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Columbine massacre (courtesy

Writing for, Dr. Jill Novak of the University of Phoenix and Texas A&M University sets out some of the salient if not defining characteristics of Generation Y/Millennials (Americans born between 1981 and 2000):

  • They are nurtured by omnipresent parents, optimistic, and focused.
  • Respect authority.
  • Falling crime rates. Falling teen pregnancy rates. But with school safety problems; they have to live with the thought that they could be shot at school, they learned early that the world is not a safe place.
  • They schedule everything.

True story? And if you weren’t born in the specified time frame, true story? [h/t V3]

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    • Same here. Mostly I fear being unable to return fire or escape: my classrooms are all deathtraps with fixed seats and one exit and I can’t carry on the state’s campus. I’m tempted to wear plates every day, but AZ is hella hot. Would be interesting to see how the faculty reacts though.

  1. “…Falling crime rates. Falling teen pregnancy rates. But with school safety problems; they have to live with the thought that they could be shot at school, they learned early that the world is not a safe place.”

    And apparently they have the ability to hold tight to two ideas that conflict with one another. If crime is down why would they worry about being shot? I mean without the corresponding data points of hanging out with people likely to shoot you or in places you are likely to get shot.

  2. Thanks to “If it bleeds it leads” media, this is the sort of world millennials were born into. We’ve shown angst-ridden youth the way to let out their anger is by committing suicide by cop and taking a slew of folks with them. No different than Lufthansa 9525 and the way co-pilot Andreas Lubitz decided to take an additional 149 people out of this world when he left.

    • You are aware that the population adjusted rate of ‘mass murder’ is wholly susceptible to how you define the statistical cut point right? If we call mass murders those with more than 14 dead then we’re looking at a population adjusted current rate HALF of what it was in the ’60s. If you call it with 4 or more then it looks like its on the upswing. Then again, the overall homicide rate has trended continuously downward since the ’80s. That aside, are you postulating that people born after 81′ are more likely than those born before to be influenced by media outlets? If that’s not the case then the distribution of mass murders should be random with regard to generation. Assuming of course that, all things considered, mass murders DON’T tend to be a certain age when they engage in criminality.

  3. Hell no. I went to a small private Christian school. Very conservative. There were probably more guns and better trained personnel (my teachers) than the local national guard armory. I almost would’ve felt bad for someone who came in looking to do harm. Heck, one time my buddy and I were comparing our pocket knives, probably 4 inch long blades, and my philosophy teacher walks up and asks us what we’re doing. I told him that I’d just gotten a new knife and I was showing it to my buddy. Did I get kicked out if school? We’re the cops called? We’re my parents notified of my psychotic behavior? Nope my teacher pulled out his knife and we had a nice little comparison chat. I would say 80+ % of the boys who I went to school with carried a knife everyday. No issues with violence ever. And I’m not talking about the good ol’ days here. I’m only 29.

    • For us in the early- to mid-70s, the Buck Folding Hunter was the blade of choice.

      As far as being shot, an errant spitball was the worst that could happen.

      • I carried a 2 bladed Case “Moose” folding pocket knife I bought in 1974. Great knife and I still have it, although it is worse for wear and not really in collectible condition.

    • I carried a folding pocket knife along with most of the boys at my multiple high schools as well, and I graduated in 2000.

      • Me and many other young men at my high school carried knives regularly with no negative consequences…and I graduated in 2013. Keep in mind though, this was in rural Oklahoma. I doubt that would fly in more urban areas.

      • Same here. Pocket knives were normal, and so were shotguns and rifles in trucks during hunting season….right up until those two little f**kers up there screwed that up for us. I was out of public school by the time the shock wore off and the reflexes fully kicked in, but the writing was on the wall. Actually, if you showed 1997 me a current high school, he’d be surprised it didn’t look more like a prison.
        And that date range is stupid. By 2000, we were adults. What the hell do I have in common with someone born the year I graduated?

  4. In the early 1980’s I twice took a rifle (a Springfield 1873 and then a 1903) to high school to show in history class. People noticed but there were no alarmed responses. No problems. This was not at a rural school either.

    • Same time period for me. We actually shot a 22 into a block of wood for physics class to see how fast a bullet went using pendulum motion etc. Of course we used the old range under the school left over from when it was built in the 50’s. We used a 22 because when the teacher tested the 7mm earlier it went clean through the block.

      • Rural high school in the late 70s, most students had a rifle or shotgun in a rack in the truck back window.

        • Early 70s, the same thing. Guns galore in the parking lot, rifle team, shop classes. We just had lots of bomb threats from liberation groups which meant party time in the parking lot.

  5. No. We did school lock down drills (at least one that I recall), but I never worried about being shot while I was in school.

