This site was started by me, Stacia, also know as Lamia, my internet chat name, on April 22, 1999.
News rarely spreads more quickly than on the internet. As each person heard about the school shooting in Littleton, CO I'm sure we all felt the horror. More people were killed in this shooting than in any previous school shooting, with newscasters estimating that there may have been as many as 25 dead, I listened in shock.
Surprisingly, the biggest shock was not caused by the death toll, but by what the media began claiming prompted this shooting: the goths.
In a report on 20/20 (4/21/99) police in Littleton told of a bizzare and frightening national "gang" known as "goths". According to authorities these "goths" dress in black clothing, white makeup, and listen to Marilyn Manson and other heavy metal bands. The officer interviewed stated that this gang was as serious as the traditional gangs, and maybe more serious because: there is no apparent target, their target could be anyone.
The reason that there is no apparent target for "goth violence" is that goths were not responsible for the Littleton, CO shooting. Students from the school involved told Mtv that they were dismayed at the media blaming the shooting on goths, because the students involved were not involved in the goth culture. One student informed them that he had never seen the students involved wearing the "black clothing and white makeup" and that most of the students involved in the "trenchcoat mafia" had graduated the year before and that most of the undergraduates involved had stopped wearing the coats.
I guess some of you might consider me a goth, and some "goths" probably wouldn't consider me one. In junior high school I became fascinated with darker literature about vampires and the occult, and dressed in black quite a bit. I still dress in black and I have a nose ring. So in a small or large way, this stereotype of goths as killers effected me.
This campaign was formed after discussion on the Rasputina [a cello based band that in the past has toured with Marilyn Manson and Nine Inch Nails two popular "goth" bands] list (firstname.lastname@example.org) which incidently, is called "The Goths". This campaign maintains that:
Music does not cause this type of violence, it is an indivdual decision that involves many circumstances.
Goths are not a gang, or a huge national movement of killers. Many (even most!) goths do not agree with what happened in Colorado.
This is for not only goths, but anyone who wants to put a memorial to the many innocent victims of school shootings on their site.
Lately, as the campaign grows, it's not even centered on SCHOOL violence so much, and more on violence in general. To anyone no matter how much empathy he or she possess, senseless violence tears at their heart or soul. Each of us look at the world around us, hear the news, and think "why did that happen?" "what could I do to help, even in some small way?" "how must the families and friends of these victims feel?"
or, sadly, maybe we have been close to someone who was a victim of a violent, senseless crime. Though things like school shootings attract our attention we must remember that every day in America, thousands of babies are born. Those are thousands of chances at a wonderful, happy life.
Yet also, in America every day a woman is raped every 2 minutes. [according to the US department of justice]. This is shorter than the average television commercial break! Just think, when you are watching your favourite television program, and it goes on commercial, two women are raped during that commercial break!
More than 3 children die of abuse or neglect every day. In 1995 126,000 children were identified by child protection services as sexually abused. Nearly 30% of these children were aged 4-7. These are just the numbers identified.
In 1996 the FBI reported that 26% of female murder victims are killed by a husband or boyfriend. According to the Family Violence Prevention Fund that number has risen with a reported 42% killed by intimate male partners.
In America, a woman is physically abused every 9 seconds. [according to the Family Violence Prevention Fund] Stop and count to nine, or time it on your watch. How short is nine seconds?
We should remember that although things like school shootings are more often brought to our attention because of the extreme violence involved, each day there are thousands of silent victims to crimes just as terrible.
This campaign urges you to remember these statistics. This campaign is anti-violence, and by joining you say not only do I not condone violence, but I will not be a victim.