April 20th 1999 was a Tuesday. I remember this fact because my day off was Tuesday. I was probably doing some laundry and cleaning with the TV on in the background. Then I remember stopping and watching as the news came across the TV. There had been a school shooting......a bad one. My first thought was "bad things always happen on Tuesdays."
Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed 13 and injured 24. Eric was the mastermind behind the massacre and young psychopath. Dylan was depressed, seemingly a bipolar individual. Eric planned the day extensively for a couple of years and they both documented everything with journals and videos. These were used by the author who did a fantastic bit of journalism with this book.
There was so much more to what happened than we were told. This wasn't supposed to be a shooting, or at least not just a shooting, Eric had a vision of total destruction. The two had planted bombs in the school inside duffle bags as well as in their cars. The bombs were designed to kill 500 people. Eric wanted to kill everyone and thankfully he failed to figure out how to detonate his bombs. So Eric and Dylan were forced to use their guns instead, guns they could only get at a gun show.
David Cullen a reporter on the scene April 20th 1999 made it his mission to learn everything there was to learn about this tragedy. He spent the next ten years doing just that with this book being the result. Columbine not only takes us into the minds of the killers but into police cover-ups on prior incidents with Eric and Dylan and how glaringly obvious it was that they were going to do very bad things. It follows up on the families of the victims and what has become of them over the years.
A bit of a personal rant here. I am not a gun fan. If I had my way I'd melt every last one of them down. I know this isn't a terribly popular opinion in this country but it is how I feel. I don't understand the love affair many people in the United States have with these things designed for nothing but destruction. I know that melting down all the guns won't happen (yet), but I do believe we have to start coming up with some strong regulations to stop future Eric-s and Dylan-s, James-s and Adam-s. Because no matter their mental state, their killings would not have been possible if they didn't have access to an arsenal.
After reading Columbine I came to another conclusion. Every parent needs to go through their kids personal stuff. Screw privacy. I can't figure out how these two guys could have amassed the fire power and bomb makings, video taped themselves and wrote the whole plan out in journals in their parents houses and their parents didn't know! They were basically screaming "I am going to kill as many people as I can!!"
I would be one nosy, annoying mom if I had any children.....boy would they hate me and I wouldn't care.