  6. At my High School? Not really, we never had any threats or incidents. When I went to a public university with a much more, ahem, diverse demographic? Yes. We had armed robberies in the parking lots…

  7. I was born in ’48, so I was part of the “duck and cover” generation. We didn’t worry about school shooters so much as Russian ICBM’s.

    • Word. I still think duck and cover was just to keep us kids out of the teachers way while they ran for their cars.

      • I recently showed my mother, also a member of the “Duck and Cover” generation, the whole video on Youtube. She hadn’t seen it since elementary school, and back then everyone took the message seriously. This time she laughed herself to tears. I still crack up when the kids cover their heads with newspapers.

        • Newspapers? We were taught to jump under our desks and lock both hands over our heads. Crazy.

    • Yeah, we had nuclear bomb attack drills in grade school. Everyone to the fallout shelter.

  8. Never. And we had people with rifles in truck racks occasionally. My physics teacher put together a demo that involved firing a 22 short into a block of wood, too.

  9. Half the kids at my school came in from hunting in full camo with long guns on the back glass. Only a perfect idiot would have tried.

  10. No, I’m too old. At the time Kent State happened I was in 8th grade, maybe some of the wilder heads among the high-school kids thought they might get shot by the cops. We were taught to “duck and cover” in the second grade, but they never told us we were practicing for a nuclear bomb attack (yes, you kind of have to laugh I guess).

  11. I was in high school when the Columbine shooting happened, and in college during the VTech shooting. My schools were also similar to those (HS was demographically similar, and my college was a tech school). I’ve never felt in danger of being shot at school. Despite the prominence in the media, shootings like that are extremely rare. Living your life in fear of something that will most likely never happen to you seems paranoid to me.

  12. You mean my HS where we had a JROTC indoor rifle range on campus, where we shot 40X and 513T .22 rifles beginning in the 9th grade?

    No, was not worried one bit.

  13. Unfortunately I reside in the state of Connecticut, I carry everyday everywhere but unfortunately must go unarmed on my college campus, the same place I feel the need to be armed the most. Arguably one of the easiest places to achieve mass casualties with so many soft targets,
    Campus Police or not. I need to move lol.

  14. We had kids hunt on the way to and home from school. And they weren’t burying their guns before they got to school. We never had any problems during school hours….

    • Ditto that. Kids went hunting before school and left their rifles in the truck gun rack. One of our wrestling coaches drove a pickup that had two rifles in a rack. Any kid without a pocket knife with at least a 2.5″ blade was considered a sissy. That was 70s, but it stayed the same right through the mid-80s when my little brother was in high school.

      Sometime in the late 90s we started getting Californians retiring in the area. Now I don’t think kids are allowed three days off school to go hunting any longer, which is truly sad.

      And until meth came along it was common for families to have a .22 rifle, loaded, parked concealed but easily accessible near a door — with a state prison camp up the highway about twenty miles, every now and then an escaped convict had to be watched for. Friends, even early teens, knew where each other’s families piece was just in case.

      No one here worried about anyone being shot at school until cops showed up armed looking for students dealing meth. I’ll just say that some of our cops have less than quality gun handling skills.

  15. Currently enrolled at a certain university in Waco. Do I fear a shooting? Not in particular. Do I know it is possible seeing that the university bars possession of weapons on campus? Yes. I refuse to be in constant fear but do accept the reality that it is all too possible. And no, I don’t believe campus police could quickly and effectively haunt such a tragedy, especially in some of our more densely packed/inhabited spaces… I wish cc was allowed here. THAT would make me both feel and be safer IMO…

    • I can assure you that some in Waco adhere to the “always carry, never tell” school of thought. Even when at certain universities in town.

      Although, if I were one of those people, I wouldn’t tell you. (-;

    • I used to goto TSTC, there were definitely some unspoken you didnt see that moments in the apartments on campus. But then again almost everyone I knew were country boys all used to growing up hunting and with long guns and there were never any issues.

  16. Nope. Not at all. No matter how sad school shootings are, I have a far better chance of being killed in the drive to school than I did from being shot while there. It would have been a lot better if teachers and admins were able to carry to protect us, but however you want to slice it, you have a better chance of being bitten by a shark on vacation than you do of being shot at school.

  17. Nope, I worry about run away government spending, Patriot Act, NDAA, and so on….

  18. No. Never worried about being shot in school. Stabbed? Maybe. Beat? Definitely. Never shot. Never did lockdown drills or anything like that. I definitely do not respect authority, and I sure as hell don’t schedule everything. Born in 82 if anyone is curious.

  19. I didn’t really consider it in high school (naive) until my 11th grade year the police arrested two kids who had several shotguns, pistols, and homemade explosives and elaborate plans on shooting up the school. Apparently the idiots posted some comments on MySpace (this was in 2006) that led to them being investigated.
    In college I never really felt comfortable, I felt better after I turned 21 for a concealed handgun permit and took a concealed gun with me to class. Sure I was violating school rules (but not the law) but I felt if I ever had to use it I wouldn’t really care if they kicked me out as long as I and my classmates were still alive

  20. So what? I grew up with cops fingerprinting kids at fairs so their bodies could be ID’d when we were inevitably kidnapped and murdered. My parents hid under magic desks that could stop nuclear bombs. It’s always something.

