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Unfortunately we are all too familiar with the massacre that took place in Littleton Colorado on April 20th 1999 That was the day that two teenage boys armed with multiple firearms and pipe bombs took on Columbine High School By the end of the day 13 peoplethe two killers includedwere dead and 23 others injured Tragedies like these have seemed to become more frequent this past decade yet every time it happens the nation again finds itself asking Why Fingers are pointed in every direction some blame a lack of gun control some blame the media some blame popular music artists and some blame violent video games Obviously there is no single cause of this problem and all of the finger pointing at different corporations organizations and musicians is clearly doing us no good It is all too easy for everyone to simply place the blame on someone else and thats what we have been doing for too long Perhaps it is time for America to take a good long look at itself and search for the reasons why our teens see killing as an option One of the essays in Exploring Language suggests that it is not so much a problem with teens as it is with teen boys One factor that is all too often forgotten is that the killers are almost always males It seems highly unlikely that this could be the result of some bizarre coincidence This leads one to wonder why Americas teenage boys feel the need to kill Jackson Katz and Sut Jhally authors of Missing the Mark suggest that the problem stems from our cultural view of masculinity The cultural environment helps to shape the masculinity identities of young boys in ways that equate strength in males with power and the ability to instill fearfear in both males as well as females 253 One would think that by the twentieth century America would have moved past
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