For the past 20 or so years, I’ve been trying to warn parents, teachers, and the general public about columbiners. Do you know how some people have that one topic that you don’t dare ask them about because you’ll know they’ll go on for hours? I’m being a little bit hyperbolic, but that’s me and Columbiners.
When I started writing about school shootings lo those many years ago, I was shocked to my core that there were people who thought the Columbine cowards were justified in murdering 13 people. I shouldn’t have been shocked because in the 80s when I was in high school and college I met more of my fair share of guys who thought Charles Manson didn’t do anything wrong.
But this was a new age, the burgeoning internet age. Not everyone was online back in the early 2000s, and the sheer number of people gathered on message boards praising the Columbine shooters is what shocked me. Even though these people might have been technically inclined, they also weren’t the sharpest tools in the shed. When talking about Columbiners, I almost always have to regale my readers with the story of the woman who claimed to have had sex with Dylan Klebold’s ghost and gave birth to his ghost babies.
Even though it’s been almost 24 years since Columbine, no other school shooting has had so many fans, or ‘stans’ as the kids call them. Not Virginia Tech, not Parkland, and not Sandy Hook. Only Columbine continues to garner creepy followers. There are a few reasons for that, in my opinion. The first is that the Columbine shooting was the first major school shooting of the modern era. The second reason is that most every school shooting since then has been a copycat of Columbine. Even school shooters like Cho Seung-Hui and Kimveer Gill mentioned their admiration for the Columbine cowards in their respective manifestos. Now you may have some edgelords who are columbiners just to be edgy for edgy’s sake, but the main reason people become columbiners is they believe in the myth that the Columbine shooters were bullied when there’s no evidence to support that.
But every once in a while, some aspiring teenager will buck the trend. 19-year-old Brandon Ray Speed of Laredo, Texas, is not only accused of threatening a school shooting, but is also a fan of the Uvalde shooter, Salvador Ramos.
As an aside, you should never give your kids the middle names of Ray, Lee, Earl, or Wayne. You’re almost guaranteeing they’ll be some form of criminal, but I digress.
Speed appeared on the FBI’s radar after someone from the UK found threatening statements on Twitter by a user named ‘Scratchboy09’. Along with the threats, the Scratchboy09 Twitter account was also said to have contained pictures of various school shooters.
In a group chat, Scratchboy09 was asked if he’d rather be arrested or take the coward’s way out after a school shooting. His alleged response was, “I’d rather keep shooting til I die.” There was also said to be a picture of Speed on the Twitter account, showing him with a shotgun draped over his shoulders.
After Speed was picked up by the FBI, he reportedly admitted to owning the Scratchboy09 account. He is also said to have told the FBI that he idolized Salvador Ramos. Speed even told investigators he met Ramos a month before the shooting.
According to Speed, he and his ex-girlfriend were driving from Laredo to San Antonio and just happened to stop in Uvalde, so they could get high in a public park. Ramos supposedly walked by and Speed’s ex-girlfriend told him she liked his hair. Ramos allegedly smiled and kept walking. Speed then recognized the man he met as Ramos after the shooting.
I don’t believe one iota of this story. For one, if you’re driving from Laredo to San Antonio, you have to go a pretty good distance out of your way to go to Uvalde. Secondly, this resembles a common trope that early columbiners would display. Back in the early 2000s, so many people claimed to be friends with Eric Harris, both online and in meat space. If that was the case, Harris would have been the most popular kid in all of Colorado.
Speed allegedly exhibited another columbiner trait. He went to visit Robb Elementary School after the shooting. He posted a video online of him driving past the school that had the title of “Long Live Salvador”. Columbiners like to go to Columbine High School like it’s some kind of mass murder mecca. It’s become such a problem for the school that it was discussed whether Columbine should be torn down.
Previously, I said that Speed bucked the columbiner trend by idolizing Ramos instead of the Columbine shooters. Well, I partially lied. Speed is just one more in a line of copycats that goes all the way back to Columbine in 1999. Ramos also idolized school shooters, and I have no doubt that the Columbine shooters were among them. This essentially makes Speed a columbiner by proxy, just another member of the congregation of cowards.
Source: ‘I’d rather keep shooting til I die’: Laredo teen idolized Uvalde shooter