  21. No, because I often carried anyways. Under age. No permit. To school every day. Yes, I said it.

    I worry about my son being shot at school because there’s not a damn thing to stop it from happening. Anti-gun filth aren’t content to send their own kids into a shooting gallery, they want everyone’s kids to be sitting ducks. My hate for them will never be quenched.

  22. I was born in ’68, but ‘duck and cover’ had pretty much fallen out of favor by then, if for no other reason than we were already certain Truth, Justice and the American Way would prevail. I went to public schools through the ninth grade and a small, private Catholic prep school in Arkansas the last three years. Nope, never worried one bit about getting shot. Had a Case pocket knife in my pocket most every day of school from about the 5th grade on. No one minded. The only time I used anything on anyone was…a #2 pencil. Yep, you heard that right. Sophomore year in high school geometry class. Stuck a classmate right in the upper arm with the pencil after he had been hitting me. After half a dozen hits I had reached the end of my patience and nailed him. I guess I could have pulled the knife out but it never occurred to me to do that. And that, I think, is where the world went wrong.It’s too long a story to elaborate on here, but for this, I blame mass media.

    As for parents – my mom left when I was an infant and I was raised by my grandparents on the farm. Old man set me to work as soon as I got off the bus and made sure I was either too busy or too tired to start any trouble, lol. I hated it but in hindsight it was definitely for the best.

    I don’t schedule much of anything. Growing up ranching beef cattle wasn’t like that. It was just work, work, and more work. Boarding school was definitely very regimented, but not unreasonably so. The wheels fell off the boat when I went to college, but I suppose that is another story.


  23. Not AT school, but I was in middle school during the beltway sniper attacks. I remember getting dropped off by my mom and her telling me to run to the door. Bad times. I drive past the crafting store where one of the shootings happens every day on my way to work.

  24. In college I carried illegally. They were supposed to be “gun free” under the “law”.

  25. I was born in 1947 and grew up in the 50s & 60s deep in the remote mountains of Va and NC. Everyone had guns and we never gave it a second thought. Almost all of the guns were long guns (shotguns and 22 or 30-30 rifles). They were just another tool we used to survive in the mountains. Most of the people that were killed were by accident or “because they need killing” (a successful defense that worked in Buchanan County, Virginia).

  26. I didn’t fear a shooting at my school growing up and never even gave it a thought.

    If we were truly wise, we would have prepared for it. Somehow, the movie Red Dawn did not even stir us to preparation.

  27. Almost got shot by an arrow some idiot shot down the hall of my dorm. Does that count?

    Other than that, no.

  28. I do not fear it but I prepare. I am a teacher. I do not fear my students or my colleagues, but because as Michael Bane says “There are too many rats in the box and some of theme are broken.” I do not fear being in a car wreck but I wear a set belt. I do not fear fire but i have a fire extinguisher in my home. I do not fear lightning but I come in out of the rain.

  29. When I was in college, we received a emergency broadcast text message said an active shooter situation was going on. The professor looked at the phone and said…… Sit down, don’t talk, finish your exam I’ll go lock the door. I was for a moment felt like we would die in that bloody chemistry lab, I can still smell the intensity in the air and the irony of finishing the exam under a potentially live and dead situation (although I finished the exam way before the text was sent. I was just checking the my answers, I though I finally found a reason to not check answers), that’s the single event that turns me from a gun-free-fan into a gun right advocate.

  30. Actually, I was a little. I went to high school in SoCal during the mid-90’s. I grew up hearing automatic weapon fire. Heard the blasts that killed people on more than one occasion.

    We had to pass through a thing like a metal detector 3-4 random times during the year. It was not a metal detector just a door frame looking thing that went off when the random comp. inside told it to. Basically playing a numbers game and searching random kids.

    Lots of gangs and shootings near the school. Most of the gang bangers never made it to 9th grade or went to other schools. Plus we had a few LAPD wannabes stationed at the school and many around it so I was equally afraid of being shot by them. There was a race riot the year before I started at the high school I graduated from.

    My fears were heightened after I graduated high school and went into the AF. I guy I knew of from my same high school was at the same base as me. He told me after awhile that he actually brought a pistol to school.

    • Ha, sounds like the high school I went to for a couple of years when my parents were separated temporarily. Riot on my last day there too, aside from the metal detectors. Wrong coast though.

      The school was in the middle of the worst part of town, & it was the 80’s, crack was still the thing, & gangbangers were everywhere. Funnily enough, throughout all of that, it still kept getting voted the best city to raise a family in…. I still think there must’ve been some major coverup going on.

