Sunday, April 20, 2014

Columbine Fifteen years Ago

In 1999, two students opened fire at Columbine on this day, killing 12 classmates and a teacher and wounding 26 others before killing themselves in the school's library. Since then, there has been more school shootings, and college shootings, and university shootings, and shopping mall shootings, and theater shootings, and military base shootings, and...well, you watch the news.

It is an issue that I care about because my wife is a school teacher. When the Columbine shooting happened in April 1999, I was dating Kh.S.--and the news scared the hell out of me.

(The local theater shooting that happened awhile back also shook me--the shooter had attended the same university that I did, and it happened at a film that I had considered going to the opening of.)

Since Columbine happened, I have watched the battle between the pro-gun supporters and the gun control supporters. I have seen politicians lose elections over the issue. And I have watched people condemn others who state that even if we cannot agree on what to do about guns, at least we should be able to agree on gun safety.

Are we any closer to making sure that events like this never happen again? Honestly, I feel that we have not made any progress at all. But that is probably just a bad gut reaction. What I do know is that the NRA has made it difficult to get good data on the problem and possible solutions. And that no amount of data will change anyone's mind.

Therefore, the only thing that we can really do is remember the lives lost at Columbine High School in April 1999, and cross our fingers that someday someone comes up with a solution that does not involve "taking everyones' guns away" or "arming everyone, including my blind grandmother" that is actually acceptable to both sides. Of course, odds are that the sun will burn out and explode long before that actually happens, but no one has ever accused me of being realistic, have they?

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