Recently, The Daily Dot published an article entitled ‘People are shook to discover Columbine stans are a thing.’ For us olds, a stan is a superfan of something. The term came from the Eminem song Stan which is about an obsessive stalker-like fan.
But getting back to the Daily Dot article, apparently, #Columbine was trending on Twitter recently because of a tweet that someone posted asking others to supposedly join them in a school shooting group.
This led to a lot of people on Twitter finding out for the first time that there are fans of the Columbine shooting. The author of the Daily Dot article was one of those people who just found out. He traced it back as far as Tumblr which is admirable considering that’s where most of these stans seem to congregate.
However, I remember back to web 1.0 before there was social media and there were these Columbine stans back then as well. When I first discovered them, I called them ‘mutants’ the CHUD variety not the X-Men. At first, they would congregate on pro-Columbine message boards. This is where I read the story who claimed to have sex with Dylan Klebold’s ghost and was carrying his ghost babies. This was only three years after Columbine. I also saw them put up fan sites on places like Geocities. It wasn’t long before they all started amassing on LiveJournal. It wasn’t until a few years later when they started to refer to themselves as Columbiners when they migrated to Tumblr. Today, the majority of these Columbiners weren’t even born when Columbine happened.
From what I’ve seen over the years, the Columbiners identify with the Columbine cowards of Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold because they buy into the myth that Columbine happened because Harris and Klebold were supposedly bullied. Spoiler alert: they weren’t. This is also where the trope of the bullied school shooter comes from. The truth is that the majority of school shooters were bullies themselves.
So why is this important? Since Columbine, the overwhelming majority of school shooters were influenced or outright copied Columbine. I even had a Columbiner who committed a school shooting interact with my website in the form of Kimveer Gill who killed Anastasis DeSousa at Dawson College in Montreal before he took his own life. Most Columbiners today are kids in middle school or high school. That leads me to believe that their parents are definitely not checking on their kids’ social media habits, or they just don’t care.
As I’ve been saying for almost 20 years, this isn’t just a phase with kids and too many of them have gone on to commit mass murders of their own. In my opinion, it’s a sign of mental illness that leans toward violence. If your kid is one of these Columbiners get them the help they need before it’s too late.