  31. Growing up at a time when we did not lock our doors in our middle class neighborhood in NYC, yes, I was afraid of getting shot in school. With a pea shooter or a spit-ball. We all carried knives. No-one was stabbed and no-one cared. For our daughter, now 23, after decades of misguided social engineering, frequent lockdowns at high school due to imagined and sometimes real gunshots from the nearby slum and drug sale area (school conveniently placed between a slum and one of the wealthiest parts of town where we did not live.) Then to a large, big name, gun-free public university in an otherwise gun-friendly state, frequent emails and text messages about robberies and near-campus shootings. Overall crime rate may be down, but too much random psycho violence.

  32. I’m of Generation X:

    Latch-key kids from single-parent homes.

    Utter disdain for authority.

    Rampant drug-use, pregnancy and drop-out rates, and we didn’t so much worry about being shot at school as much as we did getting incinerated in a knee-jerk nuclear holocaust.

    Still living by the seat of our pants.

    Thanks, Boomers! YMMV

  33. Not really worried. But we had race riots in my public high school late 60’s early 70’s. More knives and flying chairs than anything else. My brother got hurt by said chair. I was a big teen-age weightlifter and none of the brothers messed with me. And I am SO glad my younger sons are out of school…

  34. When I was in school, the FFA sponsored a turkey shoot every year to raise money, and people were allowed to bring in cased guns and check them in before school, and then around lunch time go out back and actually have a turkey shoot on school property. And shockingly, no mass murders occurred. Go figure!

  35. Heck no. There was a rifle in the back window of every truck in the parking lot. I almost always had a rifle or shotgun (depending on the season) in my car when I went to school. Going home to get it first meant 30 minutes of lost daylight.

    Since then I have waited to find out if friends made it out of Columbine alive and had a son at Arapahoe during that shooting . . . both at schools zero tolerance no gun policies.

    So no. I had no fear of it myself, but I have a very reality based fear of it on behalf of my own children.

  36. When I was in High School right after columbine, I was a quiet kid who kept to myself. One Day while reading a book in the cafeteria, some kids came up and apologized, for if they had ever been mean, cruel etc to me.

    I was confused, because I had no idea who the fuck they were. Said OK and went back to my book.

    Then they had a active shooter drill where the students were suppose to clump up on the side of the room not visible from the door (which could only be locked from the outside) and stay quite. My class failed. I told my teacher that if I heard gunfire from this direction they could find me heading in the opposite direction.

  37. Not worried in the least. We had a rifle team (my mother was an anti so no joy for me) and the members would bring their personal rifles in and home on the bus. The rifle team instructors were both National Guard rifle instructors as well. Like some others, my biggest concern in high school was the opposite sex and how to get together with more of them.

  38. The irrational fear we were subjected to was obliteration by atomic bomb. I recall carrying knives to school and it not being a big deal.

  39. I went to school in Littleton, CO a couple of years before Columbine happened, (after moving from NJ, which had a much stricter ‘gun culture’, obviously) and no.

    Some kid set off a pepper spray or OC gas ‘bomb’ in the cafeteria once. (The teachers called it ‘tear gas’, it wasn’t.) We went out to the parking lot, some punk got dragged out by his ear and suspended, and that was the end of it. It sure as hell wasn’t on the news or anything. Now it would be.

    There was no “trench coat mafia” either, just nerds who wore that style and played roleplaying games at lunch. I still have no idea what happened to Harris and Klebold, but it wasn’t endemic. Yeah, we got bulled, I got bulled, lots of kids got bulled, and it sucked. The teachers in that area did have an “oh, kids will be kids” mentality at the time. That may have caused a missed ‘alarm bell’, but not the shooting. I don’t think bullying should be ignored, but the micro-prisons that schools are now aren’t helping it.

    Honestly I think schools are more primed for violence now than they were before. Zero tolerance, lockdowns, metal detectors — again these are the trappings of prisons, not schools. And we all know violence never happens in prison, right?

    That sort of rigidity (the wrong kind, mind you; I’m not talking strong leadership from staff/principals and ‘tough love’, I’m talking rules for the sake of rulemaking..) along with this idea (and mostly it is an IDEA) that kids have to get ready to hide under their desks during a ‘lockdown’ — is causing social stress that’s more likely go set up the environment for a shooting, than before all of this reaction.

    Stop trying to program and control kids, and teach them instead. Damn. Let them warm up to real life a little. I talk to people just a few years younger than me and I describe the “monkey bars” made of steel pipe set into the blacktop on the playground and they look at me like I have three heads. (Coming home with scrapes and skinned knees was associated more with ‘the weather being nice out’ than lawsuits.)

    Now that’d be a soft spongy 3 foot tall structure on top of six inches of padding. I’m only in my 30’s and already saying “Baack in myyy dayyyy..”

