JEFF PEARLMAN

Coming October 2022: "The Last Folk Hero: The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson"

Dear Guy Who Wants to Kill Lots of People …

Dear Guy Who Wants to Kill Lots of People:

I know you’re probably not reading this. Maybe I’m wrong.

Right now you’re watching CNN, or Fox, or MSNBC, or CNBC, or the Today Show, or Good Morning America, and you’re thinking, “Yes! This is the way to go!” And, really, why wouldn’t you? You’re probably a guy in his teens or 20s; probably someone who feels like an outcast, or feels overly angry, or feels like the world pays you no mind. You see the attention being afforded Adam Lanza and think, “He’s showing them! He’s fucking showing them!” That’s an appealing thing to you. Shoot a ton of people, shoot yourself, go out in a blaze of glory.

There’s just one problem: Adam Lanza is dead.

By dead, I don’t mean floating on a cloud. By dead, I don’t mean burning in hell. Nope, he’s dead. Doesn’t exist. Never will again exist. He is fucking nothingness. He’s as alive as your table. Go ahead—knock on your table. That’s Adam Lanza. Fucking dead and lacking any and all awareness.

That’s the thing here; the myth of it all. The stupid news stations talk about Adam Lanza over and over and over again, giving you the idea that he’s won; that he showed them; that violence is the ultimate ingredient in fame and notoriety and making yourself appear. Well, he’s showing them nothing—he’s dead. He’s not enjoying this; not lathering in the joy of proving a point or mattering. He. Is. Dead. Gone. Forever. Nothingness.

We make lots of mistakes in this country. We allow everyone who so desires to own a gun. We plop our small kids down in front of games that glorify killing. We make plastic toys out of devices used to murder. In this case, however, our biggest mistake—hands down—is somehow giving off the idea that shooting lots of people in a public forum is a recipe to fame. We utter the names over and over and over and over again (Dylan Klebold, Dylan Klebold, Dylan Klebold …) without reminding people that Dylan Klebold isn’t here to read his Wikipedia page; isn’t here to watch the documentaries about Columbine. Again, he’s dead. Motherfucking dead.

Wanna make a name for yourself? Want fame? Develop the next generation of iPods. Cure cancer. Piece together the world’s biggest baseball card collection. Do something big and bold and powerful; something that doesn’t result in the deaths of innocents and, ultimately, the death of yourself.

Because right now the 9.11 hijackers aren’t having sex with 10,000 virgins in a sea of honey. Right now Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold aren’t snickering over an old Columbine High yearbook. Right now Adam Lazna isn’t reveling in the trauma he caused.

Nope. They’re all dead.

They.

No.

Longer.

Exist.

Think about that, kid. Think about that …

Sincerely,

Jeff Pearlman

PS: I’m about to order an ice cream cone. You can’t have one. Because you’re dead. You’re not even reading this.