attention to me so I can be cool by ignoring you".
Thirdly, maybe it's the gothic bizarre fixation on death and the macabre that leads people to make these connections. By the way the term "Gothic" is a style of architecture or a shortened version of referring to things related to the Visigoths, an Iron Age tribe of Central Europe. It is not an accurate way of describing your particular fashion and musical predillictions. A more accurate term would be "vampiric".
Fourthly, I can remember no instance in the 1980s where a long-haired metalhead juiced up on Iron Maiden and bully-fueled rage ever mowed down his classmates with an SKS. Although it may have been because they were always too stoned to be able to operate a door.
[Here LearnedFoot giglingly imagines Nicko McBrain pounding on the head of the annoying lead singer of The Cure Robert Smith with his drumsticks]
So replace that Ministry CD with Powerslave and come walk among the living.