Monday, April 20, 2009

Diversity of Thoughts & Reflections 10 Years After the Columbine Massacre

Today marks the 10 year anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting. It's often refereed to as the Columbine Massacre. There are a variety of tragedies over the past years that have spawned such discussion, had such widespread awareness and sorrow, and have a mark as a day in our modern history.

On the ten year anniversary of the shooting, I wasn't sure exactly what I wanted to say. And really what can I say that hasn't been said. It's interesting how some of the initial questions remain to be answered, while others have.

I encourage you to click over to read and comment on the blogs of any of these post. I think you will find there is still much to be discussed and the benefit of time is that we are capable of having new perspectives, been changed by these events, and relook at them in important ways.

The below post are diverse, if each of the below blog authors were in a room, I can guaranty you they would not all get along or agree about how to view the events. And it's this diversity of opinions that exist 10 years later that helps us understand why this event has becomes so important for so many.

I want to believe that the deaths, injuries, and pain created from April 20, 1999 was not in vein. My thoughts and prays are for the families of the victims.

Thoughts from Bloggers 10 Years After The Columbine Shooting

Randy Turner, a middle school teacher in Missouri discusses how teachers often are blamed in the wake of school shootings for not identifying early warning signs, when the reality is that they are doing this, but their success is neither reported or praised. He reminds readers that schools are safe places, and the reason stories like Columbine effect us is because incidents of this nature are rare.

A.K.A. Mr Jeff was a senior in high school the year of the shooting in Ohio. He discusses how he found out about the news of the event, and how is fear loomed that similar events would occur, his personal appearance and view of his classmates made him a suspected student by some that he might do something similar. Jeff discusses some of his feelings on this, as well as commends the students of Columbine High School who were there on April 20, 1999 and have come out of this event.

Annette Budd's husband had been youth ministers at Littleton Christian Church just prior to the shooting. She knew and had contact with many of the kids who were Columbine students and at the school the day of the shooting, and those students individual experience that day. (She also discusses the response of mothers of students as well). She also knew the family of one of the shooters, and discusses how horrible it was, especially since there family didn't show signs of any dysfunction, in fact showed the opposite. Annette discusses her deep sorrow she experienced, and how even ten years later the incident still hurts.

Woody is a photographer in Colorado Springs who feels very little has changed in the 10 years since the Columbine shooting, and that while schools acts as though they have a plan, they are far more talk then they are actions.

Rachel Moore's blog only has a couple post, but she has taken the time to share her thoughts on Dave Cullen's book Columbine which was just released a couple weeks ago. Cullen's books has been received very positively for it's research and third-party fiction-like writing style. Rachel confirms the positive reviews as she describes a book that she couldn't put down and took her back to the time when she was in 8th grade and the shooting happened.

Ellen Stewart also just read Dave Cullen's book. She shares a quote that shows that what she took from the story is that these kids were not outcast goths associates with some conspiratorial trench coat mafia or connecting the event to any greater significance. She also talks about Cassie Bernall who's story of saying she believes in God has recently been refuted, and Ellen says "wrong of the church to continue to perpetuate a story that does not belong to her."

Lola Jax was halfway around the world when the Columbine shooting happened. She discusses on her blog how as a high schooler who had attempted suicide she was immediately pulled in to the event and realized she was not that different from Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold and how she realized she needed help. She discusses how the lives and stories of two of the victims, Rachel Scott and Cassie Bernall, helped her turn her own life around and model her life after these two women, having developed a relationship with God, and leaving the life that resembled the two killers behind.

Peter an ex-military medically-retired pastor (and fan of weaponry) blogs from Louisiana and talks about Columbine is a different way than you will find elsewhere. Peter believes that the problem with Columbine and other school shootings is that those at risk have been disarmed. That guns have been falsely blamed for the problem, rather guns and the opportunity for self-defense are the answer.

Tracey Wik a speaker and consultant discusses the Columbine shooting, particularly having read drafts of Dave Cullen's book. Wik reflects on Cullen's realization that no one is immune to random acts of violence. Wik believes that if we remember that everyone has a motivation behind their actions, if if the information they are acting on is wrong. She reminds people to listen to others, talk to others, and doing what we can to understand each other. She believes this is essentially, particularly in the workplace and during economic uncertainty.

Jennifer Kenney attended a vigil at Columbine, and was deeply moved by the speakers. She was specifically moved by the story of the teacher who died Dave Sanders. She writes "He was a true hero. If only he was gotten to sooner. If only he would have survived."

Jamie Huston is a highschool and college literature teacher in Las Vegas. He discusses a handful of bullet points on the event, including that teenage boys with skills and self-esteem are harmful to everyone, "we've raised a generation of sociopaths," the merchandising frenzy attached with tragedy, and that "not every tragedy is an excuse for everybody to have a big weepy love-in about how it made them feel."

Beth a mother of a Columbine student in 1999 writes about her experience at the time of the events, and how she learned the value of home and cacooning, and that out of cacooning, you also need to go out. Her real-life personal story explains her son Drew's hiding in a closet waiting for the SWAT team as well as her and other moms going around the neighborhood walking and meeting neighbors in their community after the shooting.

Heath Mullikin is a youth pastor at Denton Wesleyan Church who talks about how the cause of the Columbine shooting is evil, which exist inside of every person. He talks about how evil is only prevented by the transforming work of Jesus Christ in our lives. Heath says we shy away from using the word evil, but until we acknowledge evil, evil will remain.

Walt Mueller is a writer on youth culture and daily radio show broadcaster (Youth Culture Today with Walt Mueller) and founder and president of the Center for Parent/Youth Understanding. Mueller spent time in Littleton, Colorado after the shooting and 10 years later reflects on lessons to be learned: Kids are hurting, kids are forced to deal with tough situations at a younger and younger age, no one is immune, all kids will have to make difficult decisions.

Matthew D. Jarvi conspiracy theorist from Rochester, NY asks tough questions looking at eye-witness reports that would indicate that there Klebold and Harris were not the only two involved in the school massacre, and that other inconsistencies in the sheriff's reports do not line up with eye-witness reports.

2 comments:

Annette Budd said...

I appreciate your link, thanks. I like your blog.

a.k.a. Mr. Jeff said...

RC,

After reading the comment you left on my blog, I checked out your page and a few of the other blogs you linked to. The diversity of ideas surrounding this event was indeed enlightening. Thank you for the link, and for bringing so many different yet converging ideas together.

Mr. Jeff

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