The most tragic school shooting in American history took place on April 20, 1999. On this infamous day in history two Columbine high school-students killed 13 and wounded 21, before they took there own lives. It’s not clear why they chose this day, but it may be because this was the anniversary of Adolf Hitler’s birthday. What happened on this day was a tragedy that affected not only Columbine, but the whole country as well.
At 11:10 a.m. both shooters pulled into parking spaces belonging to other students. They did this to position their cars near any law enforcement that would respond. In their cars were bombs, set to explode a while after they entered the school. The shooters, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, were both armed with shotguns, 9mm pistols, grenades, pipe bombs, propane tanks, and other flammable gæsses. The plan was to detonate two backpacks full of explosives in the middle of a lunch break. They would then shoot any students who tried to escape.
The incident at Columbine High School was clearly an act of expression. The two boys had been picked on and teased so they probably wanted to “get even”. It was later revealed that the two boys enjoyed playing the violent video-game called “Doom”. Harris created a customized version of the game that altered a few of the games settings, such as infinite life, ammunition, extra weapons, two-player, and victims who could not fight back. This is similar to the actual shooting incident.
The media was quick to respond and soon the news broadcast around the nation.
Everybody was in shock. How could this have happened? Weren’t there any signs? These were two completely normal kids that had just killed 13 people. Everyone was pointing fingers and blaming other people. In truth, no one could have seen this event manifesting. This sort of thing had never happened in this magnitude before.
These shootings makes one wonder; what can mess up a persons mind so much that it drives them into killing fellow humans? The first thought that leaps to mind is: VIOLENT MOVIES. Over the years of televisions many movies have been a little on the edge and perhaps a bit to grotesque. We have seen examples of this in movies like “Full Metal Jacket”, “Alien” and “The Matrix”. These movies all encourage the use of weapons on people. There have been incidents due to watching these movies. For example, “The Matrix” caused two people to jump off a building in attempt to make it across the 30 feet gap. This seems stupid, but to the two persons it seemed real because the movie had said so. This is a good example of what might happen if you get to carried away watching these types of film.
It might not be the movies that has the most affect on people, another aspect is: VIOLENT VIDEO GAMES. Violent video games have existed for nearly 20 years now, and are becoming more and more violent and grotesque for each new release. The latest addition in the ranks of violent games is “Doom 3”. This games whole meaning is to scare everyone who plays it. It is not strange that kids with several social problems turn to the games. Here they get to play god, and go on a killing spree in whatever scenario they choose. The worst part is that everyone can get their hands on these games.
In the year 2002 the movie Bowling for Columbine reached the people. This is a film made by Michael Moore, and he is telling us how easy there is to get hold on weapons in USA and how much violence they have, compared to others countries. Michael Moore is asking why USA has so much violence and what can be done to reduce the crime. The movie got an Oscar in 2003.
Today, the name “Columbine” Still has an air of death and loss lingering about it, as does the school. Since this event, schools have gotten stricter on security. Some large schools have even seen fit to install metal detectors at their main entrances to sense any possible guns coming into the building.
Today, the Columbine shootings have little impact on me personally. I do not feel threatened in school. I do not have to walk through a metal detector to get to my classroom. However, this is Norway. There is a difference between Norway and America, an in some way I’m not afraid that something like this can happen here. But then again, I’m sure the pupils at Columbine wasn’t either. The American people will foralways remember the 20. april 1999, when the thing you didn’t think could happen, happened. They will not forget, but learn from the event on that day in the spring of ’99.