On April 20, 1999, something very tragic happened. Two teens, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, opened fire upon students and teachers during lunch when the bombs they had planted did not go off. It was later known that they killed one teacher and twelve students, thirteen in total. At the time this was the biggest and worst high school shooting in U.S history.
Unfortunately, as time went on, school shootings have become more common and are sadly becoming normal to see on the news.
Since the Columbine shooting in Littleton, Colorado there have been sixty-eight school shootings, ranging from elementary schools to college. The “deadliest school shooting in US history to happen was the Virginia Tech shooting”(The shooter, Seung-Hui Cho, killed 33 people and injured 23. The casualties included students and staff members. No one knows what his motive was for causing this tragic event. Sadly, quite a few of school shooters’ motives are unknown. The unknown motives make it hard to determine if there are certain types of individuals who target schools.
Schools may be targeted because they are usually unprotected. Some schools do not have gates surrounding the campus or they do not have much, if any, security. They are also targeted because often, the perpetrators are students that attend the school or they have previously attended the school. As to why students target their school, people may never know, since each motive is different for each person.
People may have one or more motives for shooting-up a school. Half of the time, we won’t know why they chose to shoot-up a school, but other times evidence is gathered and law enforcement will come to a conclusion as to why they committed such a violent act.
We may also find proof of them saying/writing as to why they chose to commit mass murder. For Columbine shooters Eric and Dylan, their motive was inconclusive, but with evidence found we can conclude that Eric was a psychopath and he had wanted to kill as many as possible before taking his own life. Dylan on the other hand, was depressed and looking to commit suicide. He was vulnerable and easily manipulated by Eric.
Since school shootings are so controversial, I wanted to see what people’s opinions are about them.
I decided to interview Senior Khristine Sivils and get her opinion on school shootings. When asked how she felt about the shootings, she replied saying, “I think that they are not unavoidable, but very scary and you can’t do anything, making you vulnerable which sucks.”
When these shootings happen, it affects the whole community. People are always shocked and saddened by the news. As everyone is able to relate to each other by knowing what they are going through or they can sympathize with each other.
The question is, what can we do to prevent these shootings from happening as often as they do. What we can do is have better laws on guns. In California, the age to purchase a gun is twenty-one and there are background checks involved when buying a gun, as well as a ten day waiting period between the purchase of a gun and when a person can actually obtain the gun. If these laws were the same everywhere and not just in California, situations like these would be less likely to happen. It would also help if schools provided therapists for those who need it.
More and more, school shootings are becoming a regular staple on the news. The sad reality is unless change starts happening, shootings are only going to become more common. In the future I hope these don’t become a daily occurrence, because without change, it’s a terrifying situation to think of or be a part of.