    Long story short, no. Even though I went to school where one happened. And it’s still not “endemic”.

    • Well said. I agree with you. I graduated school more recently, and it is almost exactly how you said. The teachers were mostly good, but the amount of ridiculous rules were unbelievable. You had to fill in five or so forms for every field trip, and my attempts at organising a petition club, for trying to change those awful rules, got shut down quickly.

  40. i went to college at a private school with over 60% ROTC and a National Guard armory on the campus. There was a cannon fired at least twice a day and it was not uncommon to see rifles (albeit de-milled) being carried and/or practiced with by the drill team. Every few months the corps would have an FTX and you’d hear rifle fire through the hills around campus, or occasionally right outside the window of the architecture studio.

    Still won’t forget the time somebody double-parked the M1 Abrams that they were moving out of the armory, I wish I had gotten a picture….

  41. Born in 1982, graduated in 2001. I think I was in 10th grade when Columbine happened. I think they started to increase security by the time I graduated, but nothing drastic. I never feared that I would get shot at school. We missed a day or two of high school due to arson. We had several late starts to school days due to bomb threats as early as 5th grade. No major violence. I’m from a lower middle class, black and white (people) area. Color didn’t matter much, character did.
    I had more reason to “fear” getting shot by my home. I grew up by the projects and heard gun shots fairly often. When I was little, I learned to avoid or get below the windows when we heard shots, and to never answer the door without first peeping to see who was there. When I was 12 or so, a guy was shot in the projects when attempting to buy drugs. He ran and collapsed in my neighbor’s driveway, and later died. So, I guess school was safer than my neighborhood. I’m thankful that I had to grow up tough.

  42. Born in ’87, graduated HS in ’05. I didn’t live my life back then in fear of being shot, until one kid told me he was going to bring in his gun and “cap my ass”. I went to the principal’s office about it, who told me he would take it very seriously… I think the kid got a stern talkin’ to, but that’s it. Didn’t get suspended, nor expelled for a very real threat on my life.

    Looking back, I’m surprised I didn’t push to have it taken more seriously.

  43. Born between 1981 and 2000 is a huge gap and the experience of someone born at the beginning is completely different than someone born at the end. I fall about in the middle of that range, born in 89 and graduated high school in 07 so I am speaking for myself and the people I personally knew around the same age.

    Did I fear being shot at school? No, never, even though we did lock-down drills when I was in high school

    “They are nurtured by omnipresent parents, optimistic, and focused.”

    Omnipresent parents were few and far between when I was growing up. Starting at around second grade, apart from making sure I got my homework done and reminding me to stay out of trouble it was “come home when the streetlights come on” and “let us know if you go to a friend’s house”. It was the same for all of my friends. Optimistic? Any optimism ended in high school when we realized that our parent’s generation was screwing up our futures. We weren’t pessimists but we were realists. Focused? It was a mixed bag. Some were, some weren’t, I wasn’t.

    “Respect authority.”

    It was mixed. Like with every generation there were always some who didn’t. While most respected authority, as we reached adulthood we all questioned it while mostly still remaining respectful.

    “Falling crime rates. Falling teen pregnancy rates. But with school safety problems; they have to live with the thought that they could be shot at school, they learned early that the world is not a safe place.”

    School safety problems? Other than the occasional fight that happens in all schools none of us worried about that. We learned the world wasn’t a safe place when our 7th grade teachers turned on the TV’s and we watched planes fly into buildings on live television.

    “They schedule everything.”

    Nope. At least not from what I saw apart from things you have to schedule like doctors appointments.

    This is nothing more than a clueless person making sweeping generalizations. It would honestly be better if they capped the end of Generation Y/Millennials at about 1995 or 1996 since the kids that were born from that point forward never saw what the world was like before the internet and cell phones became huge and an everyday thing.

  44. I am in this age group and have similar traits, save the omnipresent parenting (I had a lot of freedom: “be home at sunse.”)

    I was in 10th grade when Columbine happened. Overnight, backpacks were banned and “threatening” language was redefined. A friend was tackled by the Asst Principle while walking past the cafeteria holding a plastic gun (this friend was in the middle of play rehearsal, the auditorium was cafeteria adjacent).
    Now: was I afraid of being shot? I felt that the odds were greater that I’d die in a car accident during the next 24 hrs. We could no longer walk around with opaque bags (I was actually written up for using a backpack) and were encouraged to use a clear satchel that I called the “Wal-Mart bags.” Hypocritical safety standards were everywhere I knew it was pure backlash to Columbine. I was not afraid of getting shot in or around school. I did notice a corresponding lack of freedom and the shift toward a more prison-esque system; ie hall passes, hall monitors creating traffic problems, BS drills.

  45. Born ’79. Ass end of Generation X I suppose.

    Hard and fast white hot hate for authority. School was by and large just a place to buy drugs and get laid. Never worried about being shot at school or anywhere else. Still don’t unless cops are around when I’m walking my dog. My parents are more like loose acquaintances than family by choice. I very rarely schedule or plan anything in advance.

