Remembering Columbine, 20 years later
It is the twentieth anniversary of what had been the worst school shooting in history at the time.
On April 20, 1999, at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris killed 13 people and injured 20 in 16 minutes before killing turning the gun on themselves.
Investigations found that victims were chosen randomly, and that originally Klebold and Harris planned to bomb the school. According to Britannica, Klebold and Harris brought semiautomatic rifles, pistols and explosives to the school and there were also two propane tank bombs in the cafeteria.
The effects of this horrible incident are still present today.
“The massacre at Columbine High School is both past and ever-present, a wound that never really heals because every time somebody with a high-powered weapon unleashes a bloodbath at a school, the scab gets ripped off,” NBC News said.
Families continue to suffer.
“It seems like every month, there’s a new tragedy of some kind somewhere around,” said Rick Townsend to NBC News. “It just makes you feel sometimes hopeless.”
His daughter, Lauren, was 18 when killed in Columbine.
Once of the survivors, Sean Graves, was shot six times and left partially paralyzed.
“It’s hard to imagine it’s already been 20 years,” Graves said to NBC News. “I was 15 years old when I was shot. It’s hard for me to picture life, what it was before.”
Craig Scott, another survivor, lost his sister that day.
“[Columbine] is where I lost Rachel and where I saw my friends die,” he said to NBC. “It’s a place where my life changed forever.”
Survivor Zach Cartaya has also struggled with trauma over the past 20 years.
“Over 20 years, I had to let my anger go. Because if you don’t let that anger go, it’s going to consume you. And it’s consumed way too many of us,” Cartaya said to NPR.
This massacre is what sparked the national debate on gun violence.
Tom Mauser, father of Daniel Mauser who was killed that day, speaks publicly to push for gun control.
“I think to really honor people and to say we’re really gonna resolve to do something about it, it has to be more than thoughts and prayers,” he said to NBC.
However, with no changes made in gun policies, in 2007 the deadliest school shooting happened on April 16 where 32 people were killed before the gunman killed himself at Virginia Tech, according to HISTORY.
And, it didn’t end there either.
According to The Washington Post, as of April 8, more than 226,000 students “have experienced gun violence at school” since Columbine.
Families suffer every day in America because of gun violence. This country has lost to much to not be pushing to make a change in our policies.