15 Minutes

Tell Me Why

We don’t recall the 1979 shooting at Grover Cleveland Elementary School, and the Shooter, Brenda Ann Spencer? her bizarre comment inspired the song “I Don’t Like Mondays”

We memorialize the dead and wounded of Columbine, holding the shooters up as kind of folk heroes in the process. Why the double standard? Why no folk-hero status for Brenda Ann Spencer? oh, yeah, right… she didn’t actually go INTO the school wearing a black trench coat shooting, making the children beg for their lives and she’s still living.

I would say,  on this Anniversary of the Columbine shootings, that it’s three-fold: She wasn’t bullied, only two were killed, both adults, and eight children and a cop were wounded  & she’s a girl.She has been denied parole. Repeatedly. We have issues with “violent femmes”.  Men, since the time of Medea, fear feminine violence.

A  San Diego resident, Brenda had her own problems: Epilepsy, drug-addiction, petty theft arrests, divorced family. She was also considered a “loser”. Had fantasies of being a sniper. On January 29, 1979, she acted on that fantasy. That Monday morning she picked up the .22 caliber semi-automatic rifle she had been given as a Christmas present by her father, loaded it, and proceeded to shoot the children and adults at Grover Cleveland Elementary School across the street. She killed two, wounded eight kids and a cop.  She then barricaded herself in the family home and threatened to “come out shooting”. when asked by a reporter about her motivation, she replied:

I just did for the fun of it. I don’t like Mondays. This livens up the day. I have to go now. I shot a pig, I think, and I want to shoot more. I’m having too much fun

“I had no reason for it, and it was just a lot of fun,”

“It was just like shooting ducks in a pond,”

“[The children] looked like a herd of cows standing around; it was really easy pickings.”

Newspaper account

Follow up stories

Tell me why.