  46. They are nurtured by omnipresent parents, optimistic, and focused. = DIVORCED PARENTS SINGLE MOM

    Respect authority. QUESTION AUTHORITY

    Falling crime rates. Falling teen pregnancy rates. But with school safety problems; they have to live with the thought that they could be shot at school, they learned early that the world is not a safe place.

    They schedule everything. ONLY MY POOPS!


  47. Nope. I even went to High School about 25 minutes from Columbine and was locked down when it was happening, had friends there and everything. Never gave it a second thought really.

  48. Well, yes, but I went to a majority black school with a gang problem, so nobody gave a shite.

  49. Let’s see…first day we had two mass melé fights, one stabbing (knife), one stabbing (pencil–#2 I beleve), one ear bit off (in the VP office) and one teacher dangled out the 3rd floor office (he wasn’t dropped but never came back). Nope, didn’t fear being shot at school. Walking to and from school through Patterson NJ though was a whole different matter. That was in 63. Now I live in the sane state of Texas.

  50. Born in ’89. The profile they’re presenting here is pretty much straight out of a book called (creatively) ‘Generations’ in which Strauss and Howe lay out their generational theory (see the wiki page for Strauss-Howe generational therory). It’s pseudo-science; actually the very notion that one generation is identifiably different from the next in discrete groups delineated by a range of years is nonsense, but it’s so culturally ingrained that we accept it without examination. I will now contribute to the problem by laying out my anecdotal responses to each point:

    They are nurtured by omnipresent parents, optimistic, and focused:
    Almost painfully true. My parents and the parents of other kids my age would never leave us alone, in some cases into college. It was very annoying and I think it’s generally resulted in a stifled ability to “figure out” social networks (flesh and bone ones) and how we fit into them.

    Respect authority:
    Sure, but doesn’t every generation *really* respect authority? Most baby boomers weren’t out on the streets protesting the war or taking acid trips.

    Falling crime rates. Falling teen pregnancy rates. But with school safety problems; they have to live with the thought that they could be shot at school, they learned early that the world is not a safe place:

    I remember Columbine vividly, but I also remember that the ones freaked out by it were the parents, not the kids, who generally take that kind of thing in stride. From then on out though we had lockdown/code red drill more often than fire or tornado drills, and they were almost universally the brunt of derision by the kids. I think we all understood that locking the door and cowering in the dark wasn’t really going to help. In the event of a real code red my reaction would be to take off out the door and across the playground at top speed.

    They schedule everything:
    I am the most disorganized person I know, I schedule nothing.

    They feel enormous academic pressure:
    Crushing academic pressure. My parents essentially made clear that through my college admissions process held their genetic fate in my hands. It was a source of *extreme* anxiety. I was much more afraid of failing pre-calculus and not getting into a good engineering program than getting wasted by some Eric Harris wannabe.

    They feel like a generation and have great expectations for themselves:
    I blame the media. It’s wall-to-wall thinkpieces about Millenials this, Millenials that. How can we not have a sense of generational identity when we get told about it all the time?

    “Prefer digital literacy as they grew up in a digital environment. Have never known a world without computers!”:
    Can’t argue with that one.

    “They get all their information and most of their socialization from the Internet”:
    Not all of us are playing WoW and EVE in mom’s basement. We have real-world friends. We just talk to them more often via electronics.

    “Prefer to work in teams”:
    I guess? This seems like another case of identifying a universal human trait as a generational one.

    “With unlimited access to information tend to be assertive with strong views”:
    I find the opposite to be true. Millenials are extremely sensitive to what the group consensus is, especially if they don’t know it. Most people are reluctant to express opinions before searching out how their friends feel.

    “Envision the world as a 24/7 place; want fast and immediate processing.”:
    Sure, but everyone is like this nowadays.

    Won’t dignify the remaining two points with an answer. They’re insipid.

    • 1992 here:

      wrt teams this sums it up imho:

      If I die I want my pallbearers to be people who worked with me on groups assignments so they may let me down one last time…..

  51. Same as it ever was…..same as it ever was…….same as it ever was…..

    Sounds like the product of a Prof scrambling for something relevant to write.

  52. 1992:
    They are nurtured by omnipresent parents, optimistic, and focused.

    My parents give me space but are around.

    I am both optimistic and cynical as heck, probably more cynacal.

    Somewhat focused.

    Respect authority.

    Hahahahahaha ha NO! When I was ~3 my parents told me not to listen to someone just because they were an adult, amazingly this has carried over to most authoraties, I tend to talk to professors like I would a normal person.

    Falling crime rates. Falling teen pregnancy rates.

