Copyright © 2009 by Richard A. Grossman, Ph.D. · All Rights reserved · E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Finally, two angry young adults in Littleton, Colorado who had been screaming bloody murder for months were heard. This time they were so loud they even drowned out the sound of the bombs falling in Serbia and Kosovo. Up until now, parents, school system, and police all had been stone deaf.
No one can say for sure why Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold came to school April 20 and committed the deadliest school shooting rampage in our nation's history. It is likely that there are many factors, all of which have to line up in the right way.
But one factor was, most certainly, deafness.
Two of the tools that psychologists use when evaluating their subjects are inference and backwards extrapolation. If we observe a particular interaction between two people in the present, we assume that similar interactions have occurred in the past, probably repeatedly. This is because peoples' personalities don't tend to change much over time (barring therapy, of course).
If a couple comes into my office and one party is slighted by something the other party said, the odds are extraordinarily high that similar incidents have occurred over and over again in the past.
Consider, then, that Eric Harris' parents were deaf to the rage and hatred that the young man was making obvious to the world at large on his Web site, getting into a scrape with the law, throwing a block of ice at a windshield, making a death threat against another boy, etc. It is most likely that these parents rarely if ever "heard" their son.
I'm not saying that they did not do things for their son. One can
Voicelessness and Emotional Survival