Bowling for Columbine: It’s Online and 10 Years Later the School Massacres Continue. Have You Had Enough?!

In April 1999, Eric Har­ris and Dylan Kle­bold mur­dered 12 stu­dents and one teacher in Columbine, Col­orado, while injur­ing 21 oth­ers. Michael Moore doc­u­ment­ed the tragedy in his 2002 film, Bowl­ing for Columbine, which sits on YouTube, avail­able for every­one to see. It’s heart­break­ing to think that a decade lat­er, stu­dents are no safer at their schools. If any­thing, gun con­trol has slack­ened dur­ing the inter­ven­ing years (thanks part­ly to the Supreme Court) and mass mur­ders have become more com­mon­place, if not a month­ly occur­rence. 12 were killed and 52 injured in Auro­ra, CO in July. 10 killed in a Sikh tem­ple shoot­ing in Wis­con­sin this August. Five gunned down at Accent Sig­nage Sys­tems in Min­neso­ta in Octo­ber. Two shot dead at a mall in Port­land, Ore­gon ear­li­er this week. And now 20 young­sters and sev­en adults killed at an ele­men­tary school today in Con­necti­cut.

We’ve reached the point where it has become an excep­tion­al Amer­i­can pathol­o­gy. Indeed, we’ve had 27 mass mur­ders since Columbine, with the worst two tak­ing place in schools — Vir­ginia Tech and  Sandy Hook Ele­men­tary. We also have expo­nen­tial­ly more gun-relat­ed deaths than any oth­er coun­try in the devel­oped world. I sin­cere­ly hope this isn’t anoth­er instance where we breath­less­ly express out­rage for a week, then turn back to the Kar­dashi­ans, until the next shoot­ing hap­pens in Feb­ru­ary at best. Pub­lic spaces should be safe, schools all the more so. It’s time for the apa­thy and the fear of lob­bies to end, and for our lead­ers to final­ly lead. What might a prac­ti­cal action plan look like? Let’s turn to Nicholas Kristof’s plan out­lined in The New York Times. You can also donate to the Brady Cam­paign to Pre­vent Gun Vio­lence.

Below, I have post­ed Pres­i­dent Oba­ma’s mov­ing speech made last night in New­town, CT. It worth watch­ing and reflect­ing on.


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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.