    Well I’m not pregnant, but then I’m a dude. Also waiting for marriage so………(I guess abstinence can work)

    But with school safety problems; they have to live with the thought that they could be shot at school

    Yeah its a good thing I’ll be almost completely defenseless if that happens! Good job liberals!! #campusCarry

    they learned early that the world is not a safe place

    No frigging DUH the world isn’t a safe place, it has never been a safe place and until it is remade (after the end times) it will never be a safe place derp.

    Did earlier generations not know this?

    Kaiser? hitler? Hirohito? Cold war and Mad? Airplane hijackings? Iranian Hostage crisis?

    If yall didn’t you were dumb.

    They schedule everything.

    more like:
    “we procrastinate on everything”

    Now back to my scheduled procrastination of the paper due tommorow.

    (due tommorow == do tomorrow)

  53. I live in a gun-free country, so no to getting shot. Getting stabbed, however, is another story. I went to a public school and it was like a Borstal school. The changing rooms for gym were terrifying. You couldn’t bend over for fear of prison behaviour! By 4th year, I was carrying a small wooden rod with rounded ends that I could wield fairly well that I had turned on a lathe out of hickory. I did end up being threatened and I jabbed a guy in the neck.
    I enjoyed it. He didn’t. The paperwork after was unbelievable.

    • So what justification did you have to give for carrying your “wood shop project?”

  54. There are some vast difference within the Millennial generation. I’ve talked to many of my friends whom were born 81-85, and myself having been born in 86, often resent getting lumped in with those born 1990 and later. There are some vast cultural differences. most of us born prior to 1990, usually had both parents working so we were less supervised and subsequently matured quickly. We also tended to be self-sufficient, learning to cook, clean, etc by the time we started high school. Only thing we were too young to get were jobs (especially in CA).

    As to the fear of being shot… I wasn’t (YMMV). Also just cause I make a schedule, doesn’t mean I stick to it religiously. And respect for authority tended to be hit or miss. In general I do, but if the person in that position is a complete asswipe I either blow them off, or comply long enough to get them out of business and continue as I see fit.

    • Almost forgot, Hate working in teams/ prefer to work alone, and am pessimistic/ realistic more than I am optimistic.

  55. born in 82, class of 01. my buddy and i wrote naive short stories about us heroically thwarting murdering maniacs.

  56. I was in high school in the early 70s in the rural south. I was never worried about getting shot. Getting the crap beaten out of me, yes.

    By the time I’d saved up enough to buy an old car and drive it, there was always a .38SPL not far away.

  57. Hmm. born in 1953.

    Raised in a omnipresent attitude there was a higher authority above the government.
    Lived in world where kids could walk to school and the biggest danger was the neighbor’s dog. But, once there, we had to practice KMAG drills because atomic bombs were going to fly down from the sky and disassemble our souls and keep us from going to heaven.

    Took guns to school, but nobody was ever concerned they would be used.

    Joined the military and later discovered the biggest enemy our country faces are those who want to dismantle the Constitution and they live right among us. Publishing stories meant to convince us to do their dirty work for them.

    The more we try to protect each other from evil, the more evil we promote to do it. This is not the future I planned to grow old in.

  58. I’m 54 and all my schooling was in Florida (to include a BS from FSU) – not once did I ever consider the possibility of being shot while in school.

  59. I grew up 60 miles from Columbine and was a senior in high school when the shooting happened. I was shocked and upset at the time, but I don’t think I feared getting shot, mostly because I was naive (but also have a deeply religious upbringing).

    As I’ve become a father and concerned myself more with my personal protection, I still don’t “worry” about getting shot, but I’m infinitely more aware and prepared if an active shooter situation were to occur. I hope there are more advances in school safety as my kids get older, but you have to work with what you have at the moment.

  60. As a teacher the school lock down rules almost assured I’d get shot. When a lock down was announced, I was to open the classroom door, pull out my key and lock the door. Then I’d go back in and close the door. Next I was to close the blinds to the outside windows. Then it was stand on a counter and tape large pieces of paper over the windows to the hallway. Finally, I’d calm the students, get them on the floor and then email the front office with a head count.
    Meanwhile the administration liked to play games. They had a secretary announce the drill was over. GOT YOU! She could have had a gun to her head. Then a administrator knocked on the door and said open up. GOT YOU! She might have had a gun on her. Meanwhile the idea of installing blinds on the windows was rejected as too expensive.

