Sixteen years ago, I sat in my friend’s living room after school and watched the horror at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado unfold. The news showed students being herded out of their high school, trauma written all over their faces. Police surrounded the school, injured kids were in the grass, parents were crying, and shocked news anchors told viewers that there were reports of fatalities.
A school shooting? I’d never heard of such a thing. Schools were a safe place, shootings didn’t happen there! Never in a million years could we have imagined that this would become our “normal.”
April 20th marks the anniversary of the day Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold entered their high school and gunned down 12 classmates and a teacher. Up until that day in 1999, our country had never seen such a deadly school shooting. The news showed the footage over and over again; images of the aftermath were splashed on the front pages of newspapers across the country.
There are days that you remember exactly where you were when something horrifying happened, and this is one of those days. It was the first time a lot of us had been exposed to this kind of violence, and now, 16 years later, we see it all too often.
Since the Columbine High School shooting, we have lived through Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook, and a multitude of others. Schools are no longer a safe place and our politicians have done little to protect our children.
Gun control has become a wedge issue and the rhetoric from right-wing America rivals the crap they spew about abortions. The NRA actively lobbies against small changes that would make it harder for these things to happen. Republicans pander to them, all while screaming that the 2nd Amendment must not be infringed upon.
It is all very disgusting, and it doesn’t look like it’ll change any time soon.
We watched the events at Columbine High School unfold in shock, and now we are numb to similar incidents because they happen so often. In a few months I will probably be writing the exact same thing on the anniversary of the Sandy Hook massacre.
How sad is that? We should be ashamed that this is the “normal” our babies will grow up with.
Watch a video about the shooting below:
Featured image via Wikipedia