Columbine Massacre Occurred A Decade Ago Today

Today was a notable anniversary in our nation’s history, though it is a sad anniversary.

On April 20, 1999, Eric Harris, 18, and Dylan Klebold, 17, entered Columbine High School in Colorado with the entire of killing nearly the entire school.

By the time the dust had settled, they had killed 12 students, one teacher and themselves while injuring more than 20 others.

It was a massacre in every sense of the word, and it still stands as the fourth-deadliest school shooting in U.S. history, according to online research.

The thing some people don’t realize, though, is that it should have been worse.

If Harris and Klebold had been better bomb makers, almost no one would have survived.

The two placed propane bombs in the cafeteria set to go off at the peak traffic time for that part of the school.

Luckily, the bombs malfunctioned and didn’t go off when they were supposed to.

I’ve done research projects on the shooting itself as well as how the media covered it and what external factors could have contributed, such as violence on television and in video games.

I’m very interested in what drove two teenagers to the point of killing people while laughing. Something horrible had to have pushed them to the breaking point, and if it was as has been hypothesized due to bullying at schools, everyone needs to be put on notice and take steps to curb such behaviors.

There are two new books out about the massacre, and they clear up a lot of rumors and misnomers that have permeated the history of the event.

They are now on my list of books to read. One is called “Columbine” by David Cullen, and the other is “Columbine: A True Crime Story” by Jeff Kass.

Both authors are journalists who covered the story as it unfolded.

Whether you are interested in reading the books or not, at least keep what happened in your thoughts this week.

It is undoubtedly a difficult time for the families of those who perished at the hands of Harris and Klebold.

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About toddvogts 839 Articles
Todd R. Vogts, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of media at Sterling College in Kansas. Previously, he taught yearbook, newspaper, newsmagazine, and online journalism in various Kansas high schools, and he ran a weekly newspaper in rural Kansas. He continues to freelance as a professional journalist from time to time. Also, Vogts is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), the Journalism Education Association (JEA), and the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), among others. He earned his Master Journalism Educator (MJE) certification from JEA in 2022. When he’s not teaching or writing, he runs his mobile disk jockey service and takes part in other entrepreneurial ventures. He can be reached at twitter.com/toddvogts or via his website at www.toddvogts.com.