When Schools Turn Deadly

When Schools Turn Deadly


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I never thought I’d find myself reading about such a tragedy that happened in our very own country. Most of us have heard of other school shootings that have occurred near us, but trust me when I say that reading a book on one makes you open your eyes more. Columbine was written with such detail and precision that it makes you feel as if you were there, like you were a part of the school before and after the shooting. Dave Cullen looked at the tragedy that happened to Columbine High School and took into consideration everyone; the victims, the gunmen, the families, the community.

The two gunmen at Columbine High School were best friends; Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. The two amigos killed themselves after killing 12 students and 1 teacher also, injuring many more placing themselves in the fourth most deadly shooting in the United States. Together they felt as if they were taking over the world. They had plans to bomb the school, and finish shooting it up. Harris and Klebold fled into the school to set up the bombs at two pillars that were supposed to make the top floor collapse once it blew up, and to plant small ones around. Fortunately, the bombs didn’t go off, if they had gone off the school would have been completely destroyed. Dylan and Eric, Eric more than Dylan, wrote in their diaries about the day.

According to the book, Columbine the boys had no particular target, and they shot at everything and everyone that they could. During research time after the shooting, doctors looked at Eric and Dylan’s records, health, and personal things in order to try and decipher the motive behind the school shooting. Months went by after consulting with classmates, investigating the scene, and even searching the homes of the boys, that they at last came to a conclusion. The boys were known as “nobody’s” or the outcasts of their school. Many thought that that had been the motive behind the shooting, because they wanted to be known, or get back at the people who bullied them or made them the outcasts. They were partially correct, it was said after the shooting that Eric Harris was a sociopath and Dylan Klebold was a depressed teenager.

School shootings are happening till this day. Sandy Hook was an elementary school in Newton, Connecticut that was attacked by a gunman by the name of Adam Lanza. Adam Lanza killed 20 first graders and 6 adults in the school and then turned the gun on himself and his mother. This became known as the second most deadly shooting in the Unites States. Although Mr. Lanza had gone to Sandy Hook Elementary School from first to fifth grade, investigators did not find a real motive as for why Adam Lanza attacked the elementary school. He went in there with no plans but to shoot; no specific race, teachers, or students. Adam Lanza had a mental health problem that affected his ability to live a normal life.After speaking to his doctors and looking into his files, investigators have not found that his mental health contributed to the shooting at Sandy Hook. Even though Adam Lanza had mental problems, his doctors had no idea why he acted out the way he did, they never expected it from him.

Reading Columbine and then researching different school shootings made me realize that this could happen to anyone. Today at school we had a lock-down drill and I was freaking out because of the fact that I am now aware that we could be in the same situation. Columbine made me laugh, cry, get mad, and even made me go into deep thought. I finished reading the book about two days ago and I still think about it. After finishing the book I went through this whole thought about, “what if it happens to my school”, I was starting to scare myself so I had to stop. I definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes reading about tragedies or dramas. If you are an emotional or sensitive person, I wouldn’t recommend it.

Related Resources:
Flegenheimer, Matt. “Final Report on Sandy Hook Killings Sheds New Light on Gunman’s Isolation.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 27 Dec. 2013. Web. 23 Sept. 2014.

“Maps of School Shootings.” StopTheShootings.org. Web. 25 Sept. 2014.
Smith, Matt, Susan Candiotti, Rande Iaboni, Rob Frehse, Chris Boyette, and Ronni Berke. “Sandy Hook Killer Took Motive to His Grave.” CNN. Cable News Network, 26 Nov. 2013. Web. 23 Sept. 2014.