  61. I graduated from high school in 1989. Since I was a navy brat, I changed schools every 3 to 4 years, due to military transfers. At NO time and in NO place was I in fear of being shot (just beat up by the school bullies… >:( ). In fact, when I was nine years old (1980), one of my uncles gave me a flintlock pistol – a REAL flintlock pistol, complete with extra flints, a bag of lead balls, and a pound of Goex FFFg black powder – for Christmas, and (with the permission of the school’s principal, and sans ammo) I was allowed to bring it in for a “show-and-tell” session. In high school, I was allowed to make SMALL samples of explosives – all I had to do was tell my chemistry teacher what I wanted to do, and all he wanted was a list of ingredients plus a complete chemical formula for the explosive and the formulas for the reaction that created the explosive in the first place – THEN he wanted a sample afterwards. And this was in a Philadelphia, PA public school! Times have DEFINITELY changed… 🙁

  62. Being shot is probably the only thing the nuns threatened me with. To this day the sight of a yardstick makes me break out in a cold sweat. Would do anything to know what’s in my “permanent record.” Those were the “duck and cover” days of the cold war.

  63. Never.

    Might have something to do with the fact that I had a plan to GTFO if some shit went down, though.

    “Everyone stay in your classrooms, and lock the door.”

    Screw that noise. Most of my classes were on the first floor.

  64. I disagree with the assertion that everyone born ’86 to ’00 had linked experiences. At least some pre 2000 kids like myself remember a TSA free America. Depending on where you lived, the experience could vary drastically too.

    In my case it was an NJ private middle/high school, graduated in 2011. I grew to accept danger early on in life so I never really worried about a potential shooting, fire, etc. I always had a reaction plan so that kept me calm.

    After the VT shootings there was, among other things, an outright ban on trenchcoats which made me laugh. We also had a lot more lockdown drills. I made a point of saying that if I heard shots fired I’d be running in the opposite direction in seconds.

    Contrasting the usual NJ anti hysterics was my woodshop teacher, a proud Texan and 2nd amendment absolutist at heart who inspired me to become a gun owner. He’d tell me about the good old days too. One kid in the 80’s had a willies jeep, so he and a few friends dressed up like WW2 GI’s, realistic toy guns included, and showed up to school in that outfit for halloween. Everyone cheered. “How sadly the times have changed,” he said. Truer words never spoken.

  65. No. I’m afraid of medical malpractice, cancer, heart attacks, stroke, drunk drivers, and brain aneurysm. I will surely be killed by one of these eventually.

    In the realm of mass attacks, I’m not afraid of being shot. I’m afraid of being blown up or burned to death. Columbine was a botched bombing attempt. The biggest mass attack killings outside of a war zone over the past 10 years have been flammable liquids on public transit. I fear $5 of gas and a Bic lighter in a confined space and bike lock on the emergency exit.

  66. No. But then, I grew up at a time before social media existed to tell me what was acceptable to think and how much I should fear. I also grew up at a time when critical thinking was taught to kids.

  67. Nope. Never. School of several k (not like your huge city types) so we all knew who to worry about, and even then the handful of bomb threats we got were mostly a joke.

    Now in college (ie right now)… Old part of town. An armed robbery on campus (which they have to send emails out about) every month or so. Not so benign. Though I also avoid being on campus as much as possible so it’s not a real worry either. Nothing bad happens during the day there.

  68. I never feared to be shot. I remember when in third grade, a student was caught carrying a 22cal pistol; no freaking out, no lock down, etc. There wasn’t even any sort of announcement made that I’m aware of.


  69. In high school: not at all.

    In College: Not on campus, but off campus due to kids at my college being the target of criminals from the south of the city looking for an easy score of a laptop, a phone, and whatever else electronics kids were toting (at the time, the OG iPod was about as good as it got, this was flip phone era)

  70. In high school in the early 80s we had an indoor range and varsity rifle team, in a suburb of NY City no less. Somehow I doubt my alma mater still allows rifles on campus.
    Fortunately my kids think shooting is fun, so there is some hope for the future.

  71. I’m 26. Getting shot in a school shooting was never a thought that came remotely close to crossing my mind. Just like getting struck by lightning or dying in a plane crash are not thoughts that frequent my mind.

    Disliking that I had to leave my means of personal protection at home while I was in college on the other hand was a thought I had frequently. Never can I say I consciously connected it with fear of a school shooting. It was more like, I’m walking around this densely populated city (campus) full of idiots and a few opportunists. A blue strobing light pole is going to do sweet FA for me if I actually ever need help or see someone else who needs help. Wanting gun =/= fear of school shooting in my mind; the reasons were more practical and likely for wishing to be armed..

    If I was to do it again, I wouldn’t disarm for campus.

    • You are on target with the college problem. Back as a Grad student I struggle with the campus carry problem 2 or 3 nights a week I lobby my representative and senator regularly for campus carry but it is a slow process since the press thinks college students are all 17 year old drunks.

      Even Students for Concealed Carry misses the fact that most CCW holders are not undergrads.

  72. No, although I did know people who carried guns, and one of my friends pulled a gun on another student who was giving him problems when the teacher was out of the class. Teacher never even knew it happened. There was a student knifed at my school, at a basketball tournament. Neither of the people involved were from my school.

    I never carried a gun to school, but I started carrying a knife in the second grade. I graduated in ’69, btw

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